How to Shuck an Oyster with an Oyster Glove

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Oyster shucking (opening an oyster shell) is an impressive feat and buying oysters in their shell means you can serve them on the half-shell, which not only looks cool but helps keep their flavour. However, oyster shucking isn’t nearly as difficult or as dangerous as it might seem.

Should I use an Oyster Glove?

Some people will say that shucking an oyster using just a tea towel is safe enough, but those people are dicing with danger. To open an oyster shell you have to basically point a knife at your hand to get enough force and purchase to open it. One wrong slip, and the knife could easily find its way into your palm or finger.

The safest way to shuck an oyster is to use an oyster-glove. Also known as a chainmail glove, this is a glove most often made from chainmail, thousands of metal links that offer the best levels of cut protection available. While it is not guaranteed to stop stabs or cuts, it offers the best chance possible from the options available.

How To Shuck An Oyster

There are several ways to shuck an oyster and many chefs will swear by theirs, which is usually the way they were taught. This method stops the juices and nectar from flowing out, which helps keep the natural flavour of the oyster intact.

  1. Ensure that your oyster is safe to eat. If the shell is open slightly, tap it lightly – if it closes it’s still safe to eat, if it stays open, it isn’t.
  2. Clean the oyster shell by scrubbing it under cold running water. Any dirt on the shell can get into the oyster once it’s opened, which will ruin the taste.
  3. Put the oyster glove on your non-dominant hand.
  4. Hold the oyster flat on a surface using your gloved hand, with the cup side facing down and the point of the shell (this is the hinge) facing towards you.
  5. Pick up your knife in your other hand, ensuring your gloved hand is perpendicular to your right hand.
  6. Put  the knife into the gap at the hinge at a downward angle and twist the knife until you feel the hinge give.
  7. Twist until you hear a click; this is the hinge opening.
  8. Slide the knife along the inside of the top shell to sever the muscle holding the oyster to the top
  9. Remove the top shell.
  10. If it’s going to be eaten right away, slip the blade under the fleshy part of the oyster; this severs the muscle holding it to the lower shell.

And there you have it: one shucked oyster. If you’re doing several oysters it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and be reckless but remember that you are dealing with sharp objects pointed at your hand, and your oyster glove isn’t 100% stab-proof.

If you want to get your hand into an oyster glove, visit Shoe Insoles and check out our range of Oyster Gloves.

Honeywell Chainexium Chainmail Glove Long Cuff 253331X-A0302

  • Price is per glove
  • Chainmail glove to be used when in contact with food
  • Provides user with cut and puncture protection alongside longer cuff for arm protection
  • 100% stainless steel with a fastening strap
Available now

Honeywell Chainexium Chainmail Glove Short Cuff 253441X-A0302

  • Price is per glove
  • Chainmail glove to be used when in contact with food
  • Provides user with cut and puncture protection
  • Ideal when using knives or cutting and/or punching tools
Available now

Honeywell Chainexium Chainmail Oyster Glove 2533003-R0302

  • Price is per glove
  • Chainmail glove to be used within the food industry.
  • 100% stainless steel with a fastening strap
  • Ideal for Oyster Shucking, when using knives or cutting and/or punching tools.
Available now