The Hack For Using A Flathead Screwdriver To Open Oysters

Imagine that you're out to eat at a seafood restaurant. And there's a man sitting at a table by himself, just across from you. As you talk and eat with your family, you can't help but notice that the man seems to be doing something with his oysters. He lifts an oyster, reaches into his pocket, and pulls out ... a screwdriver. With one swift crack, the man breaks the oyster shell open with the tool and then eats it like nothing happened.

Oysters are a popular seafood entrée in the U.S. and were once even considered the food of a working man due to their abundance. But as any oyster fan can tell you, they can be a real pain to open. To eat the tender meat inside, you have to find a way to break the shell. While Serious Eats details how to "shuck" an oyster for first-timers, there are actually different ways to open an oyster without having to fork out any special knives. You could, for instance, take Food Network's advice and use a microwave to help loosen the oysters to open, or you can freeze them and then let them thaw out before opening them. 

But let's say you want to test your strength by using an ordinary flathead screwdriver. Surprisingly, this household tool is quite good at opening up hard-to-crack oyster shells.

You need a kitchen towel and a flathead to open the shell

According to Food Network, you can actually use a flathead screwdriver to open your oysters. Men's Health elaborates on this a bit more, detailing how you must brush the oysters in cold running water before wrapping both your hand and the oyster in a towel. Using your choice of a flathead screwdriver, place the tip of the screwdriver between the top and bottom shell by the oyster's hinge. You should be able to pop the shell with one quick twisting motion. 

Once the shell is open, however, you have to locate the inductor muscle on the right side of the oyster. Scrape along the top shell of the oyster to remove the muscle completely. You'll have to repeat this process to remove the second inductor muscle on the bottom shell, scraping until the muscle is separated. From there, all you have to do is repeat until each oyster is shucked and ready to serve.

Whether you use a screwdriver or a bona fide oyster knife is up to you, as both can work very well at helping to get the oyster meat inside. If you decide to pass on the shucking process and order some oysters from your favorite seafood restaurant, it's best that you skip ordering them raw and save that experience for prepping at home.