Frequently Asked Questions

How long do oysters take to grow?

  • Rock Oysters take about 2 to 3 years to get to market size. Pacific oysters on the other hand are quite fast growers getting there in about 1 year.

What is the shelf life of an Oyster?

  • Rock Oysters (unopened) stored in a cool place (temperature between 10 degrees and 15 degrees Celsius) will live for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Pacific Oysters (unopened) stored in a cool place (temperature of around 5 degrees to 10 degrees Celsius) will live for up to 10 days.
  • Opened Oysters when properly cared for and stored between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius will last for 3-4 days but best eaten within 24 hours.

How do you store Oysters?

  • Keep in a moist, cool environment. Store live oysters in the fridge away from the coldest area in the fridge covered with a moist cloth or towel. Best to keep them with the curved side down to preserve their natural juices. They need to keep moist to breathe. NEVER submerge your oysters under fresh water whilst storing nor keep them in airtight bags or containers. Oysters need to breathe so spreading them out on a flat tray would do just fine.

How do you open an Oyster?

  • There are essentially four main steps to opening an oyster.
  1. The Preparation.
  2. Take your fresh pack of Harvest Connect oysters and give them a slight rinse.

    Take an oyster and place it with its curved side facing down. Cover it in a laundered tea towel with the pointed joint (also known as the hinge) of the oyster facing toward you.

    Place the tea towel on a board (a wooden chopping board will do the trick) on a flat surface, and hold down firmly. It’s not a bad idea to be close to the sink during this process.

    With your oyster knife, gently but firmly insert the sharp tip into the hinge of the oyster, (where the top and bottom shells meet), at approximately 15 degrees.

    Moving the knife in a slow jerking motion, push the knife into the hinge until it has ‘grabbed’ the tip of the knife leaving it firmly stuck in between the top and bottom shell of the oyster.

  3. The Challenging Part.
  4. With the oyster knife firmly lodged between the top and bottom shell, grasp the oyster in the towel securely.

    Move the oyster knife firmly back and forward several times. Listen for the ‘pop’ as the hinge gives way.

    The challenging part of opening the oyster is now complete.

    Never hesitate to wear a pair of gloves for extra hand protection.

  5. Tops Off.
  6. With the joint of the top and bottom shell now separated, slide the oyster knife gently along the under surface of the lid.

    At around the two o’clock position on the top lid is the abductor muscle. This holds the top and bottom shells together.

    Simply cut through this by sliding the oyster knife firmly through the muscle. The top and bottom shells will be separated.

  7. The Fun Part!
  8. Now that the top lid has been removed you need to completely free the oyster from the bottom shell. This is done by a simple slash of the abductor muscle on the bottom shell.

    You are now free to turn them over so they look nice and plump for all your guests, or you can save yourself the effort and dig straight in!

    The liquid that comes with the oyster is considered to be some of the best part of the total enjoyment of the oyster. It is absolutely delectable and shouldn’t be discarded as it contains an enormous burst of flavour.

Best way to serve an Oyster?

  • Once opened, the ways an oyster can be served and eaten are endless. Whether they are served and eaten raw, smoked, baked, boiled, roasted, grilled, fried, canned, pickled or steamed there is always at least one favourite for every oyster lover.

We highly recommend simply opening the oyster and consuming the contents including the juice. A squeeze of fresh lemon is a nice accompaniment. However for those who like their oysters cooked, we recommend the well known Kilpatrick or Mornay or garnished with ginger and fresh shallots or similar.

From time to time we will be putting up various recipes that you can refer to, to create a delicious seafood meal using only the best available oysters.

Are Oysters beneficial to ones health?

  • In short, Yes! Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, iron, calcium, omega 3, and vitamin A. They are also high in protein and low in cholesterol.