Crab, while certainly delicious, can be a real pain to eat. This is mostly due to the crustacean’s hard shell, which protects it from predators like birds and fish in the wild. By the time the crab gets to your plate, though, its exoskeleton is just a nuisance—an obstacle between you and the soft, white meat underneath.
A good crab cracker makes things easier. Most resemble nut crackers, with a sawtooth design that can clamp down on the crab leg in question. Apply pressure and the shell will be no more. Most crab crackers can also be used to make short work of lobster shells, too. And if you’re out of nut crackers, the design similarities mean they’re good for cracking open a few walnuts as well.
If you see you’re self feasting on crab and lobster in the days to come, it’s time to finally invest in a dedicated cracker. And here are four of the best.
1. Hiware Crab Leg Cracker Tools
If you’re boiling up a crab (or two) at home, then you’ll want Hiware’s set on hand to crack the crustacean wide open. With two crackers and eight forks, all stainless steel, it’s a versatile set that ensures you’ll have a backup utensil in case one goes missing. Plus, it’s ergonomically designed so that the crackers are easy to hold, so you’ll never have to worry about losing your grip as you pop crab legs and lobster claws wide open.
Pros: A sleek, versatile set that can crack open crabs, lobsters and more.
Cons: Some may find the spare aesthetic underwhelming.
2. Smedley and York Crab and Lobster Crackers
Smedley and York’s set is among the most well-stocked out there, as it contains four zinc alloy crab crackers and eight stainless-steel forks. It’s great for dinner parties for that reason, as there will be plenty of utensils to go around. And despite the many tools, it’s easy enough to store, as the set can be packed away in a slender box. That way, the forks and crackers won’t clog up your kitchen drawer, and you’ll always know exactly where they are.
Pros: A good amount of crab crackers and forks that can be stored away with no fuss.
Cons: May be too many tools for some.
3. Fani Seafood Tools Set
Not all crab crackers have to be bland, stainless steel affairs. Fani’s aluminum alloy set has a few design elements that make it stand out from the pack: A tiny crab engraved on each of the eight forks, and lime green, ergonomically design handles on every cracker. But they’re not just nice looking—the four crackers can break walnut shells and crab legs with ease.
Pros: A stylish set that comes with plenty of forks and crackers.
Cons: The set’s many components can be easy to lose track of in the kitchen.
4. Toadfish Coastal Kitchen Collection
If you’re the type to prepare a seafood feast that includes shrimp, oysters, lobsters and crabs, then Toadfish’s set is the pick for you. It comes with a top-notch crab cracker—or cutter, as Toadfish refers to it, as the tool will neatly slice the shell, rather than pop it and leave any shrapnel in the meat. Then there’s a shrimp tool that lets you easily peel and de-vein butterfly shrimp, and an oyster knife that makes shucking a cinch. All that comes wrapped up in an elegant box with instructions, so it makes for a great gift.
Pros: Great for preparing not just crabs, but oysters and shrimp as well.
Cons: Includes only one of each tool.