How To Shuck An Oyster

Shucking since 1916, Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill know a thing or two about oysters.

This month marks the return of every seafood lover’s favourite season, and we are thrilled to welcome back the grand return of the native oysters! 

Indigenous to Europe and only available from September through April, the natives are a prized commodity compared to their Rock relatives. In flavour, the natives are nuttier, brinier, more savoury and minerally than the rocks, a reward for having spent two more years growing compared to Rocks.

We invite you to join us and our skilled oyster shuckers – if you know Bentley’s, you know Federico! – at the bar for some freshly shucked and prepared delights from the sea. Whether native or rocks, fresh or baked, our team will be able to guide you around our coastline! 

For those wanting to learn more, we have a lesson in oyster shucking below from our Chef Patron Richard Corrigan. Fear not if you consider yourself a visual learner, you can join us at our Oyster Masterclasses at Bentley’s, taking place on Saturday mornings, where you’ll be shown all you need to become a master shucker! 

How To Shuck An Oyster, From Chef Richard Corrigan


  1. When you buy oysters the shell should be closed, or should close when you tap it, showing the oyster is still alive. Another way to tell is to squeeze a little lemon over the oyster – if it is alive it will move slightly.
  2. When at home, always use a glove or wrap a cloth around your hand when you open an oyster.
  3. With your gloved hand, hold the oyster firmly, then insert the tip of a small sharp knife (preferably an oyster knife) into the hinge that holds the two shells together and wiggle it until you can break the hinge. Twist the knife eighty degrees to prize the two shells apart.
  4. Slide the knife along the underside of the top flat shell, and cut the part of the muscle that is attached to the shell. You can serve it as is now, or to make it look neater and enable the oyster to slide easily into your mouth, you can turn it over. To do this, slide your knife underneath the oyster, cut the muscle holding it to the cupped shell, and flip.