12 Seafood Tools for Cooking Crab, Clams and Other Shellfish
We love any gadget that will help get tasty crab meat in our bellies. (Looking at you, crab crackers.) These are the essential seafood tools any shellfish lover needs in their life.
Wooden Seafood Mallet
This is an absolute dream if you’re preparing to eat something with a hard shell, like crab or lobster. (And it’s the perfect tool for hosting a clambake this summer.) This wooden seafood mallet ($5) doesn’t require too much force to crack the surface, which is perfect, because we don’t like to get too messy when eating crab. (Actually, who are we kidding? That’s half the fun!)
If you’re prepping crab or lobster, you’ll be nearly brought-to-tears grateful for this set of crab crackers ($20). The stainless steel set comes with two built-in crackers—a small set and a large set, meaning you’ll be well-equipped for crabs of any size. Plus, it comes with seafood picks, which allow you access to those hard-to-reach meat pockets.
Clam Bake Bags
Summer is the perfect time to throw a clam bake—whose face doesn’t light up when they hear they’ve been invited to one? These clam bake bags ($13) are easy to tie and toss in the pot. Just add your favorite shellfish, summer vegetables and meat, then get to bakin’!
This is another must-have. Even if you’re not throwing a seafood party, it’s a pantry essential if you’re planning on having hard-shelled crustaceans anytime soon. Use the seafood bibs ($10) to keep your shirt dry while you crack and dip the shellfish of your choice. Keep napkins handy, though—the bib won’t protect your face.
Love ’em or hate ’em, we can all agree that eating oysters is a lot easier when you have the right tools. This 9-piece oyster set from Kohl’s ($28) comes with an oyster knife—which is essential for prying open this mollusk—a lemon press and five stainless steel picks.
You don’t need much to make fresh seafood taste better than it already does. But melted butter is something we’ll never turn down, especially when we’re eating warm lobster and cooked shrimp. This butter warmer set ($10) is great for keeping the butter melted throughout the meal—we love not having to run to the microwave halfway through to re-melt butter.
Ceramic Grill Lid
Love the taste of grilled shrimp? We do too—which is why we’re into this grill lid from Sur La Table ($40). The ceramic lid stays hot and prevents delicate seafood from falling through the cracks. It’s great for skewered seafood—like swordfish and shrimp—or shellfish classics, like lobster tail and soft-shelled crabs.
Seafood and freshly squeezed lemon are a match made in crustacean heaven! Eating shellfish is an inherently messy endeavor, but that doesn’t mean we have to be equally messy with the lemons. We love this lemon press from Macy’s ($29), which gives us the juice but leaves out the seeds. Hopefully, this keeps the lemon juice from getting into our eyes (not that it happens to me every single time I squeeze a lemon).
Seafood Fork Set
Even with our favorite set of crab crackers, you’re going to have small pieces of meat nestled away in the far corners of your shellfish. A set of seafood forks ($33) allow you to dig into those hard to reach places and claim what’s rightfully yours—that last piece of juicy lobster tail.
A high-quality paring knife can work wonders in your kitchen. Our favorite use? Deveining shrimp. This moderately dreadful process becomes a breeze with a sharp Wusthof paring knife ($50). Simply grip the shrimp, find the dark vein, make a firm slice down the belly and use the tip to remove the intestine. Now throw it away and never think about it again.
Steamed shellfish is so delicious and such a breeze to make with a large steamer ($110) like this one from Kohl’s. Perfect for whole lobsters, clams, mussels, crabs and clam bake bags, this steamer will become a summer staple for when you prepare fresh seafood.
Looking for something to do with all that steamed lobster meat? How about a classic—our favorite lobster rolls.
For delicate outer shells—or days when you don’t feel like making a big mess—opt for opening up that delicious lobster with a set of seafood scissors ($15). We love the easy gliding provided by this pair, which is lightweight even though it delivers a powerful punch.