Please Practice Safe Shucking

oyster restoration in MA
"It's just stupid. It's like not wearing a seat belt in the car." - R. Hoch

She's right. It's practically negligent to not wear gloves when shucking oysters.  Oyster shells are sharp; they will cut you. When you shuck an oyster, you use a knife.  Generally, you are pointing that knife directly at your opposite hand. When that knife slips, it might go through your hand.

But, it never happened to me.  Until it did.

The Story

There is this amazing person, Sarah, who loves oysters.  We have enjoyed many together. She came up with an idea to bring oysters to a local wine store for people to enjoy oysters and wine together and to raise money for the Massachusetts Oyster Project, an organization working on oyster restoration and shell recycling in Massachusetts.  The event was arranged and I volunteered to help shuck 500 oysters.

The day started out perfectly.

We dropped off the kids at Sarah's, as she was pregnant at the time, and had no interest in attending the oyster/wine tasting if she wasn't able to partake.

Off we went to set up and start shucking before guests arrived.

I had about 100 oysters shucked and then BAM!

do you need an oyster gloveMy knife slipped off the oyster and drove straight into my hand.  It was a deep cut, the width of a shucking knife blade.

If you have you ever had a look inside your hand, it's not a sight you will likely forget, nor enjoy.

It seemed to happen in slow motion.  I instantly tossed down my knife down on the table and shouted, "I'm done" and headed to find a first aide kit.  A short while later, feeling dizzy and sweaty, it was off to a health center to be checked out.

Fortunately for me, my first slip of an oyster shucking knife only resulted in glue (not stitches) and nothing more severe.   One would think that night I would purchase a good pair of oyster shucking gloves.

But I didn't.

Fast forward a few years.

Me: "Rach, lets get 200 oysters Saturday and invite a few friends over."
Rach: "That sounds awesome."

Big Rock Oysters supplied the oysters.  The East Coast, Cape Cod, East Dennis oysters were out of the water for one day when I received them. So fresh.  So lovely.  I washed them, and we started shucking before friends arrived.

Rachel and I were shucking.  And talking.  Enjoying ourselves.  Enjoying the weather.  Enjoying life. And then I hear, "aww *&%*."   Rach cups her hand and heads inside.  I knew what had happened and I felt sick.  She went inside to clean her wound and bandage it up.  Fortunately her cut didn't require stitches but it definitely put a damper on her party prep and her mood that night!

When it happened, and even today, her cut hurts me more than it hurts her. How could I not had oyster shucking gloves for her?  We use a towel.  A towel holds the oyster.  It doesn't prevent the sharp oyster from cutting you when you pick it up and it certainly does nothing to prevent a knife from going through your hand. It's lazy.

I wear a seat belt.  I wear a bike helmet.  Why don't I shuck an oyster while wearing a glove?  An oyster shucking glove is essential. I certainly will no longer allow anyone around me to shuck an oyster without a glove (or without a proper shucking knife).

So, if you are going to eat oysters at home (and you should!) find an oyster farm and go get some oysters, or have them shipped to you.  Or go to your local fresh seafood store.  But first, order an oyster knife and an oyster shucking glove.

What glove should you buy? Here are some some popular options among different price ranges and quality:

shucking glove
About $5.00 - Microlane 34007 Cut Resistant Glove

oyster glove
About $7.00 - Cut Resistant Gloves - 100% Kevlar
These are very popular but not my favorite.  They get wet very fast and I find them hard to clean. 

best oyster shucking glove
About $24 - Youngstown Glove with Kevlar
This glove will last you a long time and protect your hand very well.
A popular purchase with good ratings.

best oyster opening glove
About $90- Stainless Steel Mesh Hand Glove
If you want the best, why not purchase this oyster shucking glove or this one:

About $200 - Kuchenprofi Stainless Steel Mesh Oyster Glove
Click on a link and buy a few pairs of gloves and an oyster knife or two.  And please, practice safe shucking!

The Oyster Jack Oyster and Clam Shucker

Need to open oysters or clams?  For personal use or commercial?  Have a look at the products by  Oyster Jack.   This commercial series of all Stainless Steel Oyster and Clam Shuckers is designed to open oysters and clams in a safer, faster and more efficient manner than traditional methods when operated properly. 

Commerical Clam Oyster Opener
Click here to learn more
 Features include:
  • Wedge on handle is designed with V shape to penetrate oysters effortlessly.
  • All durable material; stainless steel base. stainless steel handle, stainless steel fasteners and food grade UHMW
  • 5 year Limited Warranty - 
  • Proudly made in the U.S.A. 
  • 5 year Warranty also covers the wedge if it becomes worn down.
  • Rubber feet for stability.
 What people say about it:
"It is as advertised and we knocked out two dozen oysters in no time."
"It does a great job and its easy to clean."

"It worked nicely."

"The product is made very well. I was worried all the juice would leak out of the oysters but that did not happen"

fastest oyster shucker
Click her to learn more
Need something a little faster?  Try the Oyster Jack World Record Setting Oyster Shucker

This oyster opener:
  • Shucks oysters fast;
  • Is made with all durable materials; black anodized aircraft aluminum, stainless steel and food grade UHMW;
  • The wedge has a hardened surface for durability;
  • Easy to clean;
  • Set a Guinness World Record of 100 Oysters in 2 minutes 45 seconds!
  • Proudly made in the U.S.A. 

Oyster shucking can be a lot of fun when done with the right oyster openers.  Try these out and let us know what you think.  

Just need an oyster knife?  Click here for options

Get Two Free Audiobooks About Oysters

Have you tried Audiobooks yet?  If not, you're in luck because you can get your first two books free. 

Audiobooks is an Amazon company that lets you listen to books on your smartphone or tablet.  Many people listen to books during a commute, workout, or while doing chores.  If you're interested in oysters,  you can use your two free audiobooks for:
  • The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell
  • Meet Paris Oyster: A Love Affair with the Perfect Food
  • American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood
  • Chesapeake 1850: Steamboats & Oyster Wars: The News Reader
  • Chesapeake 1880: Steamboats & Oyster Wars: The News Reader, Book 2
  • The Splendid Table, Bill’s Fried Oysters, Bill Smith and Jesse Griffiths
  • Tales of Fish Patrol
  • The Secret Life of Clams: The Mysteries and Magic of Our Favorite Shellfish
To get your two free audiobooks, simply sign up for an account after clicking on this banner:

Let us know in the comment section below which books you listened to. 


Great Forks for Eating Oysters

Getting ready to eat oysters at home or at party?  Here are some options for small forks that work very well with oysters:

48 Forks: WNA Reflections Heavyweight Plastic Fork - Reflections Fancy Petite Fork

100 Forks: Elegant Petite Mini Tasting Forks

400 Forks: 4 Inch Petites Plastic Silver Tasting Forks

500 Forks: Comet Petites 4.2" Tasting Fork Black
Need an oyster shucking glove?  Click here
Need an oyster opening knife?  Click here
Need a good book about oysters?  Click here