Once you´ve opened a few oysters, it´s simple. Prepare all recipes, cooked or raw, with fresh pure Willapa oysters.
Here are five different ways to open oysters. Only half shell oysters require hand opening. Rinse oysters in cold running water before opening.
HALF SHELL OYSTERS:
If you're not doing half shell, it´s also easy to open oysters in microwave, regular oven, broiler/grill or steam pot. Discard any oyster which doesn´t open with heat. Please note that our large Pacific oysters have heavy shells and many times resist opening quickly with heat.
OPEN IN MICROWAVE:
Place oysters cup side down in a microwave safe dish. Look closely at an oyster and you'll see that the top shell is flat and the bottom shell is shaped like a cup. Cover oysters with a paper towel. Cup side down saves liquor used in recipes.
Less than a minute will open most oysters. Time depends on total number you´re opening. Just open, don´t cook. Be careful, oyster shells will be very hot when you take them out of the microwave.
With oysters open, insert sharp knife between shells and cut muscle from top and bottom shells. Discard top shell. With many recipes you will remove the oyster from the shell for preparation and later replace the oyster into its shell for decorative serving.
OPEN IN OVEN:
Same as microwave but takes about 6 minutes in medium oven.
OPEN IN BROILER OR GRILL:
Place oysters cup side down on hot broiler or grill. Close lid. Oysters will pop open in 7-8 minutes ready to serve with favorite sauces and salsas.
Put oysters in large pot and cover bottom of pot with 1/2 inch of water. Cover pot and bring water to a boil. Cook 6 minutes, being careful water does not boil over. Oysters will be open and ready for further preparation.
HOW TO OPEN HALF SHELL OYSTERS
You'll need a WILLAPA OYSTERS oyster knife and gloves with a latex palm to protect your hands. You can get them at our "Utensils" page.
Important: Though the gloves with specially formulated latex palms we sell are cut and puncture resistant, they are NOT cut and puncture proof. Always use extreme care when using an oyster knife.
Opening oysters should always be done by an adult, NOT by a child.
Hold oyster cup side down and hinge pointed toward you. 1-Insert oyster knife at hinge slowly but firmly and push the knife between the shells. Use a slight side to side rocking movement with your knife as you push in. 2-Work tip of knife into the oyster (about 1/2 inch). 3-Twist knife handle to pop oyster open. 4-Push knife into oyster and slice muscle from top shell. 5-Open top shell. 6-Cut muscle from bottom cup. Turn the meat over for most professional appearance. You´re done!