Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Unless you can find a good happy hour, oysters are expensive to get at a restaurant, with a price that generally lands somewhere around $ 3 to $ 4 apiece. But if you can conquer opening them yourself at home, you’ll unlock a world of possibilities.
Now, opening these mollusks isn’t easy. The first few times I attempted with the usual flat, wide shucker with a small point, I stabbed my hand multiple times and ended up covered in bandages. Turns out, it takes some practice and the right tool: The Swissmar Shucker Paddy Universal Oyster Knife.
To buy: Swissmar Shucker Paddy Universal Oyster Knife, $ 20 at amazon.com
I first used the game-changing knife during a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. I had stumbled across Larsen’s Fish Market, the kind of no-frills place where you can actually see the boats coming in delivering fresh lobster, clams, and fish for its homemade daily specials; after enjoying a lobster dinner and some clams, I decided to take a couple raw closed oysters and some lemon slices to the car to try out my new shucker. In full New England fashion, I had a little tailgate where I was popping them open with ease and slurping them back right in the parking lot.
The Shucker Paddy has a completely different form than other shuckers. The pistol-looking tool was created by Patrick McMurray, who considers himself an “oyster geek” and holds the Guinness World Record for 39 oysters opened in one minute.
It’s designed to easily weasel the 3-inch long tip through the back of the oyster to pop open the top shell and has a sturdy handle with a finger guard (which is crucial for someone like me who constantly used to stab themselves). And for leverage, the tool’s 135 degree angle lines up the user’s forearm up with the blade for more power. It’s also worth noting how reasonably priced the Shucker Paddy knife is — just $ 20 on Amazon.
After thoroughly rinsing and scrubbing the outer shells of the oysters to remove dirt and grime, I set them all on a bed of ice and got to work. I wrapped the oyster in a towel to protect my hand, but I barely needed it. As soon as the point of the Shucker Paddy lined up with the knuckle of the oyster, it slid in with ease. Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell, without any injuries. What could be better than that?