Storing oysters

by | Sep 4, 2023 | Facts, Tips

Our oysters are hand-sorted and come to you live

Pacific to plate. We harvest, hand-select, wash and sort your oysters before finally, gently placing them safely in Mother Nature’s own brilliant packaging in the box that the courier will deliver overnight to your door.

Because we always try to use environmentally friendly solutions where we can, we send our oysters out and about in New Zealand in leak-proof, recyclable thermal boxes. We are definitely not in the business of not sending polystyrene boxes to landfill.

What should I do when my oysters arrive?

Get excited! When our Mahurangi Oysters arrive at your place, you may notice the ice pack has melted. This is OK. Putting ice in with them could kill them when it melts which is why we don’t do it.

You may also notice a slight smell when you open the box. This can be caused by a bit of the Mahurangi mud they are shipped with to keep them as fresh as possible. Debris, or sea hitchhikers that have not been washed off may also be hanging around. So, if necessary, give them a quick brush to remove anything.

Once they arrive, immediately open the box, remove the oysters and place them in the fridge. Some oysters just don’t like travelling that much, and it is possible that an oyster is so distraught at leaving the beautiful Mahurangi Harbour, that it refuses to go on living. So, check your oysters by tapping on their shells. A fresh, live, closed oyster will sound solid when you tap on its shell. If one sounds hollow, it is dead, and you should toss any that you are not happy with. We always pop a few extra in the box, just in case.

Fresh is best

Oysters are always best when fresh but if you do not plan to gobble them straight out of the box, below are some tips on storing oysters until you are ready to eat them.

fresh oysters with chardonnay vinegar

How long will my oysters keep?

delivering oysters

Storing oysters is not tricky. Oysters can survive out of the water for up to 2 weeks under proper storage conditions in your fridge. However, we recommend consuming them within 7 days.

You can store shucked raw oysters in the fridge for four to five days. Place them in an airtight container or a bowl covered with Glad Wrap. Shucked oysters prefer colder storage, so set your fridge’s temperature between right down if possible.

Tips to keep your oysters alive until you’re ready to eat them

  • Keep them COLD! Live oysters should be stored between 5-9c.
  • Store oysters cupped side on the bottom (so the flat side is on top) and cover with a moistened cloth. The cloth doesn’t have to be wet enough to drip on them, just enough so that the shells will hold their liquor and not dry out.
  • Never store your oysters in standing water! If you’re storing oysters on ice, make sure they don’t sit in the melted freshwater. They will try to drink it and die!
  • Oysters need to breathe and should not be stored in an airtight bag or container. Never store oysters in Tupperware, Ziplock or vacuum seal them.
  • Freezing will kill your oysters, so unless you are planning on cooking them later, do not freeze them. Direct shell surface contact with dry ice or gel packs can also kill them. So, place a cloth or other insulating surface between the live oyster and frozen surfaces if prolonged contact is expected.
delicious fresh oysters

How to eat my oysters?

At Mahurangi oysters, we are rather partial to enjoying them on the half shell with a drop or two of chardonnay vinegar. Lucy Robertshawe reckons there’s nothing better than shucking a dozen or more with friends and loved ones and then spooning teaspoonfuls of botanic gins into them.

Check out our recipe page for tips on other delicious ways to prepare your fresh Mahurangi Oysters.

Still have a question? Ask away!

We will do our best to answer your questions about our farm and oysters ASAP. Jim can be reached on +64 274 935 532. You could also try Tim on 0274 724587. 

The oyster of choice

Thanks to our careful husbandry and intelligent market selection, our plump Pacific oysters have become the oyster of choice in the Auckland restaurant scene and are exported in large numbers to Pacific Rim countries.

Feel free to contact us directly should you want more information. As a family business, we are very proud of what we produce and sell – and we only sell the best.

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