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Don't underestimate the power of an oyster knife, which features a short, triangular blade and sturdy handle. The sturdy handles on oyster knives are designed to give you a good grip for optimum control. Longer blades can snap or bend if used to pry open oysters, which is why these knives all feature a shorter blade just long enough to pry open the hinge on an oyster.
A New Haven Tip describes an oyster knife that features an upturned tip, making it easier to pry shells apart. The tip not only provides excellent leverage for opening oysters, but it also aids in making cleaner cuts for better presentation.
The first step in working with oysters is making sure they're fresh. Frozen oysters will acceptable for stews, but should be avoided when eating raw because you can't check its condition; if any of the oysters are open, they could be dead and unsafe to eat raw. Once you've confirmed that the oysters are safe to eat, run them under cold water to remove grit, sand or other debris that could get into your oyster after opening.
Top open the oyster, hold the oyster with a small kitchen towel and hold it with the top shell up and the pointed end facing towards you (the hinge). Take care not to tilt the oyster while opening or you'll lose the juices inside. Slide your knife into the hinge and wiggle it around until you feel a "pop," which is the sound of the joint separating. From there, do a quick swipe of your knife along the inside of the top shell and sever the adductor muscle.
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