Oysters 101

Oysters 101

Refresh your oyster knowledge and shucking skills with our online tools and then start slurping your days away!

How To Shuck The Perfect Oyster

How to shuck an oyster1. Give your mollusks a good little scrub to get rid of any excess beach the sea covered them in. (Throw out any open fellas)

2. Place the hinge of the oyster on a rolled up kitchen towel or cutting board. Using your oyster knife gently work the tip of the knife into the seam between the top and bottom shells.

3. Gently wiggle the knife back and fourth. When you hear a ‘pop’ twist the knife to create a larger opening and slide the knife along side the top edge and remove the upper shell.

4. Use the knife to detach the bottom of the oyster from the bottom shell by scraping the knife beneath the meat. (Be sure to not spill the precious and delicious liquor!)
You can drizzle some mignonette, tabasco, lemon juice,
or just knock it back naked!


Terms You Should Know

Liquor: The oyster juice to savor. This juice is trapped inside an oyster shell along with the plump and delicious meat. It’s one of the best parts!

Creaminess: Used to describe a buttery, sweet, and soft oyster. (Often used when describing a spawning oyster.

Copper: When an oyster is metallic and green-tasting.

Mignonette: A vinegary shallot- based sauce you can drizzle over your oyster.

Naked: How an oyster should be eaten. Raw and ready to be fully enjoyed with all its flavors.

Brine: Saltiness of an oyster. East coast oysters tend to have a stronger brininess to them.

Crispness: Cold water slows down an oyster’s metabolism which causes the oysters meat to become more crisp. When waters warm an oysters meat tends to become more soft and briny.

How To Care For Your Oysters: Washing, Handling, Storing

To ensure you enjoy your fresh oysters at their best, be sure to get your oysters home COLD! Plan ahead by bringing an insulated bag, cooler, or purchasing one of our custom Oyster Club transport totes.

Once you pick them up, don’t let them swim again. Keep them on ice, but never under water. Oysters that are submerged in water will open, which taints what could have been a wonderful slurping experience.

Once you get home, store your oysters at 35-40° F, covered with a clean damp cloth. Do not seal live oysters in an airtight container— they won’t be able to breathe and will die!

Once you’re ready to slurp, shuck your oysters and serve them on a bed of crushed ice.

Anatomy Of An Oyster

Oysters breathe much like fish, using both gills and mantle. The mantle is lined with many small, thin blood vessels which extract oxygen from the water and expel carbon dioxide. An oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day.

A small three chambered heart, lying under the abductor muscle, pumps colorless blood, while it supplies oxygen to all parts of the body.

At the same time a pair of kidneys located on the underside of the muscle purify the blood of any waste products it has collected. Because oysters are filter feeders, the amount and types of salt and other nutrients in the water, water temperatures, pollution levels, and seasonal changes effect an oyster’s flavor, shell structure, and flesh color.

Oyster’s flavors and consistency can vary from bay to bay or from one side of an island to the other. Oysters almost always bear the same name of the region they are grown as a means to distinguish their individual flavors.

Jax Media

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We love to see your best oyster creations, dinners, and overall seafood stories on Facebook & Instagram! By using our hashtags #JaxOysterClub and #FromWhereIShuck you can share with your fellow Oyster Club members your oyster success.

Think you are a pretty dynamic shucker and doing something epic? Use the hashtag #DontShuckWithMeOC. We’ll choose the best photo each quarter to win a chef tasting dinner for 2 at your local Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar. At the end of the year, we’ll ask our followers to vote for the best pic of the year to win the ultimate prize…a trip for 2 to Rappahannock River Oysters in Virginia.

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