Oysters Care and Handling

How do I store them?

Oysters are Live!

Our shellfish are hand sorted and come to you live.  Oysters can survive out of the water for up to 2 weeks. Sometimes the oysters don’t make it across the bay before they’re consumed. They are always best when fresh, but if you do not plan to eat them straight out of the box, here are some tips to keep them alive until you’re ready to eat them:

  • Scrub the outside of your oysters with a brush to remove any debris or sea hitchhikers.

  • Never store shellfish in standing water!
  • Store  oysters cupped side on the bottom (so the flat side is on top) and cover with a moistened cloth. This will help them hold their liquor and not dry out
  • Never store shellfish in airtight containers (no tupperware, ziplock, or vacuum sealing)
  • KEEP THEM COLD! Live oysters should be stored between 40-45 degrees F (5-9 degrees C)
  • Never eat an oyster that is open or gaping. They should close when tapped.
  • If you’re eating them on the half-shell, you can give them a quick sniff test, when shucked they should have a fresh appetizing seaside scent.
  • You can also do a live oyster check by squeezing a little lemon or vinegar on their mantle and they should retract slightly – they too can pucker their lips.
  • Freezing kills the oysters, so unless you are planning on cooking them later, do not freeze. Direct shell surface contact with dry ice or gel packs can kill them also; place a cloth or other insulating surface between the live oyster and frozen surfaces if prolonged contact is expected.

We’ve trained them to clamp down tight through our tumbling and drying process. We’ve scrubbed and sorted them, before finally, gently placing them in the box that will arrive at your door. But some oysters like some people, just don’t like traveling that much, and it is possible that an oyster just refuses to go on living if it can’t stay in Jakolof Bay, if you’ve ever visited you’d understand why. Toss any that you are not happy with, we always put a few extra in the box, just in case.