What can I do with oyster shells?

by (1160) Updated August 26, 2013 at 1:27 AM Created May 10, 2011 at 12:26 AM

Having eaten several raw oysters, I find myself sitting on several large shells. Can I make stock from them? Dry and grind them down to a mineral powder?

Anyone ever do anything with oyster shells besides tossing them?

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254 · May 10, 2011 at 1:20 AM

If you happen to live near saltwater, let them dry and put them back out. Young oysters most readily attach themselves to spent oyster shells, helping to propagate the species. We dump them out near our dock to create a little oyster reef - it creates a habitat for crab, for which we have crab-pots (YUM!).

Also, if you dry them out and crush them, they make a great permeable surface for a driveway, pathway, perimeter around the garden, etc. You can use crushed oyster shells instead of gravel.

15261 · May 10, 2011 at 2:55 PM

I don't think there is any food value (for humans) in them.

There are pretty aggressive oyster re-population projects going on in Maryland and other areas, and they are perpetually in need of oysters shells to use for new beds. You might find a local fishmonger or restaurant that is participating in the shell recycling program, and donate your shells.


"The partnership of environmental groups that includes the Nature Conservancy and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation are hard-pressed to find enough shells to seed the spat at the lab, let alone rebuild enormous shell habitats in the rivers."

417 · May 10, 2011 at 1:47 AM

My friend crushes them and uses them as a supplement in her chicken feed. It's supposed to help harden their shells? IDK, but her eggs are the really really good.

Or, you could make some shell art like on Portlandia.

25197 · May 10, 2011 at 1:03 AM

i cook in them.....and I make broths with them. When I am done I plant with them to replenish my veggie gardens minerals

10 · August 26, 2013 at 1:27 AM

Use them as planters for small succulents or air plants....they are lovely down the center of a dining table...

1490 · May 11, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Not that you'd have much use for this, but I have a home from the 1920's near the water and far from a good source of gravel. When knocking out a wall in the crawl space we found oyster shells used as aggregate in the concrete. Weird to look at a thick concrete wall and see nothing but oyster shells mixed in!

140 · May 10, 2011 at 1:22 AM

Pasties. Every man needs pasties. Do the shells provide an adequate surrogate for your own oysters? You do know they're not going to hatch, yes?

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