How To Improve 5 Seafood Kitchen Gadgets


keep in mind you can tune a piano but

you can suit a fish I'm Dan and I've

been designing kitchen gadgets for 39

years today I'm going to test some

seafood gadgets and see if I can find a

way to make them better make this part a

lot more pronounced open that up a bit

let's try this let's put the hinge this

way these are the products I am going to

test spins it

clam shucker whops this year's tuna

press oyster shucker skins it fish

skinner it is designed to take the skin

off of fish let's see how effective it

is this is a haddock filet it's ready to

be skins let's give it a go skin is

coming off but it's wrapping around so

I'm just gonna hold it out a bit

mmm it's not behaving - oh no it's okay

unless you like haddock Nuggets then I

guess you're okay it's a bit of a mess

let's try another fillet so the skin set

has two triggers the first one is this

lever that will pull this bar tight and

presumably catch the skin and the second

one will sort the roller work you need

to press both in order to activate it

hmm again not really pretty there may be

a technique to this but I am certainly

not getting this on the first couple of

tries let's assume you don't have an

electric fish at Skinner let's see what

it's like with a standard chef's knife

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on a scale from one to five in terms of

effectiveness I would give this a 1 it

takes the skin off but it mangles now

I'm going to try the left handed oil

test this is a technique that I use to

simulate what it would be like for

someone who has some sort of weakness

with dexterity problems maybe arthritis

in their hands I am right-handed I am

going to put oil on my left hand and try

to use this product now this has a bit

of weight to it it's a little slippery

already so let's see if I pull this in

squeeze press okay well that was doable

but of course it's electric once you

have the trigger going it's going to

proceed but look again I've got some

mangled fish parts in terms of usability

on a one to five scale I would give this

a two while it's called skins it does

take the skin off alternate name would

be mangle it let's think about a

redesign first of all this has some

weight to it and holding it with your

index finger and thumb with the way

pulling down this flair just isn't

pronounced enough so I would take this

top flare and I would exaggerate it I

would come around enough so that there's

something to pinch and grab on to the

next thing I would suggest is make these

ribs more pronounced there's some ribs

here that run along the back of the

handle and those in theory would assist

your hand from not slipping so what that

would do is would add some friction and

more stability in holding it I think

you're gonna mangle many fish fillets

before you master this my by rating for

the skins it on a scale of one to five

is a two is really mangles more than a

skins in my heart I am NOT

Mangler clam shucker its purpose in life

is to open a clam let's test its

effectiveness well first of all I got to

say that this feels rather cheaply made

and quite a bit wobbly which makes me a

little concerned to start with so I'm

gonna try to start this clam not where

the wedges I'm gonna start to clam a

little bit closer to the pivot point so

let's apply some pressure well it opened

but broke the clam which is kind of too

bad let me keep going I'm going to now

get towards the wedge and see if I can

wedge this open and yeah bit messy let's

try a larger clam to see if it makes any

difference and I'm also gonna use the

banging technique not that it's designed

to do that now you can see that the

wedge is going to have some effect

actually I can get it down here to have

some effect but boy I don't think this

lever is long enough not great not even

good not loving it although this clam is

large enough to take advantage of the

wage I think the wage needs to be

rethought the clam itself is intact and

the shells ended up intact

so a larger stronger shell is more

suited to this device but still not

great I'm going to try the same thing by

opening a clam using a clam knife I'm

going to put on some cut resistant

gloves because I have a very high sense

of self-preservation

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in terms of effectiveness on a scale of

one to five I would give this a two a

little too wobbly for my liking okay

it's time for the left handed oil test

now push down with my left hand

okay so that started the split it's not

completely open there really is not a

whole lot of difference between using

your left or right hands or even a

slippery hand because all you're doing

is applying downward pressure on this

terms of usability I would rate this a

two and had some success at least

against the clam started this really

needs to be more graceful I would

totally change the way this is designed

so first of all I would make this part

more stable so take the wobble out of

this section of it

I would also come up with a wedge shape

that is simply one continuous piece kind

of like an axe the way experts would

it's very similar another thing to

consider is that smaller clams do not

take advantage of the wedge so somehow

you have to get the clam and the wedge

closer together so either change the

shape of the wedge so that it takes

place lower or somehow make the base

adjustable so that the clam itself can

be raised take advantage of that wedge

so what I may do is look at a way to

raise the handle higher so that your

hand is above so that in its fully

closed position you are still elevated

above the base and above the table that

does two things it provides more

leverage and it prevents your hand from

smashing against the base happy knuckles

will make you happy as a clam in terms

of a by rating on a one to five scale I

would give the clam shucker a one and

they're probably better alternatives out

there nice try clam shucker thank you

next lobster Cheers

let's snip our way through some lobster

tails shall we so these are rather

unique they are actually designed to cut

as you pull towards yourself as opposed

to a standard pair of scissors which you

push you away from yourself so they've

got a hook here that will catch the

lobster shell as you're cutting I'm

going to be pulling it towards me let's

give that a try I'm going to hook it in

try to Center it

and I'm gonna start cutting and we

should be through the lobster show let's

see if it wants to separate yeah that's

looking pretty good

I'm gonna try this another way I'm gonna

try to get to the lobster tail using a

pretty normal looking seafood cracker in

terms of effectiveness I would give this

a four and a half it's almost there

I'm just seeing a couple places where

the design itself can be improved so

it's time now to the left handed oil

test now it is slippery and let's see

how the tool behaves in that situation

since it's only a squeezing action

I think the handle itself is a little

tight but it is cutting through the tail

pretty easily and just go down to the

very ends and that should be it

see if I can get into the tail like I

did before

pull the halves apart really only need

to pull one half apart and let's see if

I can pull the lobster meat out thank

you that was as successful as before in

terms of usability I would rate this a

4.5 because I think it is very usable I

would definitely want one around my

kitchen it's almost there I don't think

it's fully fully there so for a redesign

there are a couple of things here that I

would suggest first of all this finger

area is a bit tight we want to get three

fingers in there and those three fingers

or a bit jam be great together

pinky in there because the pinky

actually while you may think it's weaker

it's further from the previous point can

give you quite a bit of leverage

remember if you're gonna squeeze

something always include the pinky so I

think we need to come out more with that

opening which means the handle would be

that much longer

another thing I would look at is as

you're squeezing this the applying

pressure here to the thumb and you're

prying a pressure here to the inner

surface of your three fingers and it's a

little thin in that direction so what I

would do is make this thicker and maybe

flare out the part that you're pushing

up so that the

the pressure is reduced this is what

that looks like in cross-section so what

I would suggest is making that wider and

a little more shallow so that you're

pressing against more of a surface area

so not only would that feel better but I

think you'd be more willing to squeeze a

little bit harder in doing that my by

rating for the lobster shears is five

out of five I like it I think it's

really useful especially if you are a

lobster lover tuna press its purpose in

life is to squeeze the oil or water out

of a can of tuna let's see how effective

it is the way this is designed is there

is a plate here that's going to come

down on that can of tuna the plate has

holes in it so the liquid is going to

use through those holes I've got a pre

open can here of tuna in water I'm going

to remove the lid completely place the

tuna can inside close it up and start

squeezing I can't do this this time with

two hands and the water is coming out

and what we've got here is a almost dry

can of tuna so that worked so I know

what you're thinking why don't we just

use the lid of the tuna can and press

the water out using the lid let's try

that

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in terms of effectiveness I would give

this a 1 out of 5 I don't think this is

really any more effective than using the

lid of the tuna can itself okay let's do

the left handed oil test for those of

you who are wondering yes the skin of my

hands is very soft let's give it a shot

I'm gonna need two hands to open it I'm

gonna place the can with my left hand

I'm going to close it down and squeeze

it's a little difficult to squeeze and I

can feel that it's not that easy to

squeeze because what you want to do is

squeeze away from the hinge to get the

most amount of leverage it's a little

slippery not wonderful in terms of

usability I give it a once it's just as

easy or as difficult as using the lid of

the can so I'm not sure why it exists

okay time to redesign has mentioned this

doesn't give any mechanical advantage at

all and you're still pushing with one or

two thumbs which is not ideal and

doesn't give you any advantage over

using the lid of the can so I would try

something a bit different let's say we

just keep the hinge there for now and

come up like that but instead of the can

sitting on the base I would design some

some feet here to raise the can off the

floor what that would let you do is

actually use one of both hands usual

weight to press down on the tuna can

it's not perfect because what would

happen is the water level would rise so

this would have to be tilted in some way

let's try this let's put the hinge this

way that way when the plunger comes down

it is at the same angle as the can that

would allow you to put a palm press on

the top of the can and the liquid would

pull up here so the cans not messy of

course you'd have something running down

the side of the cam but you have that

anyway and I think that would be a

design that would give you a little more

power and more mechanical advantage

okay flow by rating I would give the

tuna press maybe a 1.5 so it may have a

little bit of merit my advice would be

tuna buy this product choice tear sucker

this is designed to help you more safely

shuck oysters let's see how effective it

is

so the thought here is the knife will

come out let me use these oysters it's

meant to help you hold the oyster hand

goes on top there and you can use the

knife to get into the oyster now to

manufacture cautions even though this

looks like it's a protective that this

is not pierce protective so because of

that and because of my heightened sense

of self-preservation I'm gonna put on

some knife resistant gloves best way to

open oysters is pre opens at a

restaurant just order a dozen but that

being said I'm gonna give this a go okay

let's see if I can get into this oyster

at all look we do have it open can I'll

cut around and we are open let's try a

different oyster this one's slightly

smaller so yeah in this case I want to

thank the oyster for being a little more

cooperative with letting me get into it

and the knife work pretty well but the

question is how much did this housing

help and I'm not sure it does much to

steady it but the fact that the oysters

itself does not have a flat surface

makes it just a little more wobbly than

you would want let's see how this

compares with opening an oyster using a

basic shucking knife and just the towel

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in terms of effectiveness on a scale of

one to five I would give this a two it

seems to be a bit of an over promise I

would just use the towel

okay so safety first we're not going to

do a left hander oil test because I'm

going to keep the gloves on but I am

going to try to use this device with my

left hand

not loving the fact that I am doing this

with a little bit less control because I

am right-handed but I think was still

okay to go insert a knife twist okay

we're starting to get some action here

okay I'm breaking the shell a little bit

okay don't give up okay we have some

success okay well what is nice about

this is that it's pretty stable in your

left hand it's not a simple handle it's

not a simple shape it is shaped with a

purpose and I think that purpose is

working pretty well so in terms of

usability I'm kind of divided on this

because I think the knife is pretty well

thought out and pretty easy to use but I

don't think this housing makes a whole

lot of sense give this a 3 out of 5 you

take the good you take the bed what I

would do to redesign this I think what I

would do is make this housing a bit more

protective by adding something a little

more secure in terms of being pierced

along the top or maybe even here because

the knife can even come up here and make

sure that it's made out of a shape or a

substance that is protective against a

knife stab but also that will conform to

the top of the oyster the other thing I

would do is make some sort of bed here

that's going to conform to the shape of

the oyster like I said the towel seems

to work pretty well so I would rethink

the entire bottom of this and definitely

rethink the bed that the oyster sits on

so as an alternative to this design I

would suggest a design that assumes

you're going to use a towel to hold the

oyster and design just the top part here

and be protective of possible stab

wounds because who likes getting stabbed

not I

for a buy rating I am giving the oyster

shucker a 2.5 I think the knife itself

is really well designed someone could

use a towel because it's more stable

never underestimate the usefulness of a

towel the worst thing you can do as a

designer is disappoint your customers

unfortunately for four out of five of

these products I am disappointed

lobster shears you're okay

when buying seafood gadgets manage your

expectations

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