Cracking Open A Secret Seafood Tool

Crabs are amazing. Cracking opens crabs is a pain-in-the-ass….but is does not have to be…

The Fed Up’s  ‘Angry Eater,’ used to be a legendary crab fanatic. At a young age, when most were craving chicken nuggets,  the Angry Eater was ordering snow crab whenever possible. Through years of careful practice, he could rip apart the tough shell of snow crab and get down to the flesh faster than most. He taught me everything there is to know about how freaking tasty these crustaceans could be.

Recently I was having dinner with the Angry Eater at a seafood place where a beautiful bucket of crab sat between the two of us. I jumped at it expecting some serious competition for who would get the biggest cluster of legs. But my crab ‘mentor’ stayed sidelined and resorted to some fried fish… Of course I asked him what was the problem? Had he suddenly become a devout member of the Jewish faith and banned shellfish from his diet to practice the strictest Kosher laws?… The Angry Eater looked me in the eye and sadly described how he is sick of opening up the damn shells after all these years.

I could not agree more. Cracking crabs open to get to the delicate goodness inside is freaking annoying. Beside creating a huge mess of the table and yourself, cracking crabs takes forever,  leaving you eating alone while the rest of your fellow diners have long since finished dessert.

But there is a miracle tool to make like easier…it is only found at a few key places. This plastic ‘gift from the Gods’ is capable of quickly slicing through a snow crab leg faster than Vader sliced off Luke’s hand (I must have at least one nerdy Star Wars reference in the post). These are simple, intuitive things. No advanced technological or revolutionary design. They are just a handle with ‘claw’ edge at one end that allows you to cut along the length of a crab leg by applying a little leverage.

BUT what pisses me off is the rarity of these wonderful tools. You know a culinary product must be a  ‘secret’ or EXTREMELY rare if you can’t find it at a Williams Sonoma where they sell EVERY over-priced an unnecessary kitchen gadget known to exist…So because I have yet to find a retailer selling these amazing things, I have been forced to ‘borrow’ a few of these simple devices from the eateries where I encountered them so that I could make  use of their efficiency on home-made-crab dishes.

Why the Hell are these things not more popular?!? It simply does not make sense why these crab cracking devices are even more rare than sporks (another AMAZING tool).  Our stubborn society can be ignorant and slow to adopt things that can make life so much easier.


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Categories: Rants, Recommendations

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out;


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12 Comments on “Cracking Open A Secret Seafood Tool”

  1. October 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Looks like a better tool than I currently use – thanks for sharing! Happy Monday!

    • Mr. Fed Up
      October 16, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      Yep…good tool. but NOT too durable. I have broken a few already.

  2. October 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    I have never used one of these crab tools before, but I am sure that part of the answer must be that places don’t want you to have an easy time shelling crabs. This is probably the most true in an “all you can eat” crab legs situation. If you make it too easy then people will eat more crab and probably kill the profit margin. I was able to find these pretty readily online though searching for “crab zipper” and “seafood sheller”. Amazon even has a stainless steel set for way too much money that comes with its own velvety bag.

    • Mr. Fed Up
      October 16, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      Good point about restaurants and profit. Next thing we know there will be no more free ‘after-dinner-mints’ and we will have to pay extra for ice.

      Wow. A ‘stainless steel set’…if it comes with its own velvety bag, then it must be worth it…but I think I will wait till they start selling a titanium set-haha

      • elangomatt
        October 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

        Well the no free dinner mints and pay extra for ice will only happen if restaurants decide to follow the airline model. Then you’d also have to deal with the extra charges for “electricity surchage” and the “sustainable fishing tax” on top of your regular bill and tips.

        I should tweet @thinkgeek for the titanium seafood sheller thing. They already have the titanium spork market, so why not the titanium seafood sheller as well? And before you ask, I actually already own a titanium spork, and it is great!

      • October 17, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        I TOO have a titanium spork. I used it EVERYday on my trek in Papua (Indonesia). It is amazing. This is my trusty spork:
        and Yes, ThinkGeek needs to start carrying a full line of titanium kitchen gadgets/tools. Where are the chopsticks? The spatulas? The cheese graters? The corn-on-the-cob ‘handles’?!?

    • Mr. Fed Up
      October 16, 2012 at 11:59 am #

      Hi Rodzilla. THANKS.
      Honestly I did not do a search to see if I could buy these online. I try to avoid shopping too much online because I always keep adding junk to my ‘cart’…at least in a REAL store, you can get a good visual of how full your cart is and if you really REALLY need all that stuff.
      Thanks for the link though. And that is pretty cool you can choose your favorite color…Hell, I may just have to get a set to match my orange Le Cruset.

      • October 17, 2012 at 8:16 am #

        you’re welcome. I figured they might be worth having if you’re going to order out…thought if you have a stockpile from Joe’s, you’re already set.

      • October 17, 2012 at 11:14 am #

        Free is always good…but I think I am starting to get strange looks from the staff.

  3. Shayrose
    October 22, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    I have a pair of scissors with a curved blade. Got them at Williams-Sonoma or maybe Crate&Barrel, about $20. Totally worth it. The device in the photo above is referred to as a crab zipper. Side by side comparison, the scissors are better.

    • October 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

      Hmmm…looks like I need to go shopping and get some specialized scissors! Thanks!

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