Food - Drink
The Effortless Way To Open Fresh Oysters Without Sacrificing Texture
By JEN PENG
Even though there are various techniques to open an oyster, they all more or less involve having a good grip, getting the point of the knife into the shell, and then getting the shell to open. It's something that comes easier with practice, but for some, it's a practice they can happily skip because there's another way to open oysters that involves far less effort.
According to Ryan Croxton, fourth-generation oyster farmer and owner of Rappahannock Oyster Company, "Freezing and thawing is the easiest hands-off method of opening oysters." He discovered the technique from the natural freezing and thawing cycles that occur on their farm when oysters get caught in a low tide and then a freezing cold.
As Croxton explains, "the second the oyster is no longer alive, it lets go of the shell." In practical terms, that means putting your fresh oysters still in the shell in the freezer and letting them freeze but before doing so, it's best to check if they are still alive, by giving the shells a light tap, and throwing out any whose shells don't tighten or make any movement.