Frequently Asked Question
About Oysters XO
Rifko Meier started Oysters XO in June 2012 with the first roaming oyster shucking service. Our roaming mobile oyster shuckers are known as Oyster Girls and Oyster Guys, and they undergo rigorous training to provide guests with an efficient and enjoyable experience. You can find them walking among guests, shucking and serving raw oysters from buckets around their waists. Their presentation provides guests with knowledgeable conversation, impressive skill, and delicious results
We have teams with Oyster Girls & Oyster Guys in New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Charleston, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Yes sir. Starting in New York City and now in events throughout the country.
Rifko Meier wrote the first press release “Oyster Girls Shuck New York” and sent it to just one journalist, Mrs. Florence Fabricant of The New York Times. She called Rifko within just 25 minutes after sending her the press release. Mrs. Fabricant told Rifko not to send it to anyone else, so she could have the scoop on Oysters XO. And this is the result Click Here
This is the best article you will find about any catering company ever. For the New Yorker click here. I might be a bit biased though.
About Oyster Catering
We are Oyster Girls & Guys that shuck oysters from buckets around our waist (link to media kit). Our favorite events in the past 7 years are the Super Bowl, The World Premiere of the Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio, the Opening of the World Trade Center in NYC, and the other “five hundred thousand” events.
We have Oyster Chef teams in New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Charleston, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
This is the best job ever. We make guests happy and we work amazing events. First, we are trained to become the best Oyster Chefs, shucking up to 150 oysters an hour at the end of the training and learning about the history and biology of oysters.
About Oyster Classes
Our Oyster Chefs teach you how to shuck oysters.
We teach everyone, because it’s the best new trick to learn. We teach chefs and FOH in the hospitality industry. We teach captains of industry and teach corporate team building events. We teach at Food & Wine Festivals. We teach online. We love to teach you next.
Follow this link and sign up: oystersxo.com/zoom-oyster-shucking-class
You do. Follow this link and we will set you up: oystersxo.com/starter-kit
An opportunity to learn the Oysters XO technique of properly shucking an oyster in 10-15 minutes. A technique the Oyster Chefs of Oysters XO use: clean, no-strength, accurate.
It’s the technique the Oyster Chefs of Oysters XO use:
- Crack the hinge
- Cut top shell
- Cut bottom shell
These steps are included in our class called “SLURP”!
Fold the towel in half and cover your non-dominant hand with the towel/Wear an Oysters XO Mesh Mitt on your non-dominant hand. Take an oyster and put it in your non-dominant hand on top of the towel/mesh mitt. Hold the oyster cup side down with the hinge pointing towards you.
- “S”- STICK your knife into the hinge
Take a look at the hinge and GENTLY insert the knife. Perhaps wiggle the knife left and right and let your knife lead the way until your knife gently sinks in a bit.
- “L”- LOLLIPOP, then pop!
After “S” you should have a lollipop. Test if your knife is in deep enough. Try holding the oyster up to see if the knife can hold the weight of it. If it does, now pop it open by turning the knife left AND right like turning a key in a lock. BOTH sides until the hinge POPS.
- “U” – UPPER muscle cut
The Upper muscle is 2/3 up from the hinge and a little to the right. Hold the oyster with your hand wrapped around the oyster with your thumb on the top shell. Slide the knife gently into the oyster (with the point of the knife against the top shell) until you feel the muscle and then windshield wipe the knife to the right to cut the muscle. Take the top shell off with the thumb of your knife hand.
- “R”- REMOVE the bottom muscle
Turn your non-dominant hand towards your body (don’t move the oyster in your hand). Clean your knife then slide your knife under the oyster to cut the bottom muscle. Again, the muscle is 2/3 up from the hinge and a little to the right. You can actually see it. Practice this a few times, even after you ate the oyster already.
- “P”- PUSH!
Push the oyster gently from the hinge of the shell to check that there are no debris in it.
**Now SLURP that oyster and enjoy!**
Of course, we love to teach as many people the best party trick for this summer. Follow this link: oystersxo.com/gift-card-starter-kit
It’s fun. It’s delicious. It’s a great party trick. You arrive with a few dozen oysters at the party and everyone will come to you to have a freshly shucked oyster. Fun!
Depends on how you want to eat them! To have fresh oysters on the half-shell, yes. But don’t worry – we can teach you and you’ll be a pro in no time. 5 simple steps you can master. We promise.
If you want to eat the oysters cooked: roasted, steamed, grilled, baked, etc, you don’t necessarily need to shuck them first, but it’s a great skill to learn, so why not? We believe in you!
About Shop Oysters
It’s all about the sound. Dead oysters sound hollow and life ones solid like a rock. Hollow, you toss it, Solid you shuck it.
Of course! Better yet, show up with them yourself and shuck for the party! We can teach you how to freshly shuck the oysters and provide delicious recipes for condiments. You’ll be the best birthday gift ever!
If your friends are already oyster fans and know how to prepare them, just place an order with us and we will take care of the rest. They will have the freshest oysters delivered by the dozen straight from the farm to their doorstep.
Certainly, but we do recommend having a plan for storage and preparing, just in case. The best surprise would be oysters along with a shucking kit so they have everything they need and the Oysters XO Academy will guide them through how to properly shuck with our tutorial videos. (Pro tip: send some champagne for a super VIP experience!)
Essentially, straight from (oyster) farm to slurp! We partner with our favorite oyster farms and find the best way to deliver their oysters from harvest to your doorstep within (2? 3?) days. The oysters are plucked from the oceans and bays per order request. Depending on the size and variety, there are seasonal changes, so check with our order guides to see what’s being pulled up next!
Someone who has never eaten a raw oyster, YET!
Fresh oysters you keep in the fridge.
Choose only oysters that have a tightly closed shell, or ones that close when lightly tapped. Oysters with open shells are no longer alive and should be discarded. Look for oyster meat that’s moist, with a plump appearance and a mild, fresh smell. Contrary to popular belief, oysters should not have a fishy smell.
Toss the oysters in a sink with cold running water. Put on some cleaning gloves and start scrambling the oysters, so that the leftover sand and debris falls off. Do this for a couple of minutes or until you feel that they are nice and clean.
Note: Make sure you clean the sink before and after you clean the oysters. You want to avoid cross contamination with any other raw foods.
Take a plastic bin with a paper towel / kitchen towel on the bottom and transfer the oysters into the plastic bin. The extra water will fall out of the oysters onto the towel. Now take a plastic bag and toss the oysters in the bag and tie a knot in the plastic bag. Store the plastic bag with the oysters in the refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy the oysters.
Note: don’t poke holes in the plastic bag. Oysters don’t breathe after being taken out of the ocean..
All oysters can be used for raw bar or cooking use, but there are a few differences you might want to consider: (1) Size matters: When cooking an oyster it will get smaller in size, so bigger oysters are better for cooking. (2) Flavor of the water disappears: If you are not a big fan of one of the coasts, this will disappear in the cooking process.
Yes, but when you take them out you need to cook them. Oysters are alive when they come out of the ocean and when you put them in the freezer they die. You need to heat them thoroughly to make sure they are good to be served.
You should not eat oysters raw after they come out of the freezer. In the thawing process bacteria could be released and need to be cooked to eliminate.
While oysters can be frozen in the shell, shucking helps conserve freezer space and makes for less work later on when you cook the oysters.Shuck the oysters. Drain the liquid through a sieve and reserve it for freezing, and set the shucked oyster aside.
If you’re freezing oysters in the shell, wash them thoroughly and place them into freezer bags.
Freeze shucked or shell-on oysters as quickly as possible to minimize textural changes. Shucked oysters need to be frozen submerged in their liquid (or water if there isn’t enough liquid left from shucking). Store them in airtight, sealed freezer containers, with no more than a half-inch of headspace, to protect from freezer burns. Stored correctly, frozen, raw oysters can last 4 to 6 months in the freezer.
- Dry/older oysters
- Smelly oysters
- Dead oysters (shells are open)
Home delivered oysters usually come with a TAG. The tag states the name of the oysters, the date and location of harvest and the date shipping. This tells you how fresh oysters actually are.
- Fresh oysters are plump, the meat fills at east ⅔ of the shell and it has plenty of ocean water.
- Fresh and mild. Oysters smell like the ocean. Trust your nose.
- Oysters taste like kissing a mermaid (better than you can imagine)
(Note: Not everyone loves oysters, but give it a chance by trying a few times, because oysters are an acquired taste)
Canned oysters aren’t as tasty as fresh ones, but they can come in handy when you can’t get fresh ones. They work well in soups and stews. But you need to know the age of the canned oysters before you actually eat them. Making sense of these dates requires you to understand various words such as “Expiration” or “Freshness.” Though most stores pull canned food from their shelves before it expires, it makes sense to know how to read the dates on a can of smoked oysters so that you do not get sick from expired food.
Learn the various ways that manufacturers list expiration dates. For instance, cans of smoked oysters may list the expiration date by the month and then the day (June 4), digits followed by a dash (6-4) or by a date with the month, day and then the year as in “642010 or 06042010.”
Learn the difference between a “freshness” or “quality assurance” date and an “expiration” date. Freshness means the time that the canned oysters (or other foods) are at the peak of their flavor; you might see something like “Best if consumed by June 2010.” An expiration date for canned oysters represents the last day they should be eaten. Foodista.com warns against eating canned oysters past their expiration date to avoid sickness.
Store unopened canned oysters for up to a year in a dry, cool place. Canned oysters will have an expiration date and should be stored refrigerated in their liquid in a covered container once opened, according to Foodista.com..
Tip: Let the date on the label be your guide to freshness–but always look for signs of spoilage when using packaged foods. If your canned oysters have mold, an off color, or smell bad, throw them away.
As most oyster spots offer up their wares in sixes, by the half or full dozen, a good rule of thumb is six oysters per person at the table.
Shellfish should never be allowed to sit at room temperature for longer than two hours. Bacteria that cause spoilage, illness, or both multiply rapidly at room temperature.
Oysters can live for 20 years in the water. The oysters stay alive as long as they have water inside. We tested this for 10 weeks and the oysters were still alive. Oysters need to be refrigerated to slow down the growth of bacteria. So, if kept well in the fridge oysters stay good for weeks.
Oysters that commercially produce pearls are NOT in the same family as edible oysters. The edible varieties of oysters can produce pearls, but it is very rare.
If you are cooking or using oysters in a recipe, and don’t want to shuck them open, steam them just until they open and scrape them out of the shell. When cooked their shells pop open; discard those that do not open after cooking.
While fresh oysters are by far the best way to enjoy an oyster seafood dish, many people don’t have access to fresh oysters and make do with frozen ones. Frozen oysters have already been “shucked” — removed from their shell — and are found in the seafood department at the grocery store. Frozen oysters may have a slightly different taste and texture than fresh ones but are still a tasty option for oyster recipes.
Thaw the frozen oysters in the refrigerator for a day before cooking them. They can be thawed directly in the bag, but put the bag in a bowl to collect any leaks.
Fill the stock pot two-thirds with water and bring to a rolling boil.
Pour the thawed oysters into the boiling water and boil for at least three minutes. Be careful not to boil them too long as they will become rubbery.
Drain the water into the sink using the colander then use the oysters in your favorite recipe.
Warning: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends cooking oysters at least three minutes in boiling water to kill any harmful bacteria.
About Shop Tools
Oysters XO is introducing the Oyster Bag. It’s an oyster storage bag. We transfer the oysters in this Oyster Bag after arrival and cleaning.
A “shucker” is a knife that is specifically for shucking oysters. There are hundreds of brands, shapes and qualities. The Oysters XO shucker is the best for beginners and advanced oyster lovers.
It’s the best knife for beginners, because the knife makes an easy lollipop (step 1 in the 5 simple steps of shucking an oyster) and is not as scary sharp as French style knives.
It’s the best knife for advanced Oyster Chefs, because it’s a knife that “reminds” you to keep using the Oysters XO technique (no-strength). If you don’t properly create a lollipop, the chance is you break the point of the knife.
Let us know and we replace it for cost.
We want you to teach friends and family how to shuck oysters.
It’s a metal mitt that protects your hand while shucking oysters. You can also use the Oysters XO Dutch Towels instead.
Everyone fits an Oysters XO Mitt, because one size fits all. A glove is based on sizes.
It’s a traditional kitchen towel from The Netherlands. It’s specifically woven for The Netherlands (not sure why nobody else uses them). It’s a complicated weave that enhances the absorbing qualities. Wash before use. The color and texture changes a little in the first wash (hot/color) and improves the qualities.