Food
Fact-checked

At DelightedCooking, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a Seafood Pick?

A seafood pick is an essential tool for seafood enthusiasts, designed to effortlessly extract succulent meat from shells and claws. Its slender, pointed design navigates tight spaces, ensuring no delicious morsel is left behind. Perfect for crab feasts or lobster dinners, it's a must-have for a refined dining experience. Curious about how to master the art of seafood dining? Let's dive deeper.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A seafood pick is an eating utensil which allows consumers to extract meat from shelled seafood and to move seafood around on their plates without having to get their hands dirty. Both crab and lobster are often brought to the table with picks, so that consumers can get all of the edible meat out of these crustaceans. These utensils can also be used as condiment forks.

A basic seafood pick resembles a small fork, often with two tines instead of one. The tines tend to be long and very pointed so that they can be forced into hard to reach areas of a crustacean to pull out meat. In some cases, the pick has a scoop on one end, which can also be used to extract edible flesh, or to pick up condiments. The design is also slender and very streamlined, so that the pick can fit into small places.

Lobster picks are used to extract pieces of tender lobster meat from the shell.
Lobster picks are used to extract pieces of tender lobster meat from the shell.

To use a seafood pick with crustaceans, consumers usually gently crack the shell with the assistance of shellfish crackers or a light tap with a small hammer. Loose pieces of shell are pulled away, and the pick is used to get into crannies of the shell which are not easily cracked. At the table, seafood picks help people to eat food without getting their hands dirty, and in the kitchen, they ensure that every usable scrap of flesh is removed.

Crab is often eaten with a seafood pick to help get out meat from the shell.
Crab is often eaten with a seafood pick to help get out meat from the shell.

When a seafood pick is used as a condiment fork, the narrow profile allows consumers to dip it into relish jars and other condiment containers. Since the tines are close together, they can hold a small amount of the desired condiment, usually just enough to dress the diner's food. In the case of a scooped pick, the scoop is usually used to retrieve condiments. As a general rule, the two functions of a seafood pick are not utilized simultaneously, for fear of contaminating condiments with seafood.

A seafood pick might be used to dig the meat out of a stone crab claw.
A seafood pick might be used to dig the meat out of a stone crab claw.

This utensil may also be labeled specifically as a lobster or crab fork. In addition to being used in shelled crustaceans, a seafood pick can also be used to pick out shellfish like clams and oysters. As a general rule, seafood picks are made from metal such as stainless steel, as the metal will not bend when the fork is manipulated in close quarters, although the metal tines may be attached to a wooden or plastic handle. These utensils can usually be run through the dishwasher, unless they are made from silver or another easily tarnished metal.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Lobster picks are used to extract pieces of tender lobster meat from the shell.
      By: vpardi
      Lobster picks are used to extract pieces of tender lobster meat from the shell.
    • Crab is often eaten with a seafood pick to help get out meat from the shell.
      By: Gordon Logue
      Crab is often eaten with a seafood pick to help get out meat from the shell.
    • A seafood pick might be used to dig the meat out of a stone crab claw.
      By: hiphoto39
      A seafood pick might be used to dig the meat out of a stone crab claw.