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Video: How to Shuck an Oyster with Uptown T

Longtime Pascal’s Manale oyster shucker Thomas “Uptown T” Stewart makes the laborious and maddening task of cracking open fresh Gulf oysters look supremely easy. Years of practice have helped Uptown T, as has his oyster-shucking mantra: “To control the knife is to control the oyster.”

Once they’re good and shucked, they’re ready for toppings – and in New Orleans, you’re not hidebound to a lemony mignonette. Olive oil, hot sauce, and even ketchup are just a few of the ways to dress up your oyster before slurping it down. But just how does one shuck these briny delicacies? Uptown T walks us through the process in this video, and we’ve included the key takeaways below.

How to Shuck an Oyster

What You’ll Need

  • Sharp knife (be careful!)
  • Industrial rubber gloves (not required, but an added level of protection)
  • Towel

What to Do

1. Clean it. Remove any dirt and debris from the oysters and carefully wash them. If you find an open shell, discard the oyster.

2. Crack it. Once you’re set up with a towel and gloves, insert the tip of the knife into the hinge of the oyster shell. Apply enough pressure to separate the top shell from the bottom shell; you’ll likely need to jimmy the knife back and forth forcefully.

3. Repeat. Keep on shucking until you’re exhausted. Then enjoy the oysters with your preferred toppings (or with no toppings at all).

If you’re not up for DIY shucking, New Orleans makes it easy. Head to one of many lauded oyster restaurants in the city, or attend the annual New Orleans Oyster Festival.

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