Shucking oysters is one of the things that make enjoying the meal worth the while. However, if you are going to enjoy the process of cracking one, you need the right tools to open oysters. Using a regular knife to shuck oysters is a bad idea because you might not get to enjoy the meal due to an injury. Whether the knife has an ultra-sharp blade or well-forged steel, you still need an oyster knife to get the job done. Oyster knives have been designed to get you to the meat safely. However, oyster shucking knives can be a bit challenging to choose. We will help you discover the best oyster knives in the market.
What knife can I use to shuck oysters?
What is an Oyster Shucking Knife?
The oyster is known for its shell just as well as it is for its delicacy. To get to the meat, you need to get through the shell, a protective feature that keeps the meat away from everyone who wants a taste. Oyster shells are hard and slippery, and using any knife for the shucking is not a good idea. An oyster knife is explicitly made for cracking open the shell to get to the oyster meat safely.
An oyster knife has features that differ from an ordinary knife to get the job done efficiently and safely. The oyster knife has a small blade that would be difficult to use as a regular knife. The knife further has a large handle that provides a good grip on the knife. Finally, an oyster knife needs a hand guard to protect the user from injuries, as breaking through the shell requires some energy. Now that we know the purpose of an oyster knife, we will look at the best oyster knives available in the market.
Best Oyster Knife
1. WENDOM Oyster Knife
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- 【NON-SLIP DESIGN】WENDOM knife made of black plastic...
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When you are used to regular oyster knives, WENDOM will be quite the fresh air when you lay your hands on them. The knife is a seafood lovers' favorite tool because of its efficiency and design. The design and the slick surface are safe and valuable at the same time.
WENDOM has an ergonomic handle that you can grip tightly. In addition, a finger guard at the beginning of the blade ensures you are safe at all times.
2. HiCoup Oyster Shucking Knife
- HIGH CARBON BLADE: The finely crafted artisanal oyster shucker...
- SAFETY: The pakka handle is furnished with a hand-guard and fits...
- DURABILITY: This oyster knife shucker, measuring 6-1/2 inches...
- COMPACT: Tiny enough to handle small oysters yet sturdy enough to...
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When you buy oysters, it is good to do them justice using a good knife. HiCoup is the go-to knife with a stylish leather sheath to give you a good start with serving oysters. The knife has a high carbon steel blade that is strong and sturdy for opening shells without messing with the oyster. The stainless steel blade has a Pakka wood handle that gives the ultimate stylish finish.
3. OXO Good Grips Knife
- Sturdy stainless steel blade
- A bent tip makes prying open oyster shells easier
- Soft, comfortable handle won’t slip in your hand, even when wet
- Dishwasher safe
When you see the name OXO, you know that you are about to get quality. OXO good grips is a non-slip oyster knife with a curved surface that is useful and safe to use. OXO is the best oyster knife that is small and compact for efficiency and easy storage. The stainless steel blade with a bent tip slices through the oyster adductor muscles, making each serving worth it. In addition, the solid grip on the knife enhances its safety.
4. Dexter-Russell New Haven Knife
- New Haven pattern with a Sani-Safe handle
- High Carbon, High Alloy, Stain free DEXSTEEL
- This knife is NSF certified
- Care: Hand wash and dry after use
- Made in USA
Dexter-Russell has identified and capitalized on the efficiency that new haven knives have. The knife has stain-free steel that is presentable when used in the kitchen. The knife has an excellent grip that makes shucking comfortable and safe. The knife is NSF certified, proof that you can rely on the knife for safety and functionality. The knife has a high carbon build that is durable and sturdy to face the oyster shells.
5. Mercer Culinary Boston Style Knife
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- Rounded blade tip for safety
- Hand wash knives for blade edge and surface care
Mercer has a textured handle that provides the grip that is useful when shucking oysters. The stainless steel makes it easy to shuck oysters quickly because of the strength and the ability to withstand corrosion by the salty nature of oysters. The rounded blade tip smoothly conquers the oyster shell and gives you the chance to enjoy the oyster sooner. Your safety is guaranteed with Mercer culinary oyster knife.
How to Choose Oyster Knives
a) Blade Length
The length of the oyster knife blade matters to have success in shucking oysters. The blade should be short enough to give maximum control while long enough to get in the oyster shell and get the meat out. The blade length needs to be about three inches long as that is the best average length that will give the best results. A long blade length poses a risk of bending while trying to shuck the oyster. Since the oyster shell is difficult to deal with, you need a long enough blade to split the shell without breaking.
b) Blade Sharpness
Oyster knives are known to have blunt blades because you will not be cutting through the shell but breaking into it. Therefore, having a sharp knife will not help much more than having a sturdy knife instead. The knife sharpness is only adequate when you get to the meat and not before. Since you are dealing with oysters, you need to be careful enough to avoid sharp knives because of the risk of the knife slipping and causing potential harm to the user.
c) Blade Material
The knife's blade is made of metal. The bad thing about metals is that they are very reactive. Opening oysters is one of the activities that test the integrity of metals because fresh oysters are salty. Salt does a number to metals, and sharp edges do not stand a chance when dealing with salty oysters. Therefore, it is best to use corrosion-resistant metal on the oyster blade to avoid rusting and corrosion. A stainless steel blade would be your best bet because the blade does well against salty foods. In addition, stainless steel is better than high carbon steel because of how well the blade will withstand rusting.
The oyster knife handle comes in different shapes and forms. You can get a rubber or a wooden handle. Rubber-handled knives work well by preventing slippage when shucking oysters. Oyster knives with rubber handles are safer because of the reduced chances that you will get an injury. Wooden handles work well in harsh and salty environ.
An oyster knife handle needs to be big to offer enough sturdy grip that will be effective when opening the shell. In addition, the ergonomics of the handle need to be on point for comfort when shacking oyster shells. Imagine working on tens of shells with an uncomfortable knife. Quite a disaster that would be.
e) Curved Tip
The curved tip on an oyster knife helps protect the meat against destruction when opening the shell. In addition, the curved tip found on oyster knife blades makes it possible to serve the oyster in its shell with the meat intact and not tampered with.
Types of Oyster Knives
Oysters, just like other living organisms, have different species that form different shells. There are about three types of oysters that are characterized by the kind of environment they live in. Oysters found in the pacific will be slightly different from those found in the Mediterranean. Therefore, it would be impractical to use similar knives to shuck different oysters. If you want to end up with a carefully removed shell and intact food, use the right oyster knife that fits its purpose.
i) Boston Style Knife
A Boston-style oyster knife is your best bet if you are used to shucking oysters from the sides. The knives have a longer blade that makes getting the shell from the side easier than the hinges. The oyster knives have a longer and narrower blade that sets them apart from other oyster knives. The Boston style is a bit tricky to use on small oysters. One feature that you can notice on the Boston knife is the rounded tip. The tip makes it one of the safest knives to use when shucking many oysters.
ii) Providence Blades
Providence-style knives feature a short and wide blade that is great for using on small oysters. The blade is straight and pointed, making the knife sturdy and practical when working on oysters. The blade can work well on medium-sized oysters as well. Providence knives are safe because of the amount of control you have when using the knife. The straightforward design is comfortable to hold and use on the oyster shell.
iii) Galveston Oyster Knife
The Galveston looks like the Boston-style knife but with a larger blade. The knife has a long blade that can approach the oyster shell from the side and not the hinges. The knife has a comfortable handle that works in your favor when shucking medium to large oysters.
iv) New Haven Style Oyster Knife
New haven blades are shorter and broader than the ones you would find on other oyster knives. The feature that sets the knife apart is the upward curved tip. Oyster shucking with the new haven blade is safe, and you are guaranteed to come out with the oyster intact. The haven oyster knife fits in the little places and is excellent for a traveling chef.
Tips on Shucking Oysters
- Safety always comes first in any situation involving knives and food. Before handling the knife, wear a protective mesh glove that will keep the knife away from your skin. The knives are not known for sharpness. However, the pressure you use while making cuts is enough to hurt you. The other thing that poses a real danger is the oyster shells that can be sharp enough to cut you, and the gloves will protect you.
- Pick ice-cold oysters whose flavors are still retained. Frozen oysters are best used in the stew because of the flavor that has been tampered with due to freezing. Raw oysters need to maintain their original taste and freezing tampers with the taste.
- Please make sure the oyster is closed before you shack it. Open oysters are probably dead, and you need to avoid them because you do not know how long they have been dead. Very light oysters should arouse some suspicion in you as well because they might be dead too.
- The oyster needs to have a fresh sea smell. Smell it to tell whether the oyster is fresh or not.
- Clean the oyster under cold and fresh running water before shucking it. Use a brush to get rid of the sand and other residues.
- Do not tilt the oyster when shucking it to keep the juices in. You do not want to lose those.
- Be firm and gentle not to get pieces of the shell in the oyster.
- Sever the adductor muscle on the oyster, and soon you will have a free-sitting oyster in the shell.
Oyster is a delicious seafood. The best thing about oysters is that they come in different shapes, sizes and tastes. However, you need the best care and handling to avoid any complications when serving the meat when dealing with food. Always handle oysters in a clean environment while putting safety first. Pay attention to the knife features and ensure the knife has a sturdy blade. However, the oyster is for you to enjoy. Know the difference between straight edges and curved edges, curved and pointed tips, and other features that differentiate knives.