What to Look for and What to Avoid When Choosing Oysters

Oysters are a delicious treat no matter how you cook them, but only if you get a good batch. Here’s what you need to know in order to choose the best ones.

In this video from the ChefSteps YouTube channel, Marco Pinchot of Taylor Shellfish shares some tips for finding the best oysters anywhere. The shape and size of oysters can differ depending on the species, method and place of growth, but all those that are suitable for consumption have the same things in common. Here’s what you need to look for :

  • Flat top.
  • Deep cup or curved bottom half. The deeper the cup, the more room there is for meat and brine (salty liquid).
  • The sealed edge of the oyster, indicating that the pickle is still inside.

Here’s what to avoid :

  • Open shells. There is probably no pickle, and the meat will be dry.
  • Oysters that seem empty. Let them knock and listen.

After peeling the oyster, the meat should fill the shell, it should be firm, and there should be a lot of brine in it. If the meat looks dry, discard it. To store oysters before they are peeled, place them in a bowl, cup side down, and then cover the bowl with a cold, damp towel.

How to Pick the Best Oysters with Marco Pincho from Taylor Shellfish | Youtube

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