This overview of the Coastal Kitchen Collection from Toadfish is something we have wanted to do for quite some time now. I am sure you have seen their products online and in advertisements just as we have, but I did’t fully commit to them until I saw a demonstration at the 2019 Charleston Shallow Water Fishing Expo. These days, it is so rare that a“new” product isn’t just a marketing gimmick, but an actual product that works as described. I am proud to report back to you that all of the tools in this set, are exactly what we want them to be.
I am a sucker for packaging and typically that is where we want to start our reviews. But sadly, the majority of the time the packaging is nothing worth discussing. That isn’t true for Toadfish! They make sure their products are presented to you in a way that shows off their true form and fashion. The box has their trademark, “Let’s Put ‘Em Back” on the side and I think that is an important place to start. For every product sold, Toadfish will facilitate in replanting 10 square feet of new oyster beds for the next generation of oysters. To date they have replanted 64,173 square feet! Why is that important, you may ask?
Water quality is the #1 issue that is threatening our coastal waterways currently. With a higher number of our population moving to coastal regions, inshore waters are taking a huge hit from the increase in chemicals and other substances that are lethal to many aquatic species. As natural filter feeders, Oysters pump water through their gills, trapping particles of food as well as nutrients, suspending sediments and chemical contaminants. By doing this, Oysters help keep the water clean and clear for underwater grasses and other marine life. An adult Oyster can clean up to 50 gallons of water per day. EACH! Check out this picture posted on Reddit from a user by the name of NoSpicyFood. It shows an obvious difference between the same water split into two different tanks, one with oysters for filtering and one without.
So, “Put ‘Em Back” is their way of communicating the importance of recycling oyster shells back to the ecosystem after they are consumed. Those recycled and replanted shells create a place for baby oysters to grow into the next generation of oyster reefs. Studies on the South Carolina coast have demonstrated the oyster populations are substrate-limited. Meaning, oyster larvae are abundant, but there is a lack of hard substrate for attachment.
So not only is Toadfish helping support a great cause, they are also delivering quality products that are a must have for any outdoors lovers kitchen. You can also read more about what they do to support the local oyster population HERE.
With all of that in mind, the Put ‘Em Back Oyster Knife is superior in almost every way to any other oyster knife we have used in our years of shucking oysters in the Low Country. Personally, I have always been a Dexter Russel “New Haven” fan and the Put ‘Em Back is a vast improvement on that style. The ergonomic grip really helps you get the leverage to pop open oysters either raw or steamed. The Japanese stainless steel blade has a bent tip that creates an advantage not found on any other oyster knife. I gave it a trial run at the 2019 Low Country Oyster Festival and received many compliments on my choice of weaponry. The picture I took from the Oyster Festival has disappeared on me, so I hijacked one from their website. If you go check out their page you can clearly see the bent tip that makes this tool a unique stand out from the rest. They also offer custom engraving which makes this knife an excellent gift for any oyster lover!
Frogmore Shrimp Cleaner
By far my favorite tool in the Coastal Kitchen Collection. After your fourth shrimp, you are a pro at the “one motion” peel, devein, and butterfly which is a massive time saver and ensures you don’t waste any shrimp. One of the largest quarrels with cooking shrimp has always been the time consuming process of peeling and cleaning them. With the Frogmore, you can zip through a couple of pounds in just minutes. The instructions are simple, slide the stainless steel tool right below the top of the shell. Then you push the tool forwards while simultaneously moving the shrimp upwards toward the handle. The entire shrimp peel will then be left on the Frogmore cleaner with a peeled, deveined, and butterflied shrimp in your hand. Follow up with a quick rinse, and you are done. Some key features they note on their website:
Point Blade Butterflies & Cleans
Spine is Top Quality Stainless Steel
Full Tang Construction Provides Maximum Strength
Ergonomic Handle is Made From Recycled Materials
Crab Claw Cutter
I originally purchased this set with intentions of using the Crab Cutter to chop up bait on the boat. After getting it home and playing with its spring action design and easy open lock, I would feel bad neglecting them in the bottom of a tackle box. These claw cutters were designed to easily cut around the crab claws instead of crushing them like a traditional crab cracking tool. This way, all of the meat easily comes out intact and ready for use. The very kind people over at Toadfish also decided to hook us up with a bottle opener on the tool itself to make sure we have everything we need as we sit down to feast with friends and family.
In closing, if you are struggling in the kitchen to peel your shrimp correctly, crack your claws easily, or open your oysters effortlessly… Then the Coastal Kitchen Collection from Toadfish is a must have! We are excited to see whats next from Toadfish and cant wait to try out more of their products in the future. They also have a nice 10% off discount code you can use for first time buyers. Just use ‘newtoad10’ at checkout!
To read more about the DNR Oyster Restoration project, click HERE