We usually leave the oyster shucking to the professionals. We've watched rubber-gloved guys behind the counter at Casamento's in New Orleans open and loosen hundreds of raw oysters, jamming their blunt oyster knives into each shell with expert precision.
But we've had the occasional pleasure of opening our own oysters, thanks to a family member who likes to smoke big batches tucked in wet towels on his grill. If you have one of those ambitious oyster lovers in your life, you might consider some special knives as the perfect summer gift. Below, some good options...The set pictured above is the Dubost Oyster Knife Set, $8.95 at Sur La Table, which includes a lovely wooden holder for the oyster. We usually use a dish towel (or risk it with our bare hands) but this one looks safer.
For the traditionalist, the wood-handled Lamson Oyster Knife, $8.95 from Chef's Resource.
Want something a bit more modern and sleek? Try this Rosle Oyster Knife, $23.95 at Chef's Resource.
New Englanders might like this Oyster Knife from the Legal Sea Foods restaurants, $14.95.
Another simple one: Dexter-Russell Oyster Knife, $8.09 at Instawares.
And the grand dame from Mr. New Orleans himself... Emeril's Gourmet Oyster Knife by Wüstof, on sale for $39.99.
Related: Is It Cruel to Throw Away Oysters?
(Images: Sur La Table; Chef's Resource; Legal Sea Foods; Instawares; Emeril Store)