There is more than one way to open an oyster, but regardless of the method you use, please be sure to protect your hand. The best way of doing this is to use the thickness of a dishtowel, a heavy glove, or better yet, set the oyster on a firm surface. To open the oyster, use an oyster knife or a sturdy pocket knife.
Steps 1 and 2
Hold the oyster with the cupped side down in one hand. Or on a surface, cup down and balance with one hand. If the oyster is a round cup (Choice), insert the point of the knife at the hinge, between the shells and twist until the shell pops apart. If the oyster is not a round cup shape, but rather longer than wide (Standard or Commcerial) insert the point of the knife at the wide, ruffled side of the oyster about 2/3 down from the hinge. This is where the adductor muscle is.
Steps 3 and 4
Once the knife is in, pick up the oyster and slide the knife's blade into the oyster, across the top, flat shell, holding the blade flay against the upper shell to avoid puncturing the oyster meat. Slide the knife blade back and forth to cut the adductor muscle attaching the top and bottom shells. Then, gently twist the knife blade to pry apart the shells and carefully remove the top shell, leaving the oyster and it's liquor in the bottom shell. Then carefully slide the knife under the oyster to free it from the bottom shell, try not to spill any of the liquor.
Steps 5 and 6
From the hands of Rogers Burleigh, former CEO of Burleigh Brothers Seafood Ltd.