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Omg, Bands gotta come off! Besides taste, no one wants their food poached with bpa’s non-food grade materials.
NL is with NS on this one!
Honestly just use a knife to slice them off before cooking . Grab them by the body and they can’t pinch you. Even being pinched as a kid wasn’t brutal… and that was playing with one. Yeah totally grew up where lobster was the discards of a catch
Seriously not risky. Do it last min and keep your hand gripped where they can’t reach!
Please , please take the bands off the lobsters before you steam them , you will destroy the taste of your lobsters if you don’t , that’s how we do it here in Nova Scotia!
Jeff; Beg to differ, 20 minutes is NOT too long to boil a lobster! At least not a hard shell 2.5 pounder. Yes, maybe the claw tips will be a bit rubbery, but the tomale won’t be black. Same as turkey; target the breast for cooking times and don’t worry too much about the rest. And; NO rubber bands! I’ve cooked well over 1000 lbs of lobster over the years and still find it amazing that supposedly “experienced” lobster cookers often way under cook lobster. 12 minutes is plenty for ~ 1 pound lobsters. Also, very importantly, if not immersed in cold water right after cooking, lobsters will continue to cook for as much as several more minutes, depending on size.
Ur right for sure but if they r showing the way how to cook a raw live lobster u have to cut it down the cross from the top of the head straight down with the knife and then put it in boiling water less humain and ten it’ll be cook theroughly
Cut the lobster before?! Literally never heard of it being done… why leave the bands on at all then?
I agree with most of what is said but suggest cutting the bands before cooking. I find the delicate taste can be tainted by the boiled rubber.
Boiling or steaming is to ones own taste, I love that salty water that runs out of the claws when you break them off, mmmmnnnn….
Oh, one more thing, the shells and waste are excellent for the garden, bury about 18 inches deep to keep cats and skunks from digging them up.
Gonna get some ‘crawlies’ tonight!!
I steam my 7 lbs lobster with sea water/lemond grass (asian grocery market)
slice the back open and squeeze lemond into it.
ofcourse dip in melted butter with few drop of tobasco source
20 minutes is Way to long to boil a lobster. That’s not an opinion. Otherwise great article. You should update it since its the first thing to come up on google. A 2 1/2 lb lobster is done in 7 1/2 minutes in boiling water. boiling lobster for 20 minutes would be a costly mistake. It may be edible but would definitely be rubbery.
Have you actually tried to cook at 2.5 pound lobster for 7.5minutes? It’ll barely be dead let alone cooked. Especially if it’s a female. Just wow. Do you mean 7.5min/lb? That’d be closer to correct, for a male at least…
I’m from Prince Edward Island, Canada and have been cooking and eating lobster since the ’70s.
I’ve done it in 12 min for a standard 2 pounder. Literally set a timer… perfect every time.
7¹/2 minutes for a 2.5 lbs lobster is not nearly long enough for my taste . If you like it like that that’s fine, but I would say 20 mins is perfect.
Looking at cooking Lobster tonight for my wife and I (our anniversary). I purchased 2 x live lobster from my local fishmonger yesterday am (they were an hour out of the sea and virtually running). 24 hours later they are no longer live. I notice everyone is stating cooking live lobster but can’t find anything on not live. Any suggestions from anyone please. Thanks – Chris.
Hi Chris. This is a reply to your question. Don’t cook a dead lobster. It won’t be good. I am a New Englander and have basically grew up on Seafood. When you buy the Lost are you really need to cook it within 1 to 2 hours after buying it. While it’s still alive.
Did you ever get a response? I’m not sure if our lobsters will be alive tomorrow or not. They arrived shipped to my home today. Still in box in frig
I LOVE this article! Excellent suggestions! May I, as someone living in Nova Scotia, point out something, tho? Yes, the summer is the cheapest lobster available on the east coast but the BEST lobster is from cold waters. Harvesting in NS is in May-June and these are MUCH higher quality lobsters than what can be fished in New England in the summer. Cost vs. taste. Your best lobsters are from further north and earlier in the year for the best taste (not considering cost). If you are lucky enough to be living in a lobster harvesting area, you definitely notice the difference in taste between the cold water harvested and all of the “others”. LOL – forgive me to be a lobster snob because of my location!
Do NOT cook dead shellfish!
Coming from NL, lobster is only seriously worth it coming from the North Coast May/July. Cold water is the only way to go!
can someone post a recipe for lobster rolls? I used to eat them with my (now long gone) aunt elsie up in maine when I was a kid. what a blast those summers were eating fried clams, oysters and lobsters and the hush puppies- what a treat having fresh seafood right off the boat and sharing it with family!!!
First time cooking lobster- used thie helpfully guide and…..success .!!!
QUALITY RESTAURANT TIPS:
1st – You never use butter straight out of the package. Butter has strong tasting impurities that will fight the delicate taste of the expensive lobster meat. You must clarify the butter by heating it almost to the boiling point (do not boil) and spooning off the impurities that rise to the top (they will be quite noticable). When no more impurities rise, your butter is ‘4 star restaurant’ clarified. Always request ‘clarified’ butter when ordering lobster, clams and muscles. It is the taste of the seafood that you are paying for, not the taste of packaged butter.
2nd – Boiling lobster is quite acceptable, but steaming (takes a little more effort) preservers the delicate flavor better and makes the lobster much less messy to eat. Steaming does not allow all the boiling water to penetrate the shells that will only drip out while eating, thus the mess. This is the same with clams / muscles flavor, but, obviously to a lesser extent concerning the water mess. Garlic is sometimes added to the clarified butter to accent shellfish when eating alone, example as a bar snack.
3RD – To enjoy the delicate seafood taste do not eat in the chowder or main course any strong tasting foods / spices / GARLIC, strong coffee, etc. EXAMPLE. red wine ( best with red meat – rose with chicken, etc. ) which will over power seafood which is best eaten with a white wine or weak tasting drink. Blend your foods with your drinks, etc.. Ask advice from your ‘ head ‘ waiter, this is their job to advice and make your dinner a special occasion. Clarified butter and steaming can also be requested, if not already the policy of the restaurant.
^this is how to do it right! Awesome tips.
One more thing… after cooking and draining in the sink, I split the tail in the underside with a knife so that the diner has an easier time getting to the meat and i wrap the claws in a kitchen towel and give them a good TWACK with a rolling pin,as I go along I place each one back in the sink and a lot of the cooking water trapped in the bodies drains off so you don’t get that big watery mess on your plate.
I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you on timing. No chef I know would ever cook a lobster this long, ever. I was trained to do 4-5 minutes for a one pound lobster and then go up from there, never really exceeding 7 or 8 minutes because nobody uses anything over 2 pounders because they start to lose their sweetness.. Most cookbooks reference this 10-15 minutes number as a base number as well and my chef buddies and I are baffled by it. In super fine dining the claws and tails are steamed separately as the claw meat takes less time to cook, to make sure they are done just right and it is just a couple of minutes.
^ thumbs up
NEVER,NEVER, EVER boil a Lobster–it should only be steamed!
Sorry, but that is ridiculous; boiling is the standard in eastern Nova Scotia, but steaming is ok too!
The best way to get the lobster meat out of the legs is to use a cutting bord and a pie roller. Break the legs away from the lobster and remove the nuckle at the end, put the leg on the cutting bord and with a pie roller start from the small leg end and roll to the upper end. All meat will come out nicely.
P.S. Add a little vinegar to you butter for a good dipping sauce.
Great ideas, thank you George! ~Elise
I have been cooking lobsters for 60 years. The way to tell when they are done, is they float in the boiling water. I have been a chef for almost of me life. If you want to see how to fix baked stuffed lobaters go to utube clark dexter.
Actually the advice that you don’t want to eat lobster undercooked or raw is misleading. Lobster sashimi is absolutely delicious and has great texture. If done right, the raw slices will still have movement when it’s served to the guest. It can also be prepared as a carpaccio with micro greens and drizzled with something like a soy yuzu dressing. The only thing you must make sure before serving raw lobster is the same as with any other seafood… that everything is fresh and preferably alive before serving.
I also agree that the head has some of the yummiest eats of the lobster.
Great job with the site Elise. The recipes are great and the pictures are beautiful.
I was one of the lucky kids – my father was a lobsterman when I was young, and we ate ALOT of lobster! We sold them out of tanks in the basement when I was really small, and later just sold them off the boat to which ever market was paying the best that day. A good 100+ pounds every other day after his day job.
We had lobster bakes back in Portsmouth, NH. We’d use a turkey frier – fill it 1/2 way with water and bring to a boil. Put 8 chix (1 lb lobsters are referred to as chicken lobsters) in the turkey frier basket, and 8 minutes later they were perfect. I know this as it was my father’s job to cook the bugs (another loving name for lobsters :).
The real secret is to cook the lobster until the antennae easily pop off – grasp the whole lobster by the antennae, and if it falls back in the pot with the antennae still in your hand, it’s ready. Works for any size.
Oh, and by the way, the white stuff is blood, not fat.
And the reason lobsters get cheaper in the summer (right around the last week of July) is because they are molting – the softshells come in. You should be paying less money for the soft shells than for the hard shells – a good thing for a tourist to know. It’s just that the new shell is bigger, so there is less meat. A hard shell is usually all beat up, and stuffed with meat. I like the soft shells myself, as I am a cheapo!
And my favorite tip – while you are making a mess and stinking up the kitchen, cook a few extra. Shuck the meat, chop it into bite sized pieces, and mix it with some really good mayo. Pop it in the fridge. You will be so proud of yourself the next day when you can have a couple of lobster rolls!!
^ awesome advice
We have a monthly seafood farmers market on the other side of the island where I live and I try to go as often as possible to stock up on lobster tails. This is my latest recipe using them http://www.soniatasteshawaii.com/2010/08/grilled-lobster-mango-salad.html
I also made Lobster & Grits (using a SC recipe for Shrimp & Grits….Lovely!
Well, I think you’ve just inspired dinner. My husband might write you a letter (maybe even a poem!) of thanks. :)
Since I like both the tomalley and the roe, I get the husband’s too. I also pick and eat every little bit that I can including the legs so the other reader’s tip above about the rolling pin will certainly come in handy. (So smart!)