Carolina Shuckers + Homemade Cocktail & Horseradish Sauce

Handmade Oyster Knives by Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls

A few weeks ago, these two beauties arrived in the mail from the generous guys over at Carolina Shuckers.  I planned on having oysters as soon as I could get my paws on them, but that ice storm Wheat worked through a wrench in said plans. Thus, I patiently bided my time until the next opportunity arose.  It is starting to get warm down here in SoWeGa,  and I  was starting to get worried I would miss my chance to test these Shuckers on some oysters (and beer). So last Friday night, we got a box of oysters (which is about a half bushel) and we invited some friends and family over to help us eat them.

Queen Anne Carolina Shuckers Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

The Queen Anne Shucker, as I predicted, turned out to be my favorite shucker of the two.

Shucking Oysters with a Carolina Shucker Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

The thumb “spot” and the handle design gave me significant leverage while shucking, which was great for someone with small hands and less arm-strength than your average male oyster shucker.

Shucking Oysters | Oysters & Pearls

Kirk warned me that this knife was intended for clams in the Low Country, and not really oysters.  Apparently our oysters down here were a wee bit tough for the Queen Anne, and the tip did get bent while Wheat was testing it out later on.  No worries though: I’m told it’s fixable!   I don’t think I’m strong enough to bend it anyway.  And Wheat’s no longer allowed to use my Queen Anne. ;)

Shucking Oysters with a Queen Anne Carolina Shucker | Oysters & Pearls

It was still my favorite of the two!

Natalie Shucking Oysters with a Carolina Shucker | Oysters & Pearls

Selfies are fairly rare on this here blog, but I was thrilled to hand the camera over to my trusty assistant for these pictures of me shucking.  He did a great job! :)

Oyster and Carolina Shucker Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

Commence mouth-watering now.

Shugie Shucker from Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls

Kirk and Mike also were kind enough to send me a Shugie Shucker, which is an oyster knife/bottle opener combo made especially for smaller hands.  The bottle shucker particularly comes in handy while eating oysters.  The blade on this knife worked better for our oysters round these parts, as it was wider and tougher.  As much as I loved the Shugie Shucker, I missed the handle on the Queen Anne!  They are both pretty awesome though.

Hand Forged Oyster Knives from Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls

Childhood friends Mike Waller and Kirk Davis are the two fellows behind these beautiful knives. Formally trained at the East Carolina School of Art, they each have their own studio and are successful artists in their own right (and are both available for commission work, as it just so happens – Click their names to see their websites.).  Mike is based in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and Kirk is in Morehead, North Carolina.  They both are skilled in wrought iron work and both love oysters, so the oyster knives were a natural evolution in their friendship.

Carolina Shuckers Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

Five or six years ago the two went to an oyster roast together and decided to whip up a few knives to take along with them.  Those original handful of oyster knives were a bit crude by Kirk’s own description, but everyone at the party loved them.  “We left a few at the party, but we still have a few in our “museum”, which is a cigar box,” Kirk recalled.  They began making them as Christmas presents and upon request from friends, and things just snowballed.  After about a year, Kirk and Mike realized there was a real business opportunity in their knives, and they both were in need of a “bread and butter.”  The came up with the name Carolina Shuckers and their joint venture really began.

Queen Anne Carolina Shucker and an Oyster | Oysters & Pearls

 Kirk and Mike do four styles each to divide the work up between their studios, but they do trade shows together and get together often.  They have grown a lot since that first oyster roast, and the duo even has a nickel-plated version of their Mother Shucker and Beer Shucker in Orvis.

Oyster, Ed's Red Hot Sauce, and a Carolina Shucker Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

 I prefer my raw oysters on a saltine with a splash of Crystal or Ed’s Red (made locally in Port St. Joe, Florida!).

Kirk prefers his oysters raw or lightly steamed, but he did divulge that he recently had some delicious oysters in Little Washington, North Carolina at the Waterfront Restaurant that had been dubbed “Oysters Redneck Rockefeller.”  Kirk admitted that the the collard, bacon and parmesan combo was a winner.

Freshly Shucked Oyster | Oysters & Pearls

 The Mother Shucker, the Cluster Shucker, and the Carolina Pigtail are made from recycled railroad spikes.  These are mainly salvaged from a friend’s Tar construction company.  “He called me one day not long ago and said he had a job at a military base and had a guy bringing me some railroad spikes if I wanted them.  I walked outside and there was a dump truck full of spikes being dropped off in my driveway!” Kirk laughed.  He said he’s gone through a 55 gallon drum full of them in just about a year and a half!

It’s easy to see why he’s made so many knives.  They’re handmade, hand-forged, one of a kind knives at a reasonable price point and full of personality.  They would make a great gift for any oyster enthusiast!  I know they were a hit at our little gathering.

Behind the Scenes - Oyster Shucking | Oysters & Pearls

A “behind the scenes” shot of sorts…

For our gathering, which was rather impromptu, as I worked all day Friday and we were leaving early Saturday morning, was an extremely casual affair.  We had oysters and venison sausage… and that was it.  A come-as-you-are-and-eat-it-if-you-want-it type affair.  I did whip up homemade cocktail and white horseradish sauce for the oysters, and I thought this would be the perfect occasion to share those recipes with y’all along with the Carolina Shuckers. :)

Homemade Cocktail Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Note: these are easiest mixed up right in a 2 cup measuring cup – that way you only dirty one dish in the process, then pour it into whatever container you’re serving it in.

Classic Cocktail Sauce
Yields 1 1/2 cups


– 1 cup ketchup
– 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– dash worchestershire sauce
– Crystal hot sauce to taste


Mix together all ingredients and chill until serving.

Homemade Horseradish Sauce for Oysters | Oysters & Pearls

White Horseradish Sauce
Yields 1 1/2 cups


– 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
– 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon dry mustard
– 3 tablespoons Duke’s Mayonaise
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– a couple shakes of red pepper flakes (or to taste)


Mix together all ingredients and chill until serving.

Raw Oysters  | Oysters & Pearls

Scientific testing revealed that both sauces are delicious on both raw and roasted oysters.  ;)

Oyster Roast | Oysters & Pearls

Coincidentally, roasted on a homemade (by my dad) grill grate over our Carolina Kettle!  Both awesome gifts from my equally awesome parents.

Handmade Oyster Knives by Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls

So thank you to Kirk and Mike for the Shuckers and for instigating a last minute oyster roast!

For ordering or wholesale information, visit
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In the spirit of full disclosure (which I always strive to adhere to), please know that although I received these Carolina Shuckers for free, absolutely all thoughts and opinions expressed in the post are exclusively my own and always will be.
Until Next Time
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