I've done some research but I noticed there are some ways to open an oyster. Some either try it with a screwdriver but there is a chance the oyster might get damaged. (You also preferably need a glove with a screwdriver, once you slip and hit your hand, it will make a deep wound.)

A normal knife is not advised so are there any other option? How do I open an oyster safe without oyster knife & without damaging the oyster?

  • Are you opening the oyster to eat or for some other purpose? Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 20:19
  • @AdamZuckerman, to eat
    – Decypher
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 7:12

3 Answers 3


Its helpful for me, There are two way to open oyster without oyster knife & glove,


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.

  • While both methods will work (any bivalve will open when cooked), neither allows extracting the oyster raw, which is a common way to eat them. They also need to be extracted raw for some cooking methods that require them out of the shell.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 11:34

What I have seen is people somehow put the oyster on a surface with the side opposite the hinge hanging off the edge. Something like an oyster block would also work. You then hold it tightly and use a small hammer or some sort of hard object to break the edge of the shell. Once there is a hole at the end, you can then use a flat instrument to cut the adducter muscle from the top and bottom of the shell.

However, this method can create many little pieces of shell that may be unappetizing or even dangerous to your teeth.

I prefer using an oyster knife and a towel. I have some nice scars from the slips.


A screwdriver will do. You'll want a Phillips, the wider the better.

Take a towel and put it on a cutting board. Lay the oyster flat side UP on the towel, then wrap the towel over it, leaving the hinge exposed. Rock the oyster back a bit so the hinge is pointed up, and hold it firmly in that position. Insert the screwdriver into the hinge; you should be at an angle where a slip will end up with the screwdriver hitting the towel and board rather than your fingers. While pushing in firmly, but NOT as hard as you can, push the point of the screwdriver down and twist it slightly against the hinge. You should hear or feel a bit of a pop as the hinge releases. It can take a few tries to get the feel for it if you haven't done this before.

Cutting the muscle loose may be a bit tricky with a screwdriver, but it should be managable. This is actually where you're most likely to damage the oyster, so be careful.

  • 1
    Would a paring knife do the cutting part of the job better? Ok, two tools, but still....
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 20:34
  • @stephie - I would think so, yes, although you might actually want to use the back of the knife rather than a the sharp edge. You don't need (or want) to cut the muscle, just detach it from the shell. You need something thin to do it, but not something sharp.
    – Kaine
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 15:33
  • 2
    Phillips are the ones with a "cross", right? My gut feeling would have me choosing a flat one as "knife substitute". But I have admittedly never opened an oyster. What makes the Phillips better suited for the job?
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 19:37

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