Hold the oyster in an oven mitt with the flat side up. Using a strong-bladed oyster knife with a hand guard, insert the knife tip into the hinge between the shells.
Twisting the blade to pry open the oyster, move the blade along the inside of the upper shell to free the muscle from the shell. Remove and discard the top shell of the oyster.
Slide the knife under the oyster to sever the muscle from the bottom shell. Use this shell for serving the oyster on the half shell. Discard any bits of shell on the oyster.