Tio Point Oysters - Opening Tips
Shucking an Oyster
There are two methods . The European/Chilean method and the New Zealand method. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

The European/Chilean method
1. Ensure the narrow hinge at the back of the oyster is really clean.

2. Place the oyster flat side up on a chopping board or similar (on a wet towel or teatowel if you desire) and hold with one hand preferably gloved.

3. Insert the point of an oyster knife at the hinge (narrow pointed end) and twist knife to pry open the back end of the shell.

4. Carefully slide the knife along the back of the top flat shell and cut the adductor muscle which holds the front of the oyster either open or closed. Remove top flat shell and discard.

5. Slide the knife under the oyster to cut the other side of the adductor muscle. If your customer was French you may give them the option to do this as the custom is to leave the oyster attached to prove it is from the original shell and the customer could remove it.

6. Turn the oyster in the shell through 180o. This will enhance the presentation as the 'plumper' side is uppermost.

Go to Good Morning - Tio Point Oysters with Sea Form to see the oyster being opened by Michael Meredith on the Good Morning Show





Advantages

- The fine edge of the concave shell is intact enhancing presentation.


Disadvantages

- The flat shell may break making it difficult to extract the oyster.

- The meat quality of Tio Point oysters is such that the meat is hard up against the flat shell. Sometimes a small cut occurs as the knife is brought forward to cut the adductor muscle. This is hidden from the customer when the oyster is turned 180 degrees unless they turn the oyster around. This method was developed for oysters with lower meat/shell ratios than Tio Point oysters.

The New Zealand method
1. Place the oyster flat side up on a chopping board or similar (on a wet towel or tea towel if you desire) and hold with one hand preferably gloved.

2. Insert the point of the oyster knife in the gap between the two shells or more often into the soft shell 10mm from the edge. An vibrating motion often helps. Take care to ensure the shell fragments which will be quite large are not carried into the oyster with the knife.

3. Slide the knife down the concave (bottom shell) side and cut the adductor muscle where it attaches to the concave shell.

4. The oyster is now still attached to the flat shell. Cut off and place in concave shell. Make sure the concave shell does not tip and lose the liquor the oyster has been sitting in. Be sure also to place the oyster in the shell flat side down plump side up to enhance presentation.

5. Keep knife clean by regular dipping in a glass of water.


Advantages

- Quicker method

- Meat is intact whichever way up it is presented.

Disadvantages

- Damage can occur to the edge of the shell resulting in a slight presentation downside.

- Extreme care needs to be taken to ensure no shell fragments attach to the knife.



If you need an oyster knife we sell knives for $19.84 each. We have imported these knives from France and are designed to open from the hinge end of the oyster (European/Chilean method). View Knife