Whole Live Oysters

Ensure you have the right tools for the job – using a sharpened kitchen knife is likely to cause injury. Purchase an oyster shucking knife from your local fishmonger or fishing tackle store. Oyster shucking knives have a short, thick blade and are less likely to cause injury.

Fold a kitchen tea towel lengthways into thirds. Place your oyster belly side down on the folded towel. If you are right-handed, position the hinge (the V-shaped end of the oyster) to the right. If you are left-handed, position the hinge of the oyster to the left.

Fold the towel over the top of the oyster, leaving the hinge exposed. Place your hand on top of the towel to stop the oyster from moving. The towel will help to protect your hands in case the knife slips.

Carefully position your knife in the oyster hinge, slowly wiggling and moving until you feel the knife slip in between the top and bottom shell.

Slowly work the knife up and down while twisting and rotating. You will feel the top shell release from the bottom shell.

Insert your knife between the top and bottom shell.

Run the knife towards the front of the oyster while keeping it as flat to the top of the shell as you can. This will sever the muscle connecting the oyster to the top of the shell.

Dispose of the top shell and inspect the oyster. It should be clean with plenty of liquid around it.

Carefully slide your oyster knife underneath the oyster meat and flip over the oyster, freeing the oyster from the bottom of the shell.