There must be an easier way. Actually there is with one of these fine oyster knives.
Getting into it…
With the right tool and some practice, you can shuck oysters at home. Regular knives are unsuitable for opening oysters — they’re too sharp and flexible. To pry shells apart, you need a tool that is thick and dull. But all oyster knives are not created equal. Here are five great options, all made in the southeast.
1. MOTHER SHUCKER This beautiful (and ominous-looking) knife by Carolina Shuckers is made from a salvaged, high-carbon steel railroad spike. It is a great example of craftsmanship, functionality and art, and conforms to the hand like a precision instrument. The twisting and forging methods used to create each 7-inch knife ensures no two are alike. Available online at carolinashuckers.com. $45.
2. MAY RIVER OYSTER KNIFE Custom made for Red Fish Brand by celebrated knife maker Shannon Reed. The quality of his design and level of attention to detail is obvious — it is just as much a piece of art as it is a functioning knife. It’s made with hardened stainless steel and cherry burl handles, and its unique shape conforms to the hand. Available online at redfishbrand.com. $399.
3. PUT ‘EM BACK Developed from generations of oystermen, this multi-purpose tool combines all the elements of a traditional oyster knife with a modern look at ergonomics and the physics of shucking an oyster perfectly and safely. For every knife sold, maker Toadfish Outfitters plants 10 square feet of oyster reef habitat. Available at Outside Hilton Head. $38.
4. THE BREW SHUCKER This utility knife is all business on the top with a shucking blade and all party on the bottom with a bottle opener. Using high carbon steel, this knife is custom made to the exact specifications requested by each customer. Bladesmith Quintin Middleton (based in St. Stephen, S.C.) puts great care into each piece. His knives are a legend among local chefs. Available online at middletonmadeknives.com. $100.
5. STAINLESS DAMASCUS EDISTO The Edisto Oyster Knife by Williams Knife Co. took founder Chris Williams years to perfect. It has been touted as the best oyster knife available today. Now, it’s available with a high-end stainless Damascus steel blade. With many handle and color options, this one is sure to make you stand out at the oyster table. Available online at williamsknife.com. $525.
Wear Protection. You’ll thank us later.
CUT RESISTANT GLOVES Every oyster eater needs at least one pair of well-appointed cut resistant shucking gloves. These Level 5 cut resistant gloves are also great for kitchen and outdoor work. Available online at charlestonshuckerco.com. $6.