If there are two words that perfectly describe the whole experience and process of devouring an entire platter of seafood, it has to be ‘deliciously messy’. Most die-hard sea-food lovers will probably agree here on this because there is nothing as delectable as a perfectly grilled lobster with, say, a rich Beurre Blanc sauce. As tantalizing as that sounds, one possibly cannot look past the struggle of cracking open that thick, hard lobster shell and scooping out the moist, soft meat from those claws and the tails.
This is one of the primary reasons why most people shy away from dining out at Seafood restaurants. As much as they crave that luscious red snapper or those crab legs poached in clarified butter, the thought of the messy aftermath after the whole seafood culinary affair simply holds them back. However, that shouldn’t be much of a concern if you have the right kind of tools for eating seafood.
Be it clams, oyster, crabs or a number of other shellfish varieties, there is absolutely no need to be intimidated by the thought of breaking down all this tough seafood because there are special tools meant for each type of seafood.
So, all you need to do is get your hands on the variety of tools for eating seafood, grab some paper towels or tissue rolls and just tuck in!
Table of Contents
From knives to forks to crackers, there is a whole variety of tools available in the market that has been specially designed for preparing and eating seafood. Find out what they are and which of those you already have in your kitchen drawers!
If you don’t own a pair of nice, handy kitchen shears, you are clearly missing out on a lot. These have to be one of the most underrated tools because not only are they so inexpensive and easy on the pocket, but they offer such a wide variety of uses and benefits.
Kitchen shears are specially designed scissors that belong to the kitchen and have proven to be excellent tools for eating seafood. What distinguishes them from your normal kitchen scissors is that they are shaped like shears and are particularly adept at cutting through fish and poultry. The shears come with a serrated blade that allows one to easily cut through fish fillets.
One of the biggest benefits offered by kitchen shears is their ability to access the meat that is well-hidden in the tails of the lobster. That is probably one of the toughest parts of a lobster to take the meat out from, alongside its hard claws. The best way to use kitchen shears for this is by first cutting through the membrane section of the shell of the lobster tail in order to scoop out the meat. You can even use your hands to push out the meat once you cut through with the help of the shears. Other than that, kitchen shears work equally well when extracting the meat from the legs of the lobster or even the knuckle area.
If you are an absolute shellfish lover of all kinds, seafood forks are the ultimate must-have tool for you. Typically made from stainless steel, these forks come with a dual-function that helps you extract the meat from your favorite shellfish with great ease and convenience.
As compared to the standard, normal forks you might have in your kitchen, the ones meant for seafood have a narrow fork that is just the perfect shape for picking and pulling the meat off from tough seafood like the knuckle of a lobster, for example. Although a cocktail fork would also work and do the job, these special seafood forks will require much less effort and struggle.
The key with these specialized forks is to use their back end in order to scoop the meat out of the hard shell. Once all the soft meat is out and is ready to eat, you can then use the same fork to dip that tasty meat in the dipping sauce that comes with it.
Another feature of the fork is that most of its varieties come with longer handles than your average kitchen fork. This is a great plus for all those finicky seafood lovers who don’t wish to dirty their hands while using these forms to extract the lobster meat.
Seafood/ Crab Mallet
Minus a few people who probably don’t care about the mess that comes with eating seafood, there are others who look forward to a clean and decent crab-eating culinary affair. If you also belong to the latter category, there is a special wooden seafood mallet, also called a crab mallet that aims to help you enjoy eating delicious grilled or poached crabs without worrying about the mess.
A wooden crab mallet is a perfect way to crack open a hard-shelled type of seafood, like a crab or a lobster, without damaging the soft and delicate meat on the inside. Most of these wooden wallets are crafted with a kind of natural hardwood that is both reusable and exceptionally long-lasting.
The mallet has a long handle that allows the holder ample leverage and also makes it easy for them to have a firm, comfortable and secure grip. The wood is of the most amazing quality and it doesn’t scratch surfaces, can be washed with warm, soapy water and is also the perfect size, making it compact enough to fit into a kitchen drawer or easily hang over a pegboard holder.
Another great thing about these wooden mallets is that they don’t require much force or power from you to crack open the shell surface which makes it the perfect type of tool for eating seafood
Oyster Knife/ Fork
Oysters are probably one of the easiest types of seafood to eat that don’t require any utensil or tool for a mess-free culinary experience. However, there are times when the picky eater residing inside you resurfaces and you don’t want to create any kind of a mess, but also wish to get the most out of eating those plump, springy oysters.
For such times, all you need is a single oyster knife to crack open the hard shell followed by an oyster fork to gently free the meat from the shell. When choosing a handy oyster knife, you must know that there are various varieties of these knives, each with particular features and benefits. For instance, there is The Boston Pattern oyster knife which is an American favorite. This type of knife comes with a long blade that is just ideal for shuck different oysters that vary in size and type. A very useful feature of this oyster knife is that it has a pear-shaped handle that allows a comfortable, secure and firm grip.
Another type of oyster knife is the New Haven Pattern which is another favorite among most seafood lovers. This knife is characterized by its short, wide blade and a convex pointed tip that makes it just perfect for half-shell oysters. Just like the Boston Pattern knife, this one also has a pear-shaped handle, just slightly longer which allows users to create the right shucking grip.
Lobster/ Crab Crackers
You might have noticed that many households have those old-fashion hinged nutcrackers that are typically used to crack open walnuts, but also come in very handy for cracking open that sturdy lobster claws or tails. However, the culinary world has witnessed quite a rapid advancement in terms of the tools and utensils used for cooking and eating different types of food.
Now, you can find special lobster and crab crackers on the market that are often made from stainless steel, making them well-equipped for all types and sizes of lobsters and crabs. They open up the hard seafood shells with great ease and perfection and also don’t create that much of a mess.
These shell crackers often also come with seafood picks that allow you to pull out the meat from those shell-fish areas that are quite hard to access and to further that not a single piece of that delicious meat is left behind. Most the cracker varieties are incredibly lightweight and also highly durable which makes them a definite must-have seafood tool.
The key to successfully using these seafood crackers is to place the two handles exactly where you want them to be and then pulling them both at the same time in order to carefully pull out the meat from the inside.
If you are a true and an avid seafood-lover, you would know exactly why a butter warmer is a must-have tool for eating seafood. It just goes without saying; fresh seafood doesn’t pair as well with anything else as it does with warm, melted butter. Just imagine sparkling-fresh lobster meat that has been steamed to perfection and as you get those seafood crackers ready, all that is missing from the table is the delicious melted butter for you to dip your lobster into!
Butter warmers are an excellent piece of equipment to have melted butter throughout your three-course seafood meal affair. After all, no one fancies running off to the microwave every now and then in the middle of the seafood-eating process to melt that block of unsalted butter, right?
These warmers are placed on a metal wire stand and most of them are just the perfect size to hold an adequate amount of melted butter to last an entire meal. Some varieties of this come with tea light candles that are situated right below the warmers that help keep the butter in its melted form. The warming cups are made from dishwasher safe ceramic material that prevents the butter or any type of liquid inside the cups from burning.
The best about most butter warmers is that they have super stylish designs with solid functionality, making them look great on the dinner table. So, if you are planning a lobster party soon, you must get your hands on these incredibly useful butter warmers!
Long gone are the days when you would shy away from devouring those yummy crab legs just because of the messy shell-detritus they produced. You now have the amazingly useful and practical seafood shellers, better known as the best gadget or tool that you should have in your kitchen for seafood days.
This tool is more like a can opener for various types of shellfish that provides an easy solution to all seafood enthusiasts for cracking open those stubborn, hard shells. The shellers come with sharp blades that easily cut through the shells, revealing soft, tasty meat on the inside. The best part about these seafood shellers is that they are able to penetrate through the hard, outer sell texture while leaving the delicate meaty interior fully intact.
Most seafood sellers are made from durable and top-quality plastic that is super convenient to use on a regular basis. It is an incredibly bold addition to your seafood dining table setting and a super sturdy choice for all seafood lovers to enjoy the seafood galore to their heart’s content. There is absolutely nothing that lets these shellers down, not even tough seafood shells, which allow you to take full pleasure in every single bite of that poached lobster or grilled crab.
The best part or feature of this seafood tool is that it comes with a serrated claw tip that ensures great convenience as you slide it underneath the shells; crack them open in a single swift rocking motion, just in time to extract succulent meat from the insides of the shell.
Large Chef’s Knife
If you throw an impromptu seafood party for your friends and family, only to realize that you don’t own any seafood crackers and shellers, don’t worry because there is always a substitute when it comes to culinary tools and utensils.
Every kitchen owns a large chef’s knife probably because this type of knife has proven to be exceptionally handy, versatile, and multi-purpose to use. These knives are usually really broad and have a sharp blade that makes it suitable for a variety of different kitchen tasks.
When it comes to its general usage, these knives are excellent for cutting meat, dicing vegetables, chopping food items, and disjointing some cuts. However, one amazing benefit of the large chef’s knife that was initially overlooked is its remarkable ability to crack open a lobster’s knuckle as well as the hard claws. You might struggle with opening the claws with the knife since this part of a lobster is really hard and thick. However, the knives do end up doing an impressive job when you don’t have crackers and shellers idly lying around in your kitchen drawer.
The ideal way to use these knives is by taking the dull back part of the knife and whacking it on the edge of the lobster claw. Once you manage to position the knife inside the claw, twist it at a 90-degree angle in a swift, rapid motion that will help crack open the shell successfully without any mess.
Whether you are throwing seafood party at home or you are out at a seafood restaurant, or that you are simply home alone and devouring those hard-shelled crustaceans on your own, seafood bibs are an absolute must-have at all costs! No matter how carefully you eat and try your best at creating little to no mess during a seafood affair, there is no guarantee that you won’t end up with butter stains or juice stains from the moist lobster meat all over your white shirt.
The solution? Get yourself a few of those large-sized, creatively designed seafood bibs that keep your clothes dry and stain-free as you crack open those hard crab and lobster shells. They are just the perfect kind of protective garments that really do protect your clothes from getting dirty as you satiate your seafood cravings with full pleasure and enjoyment. Even the second Roman Emperor, Tiberius Caesar felt the need for seafood bibs once during his reign to protect his imperial robes from getting stained by stubborn seafood particles!
Looking to throw a clambake party soon? Make sure to not just have a whole dinner table full of delicious fresh seafood, but also all these essential tools for eating seafood in order to make the whole culinary affair comfortable, mess-free and enjoyable for you and your guests!