Oysters 101: How to Purchase, Shuck and Prepare the Perfect Oysters

Oysters 101: How to Purchase, Shuck and Prepare the Perfect Oysters

It’s oyster season again! Oysters are at their best when enjoyed out of summer months (as the common advice goes, only eat them in months with the letter R), and we here at Sanctuary Beach Resort are diving into the delicious molluscs with abandon. And while we love to order oysters while we’re out to eat, there’s something extra special about enjoying them in the comfort of home, preferably with a glass of wine in hand.

We spoke with Salt Wood’s Chef David Baron to get his pro tips about preparing them at home:

Buy the Right Oysters

How can you tell whether the oysters are good quality? “Opt for purchasing oysters that are still closed,” says Chef David.

Rinse Them

“Don’t be afraid to wash the oysters in cold water,” he says. “You want to get everything off that you can so that you don’t have any grainy residue.”

Shucking Should Be Easy

“When shucking, find the ‘sweet spot’ and let the knife do all the work,” says Chef David. “The shell should pop open with ease.”

Go Light with the Knife…

“Don’t force the knife in, it could stab the oyster, resulting in it popping.”

…And with the Grill

“If you’re grilling the oyster, ensure that you’re not heating it for too long,” explains Chef David. “If the shell gets too hot, it will break.”

Find the Perfect Toppings

“When deciding on toppings, find contrasting flavors such as acidic and sweet to balance each other out.”


For more from Chef David, visit Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette here on the shores of Monterey Bay for a nature-inspired dining experience.