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Clam shuckers are kitchen gadgets, or tools, that can be used to shuck clams, or remove them from their shells. It strongly resembles a dull knife. A cook should make sure that clams are alive and clean before using a clam shucker. The blade of the shucker is then inserted between the two halves of a clam's shell, and the clam is pried open.
A clam shucker is very similar to a regular knife. It is typically shorter and duller, though. It will also usually have a rounded tip instead of a point, however, along with a flat, thin blade. An oyster shucker is similar, but it will usually have a longer blade.
Clams should be stored in a cold area, like the fridge, just before shucking. Also, they must be alive, since dead clams spoil very quickly. Clams that are not tightly closed should be tapped. If they do not close tightly after this, they are dead and should be discarded.
Before using a clam shucker to open their shells, clams should also be cleaned. This will remove any dirt and grime. To clean a clam, use a stiff bristled brush, and scrub it while holding it under cold running water.
When using a clam shucker, it is important to have some type of protection covering the hand holding the clam. This will help prevent injury if the clam shucker slips. A shucker's glove is ideal, but a thick rubber glove will work as well. If neither of these are available, a dish towel or oven mitt can also be used.
A clam should be firmly held in the protected hand with the hinge at the base of the thumb. The tip of the clam shucker can then be inserted into the clam's shell. Twisting the handle of the clam shucker will pry open the shell. The shell should be pried open until a crack is heard.
Many people want to preserve the clam juice inside the shell. This can be done by holding the clam horizontally above a table. A person can also hold the clam over a bowl while shucking it. The bowl will catch any clam juice that escapes.
After the shell has been pried open with a clam shucker, the muscle should be cut away from the shell. This can be done with a sharp knife. Sliding a knife along between the shell and the muscle should separate the muscle from the shell.