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Elegant simplicity is a boiled Maine lobster.
Great recipe! I do disagree about sashimi tho raw lobster can be amazing if fresh caught.
Excellent post on cooking lobsters! Very difficult to critique it! I would only add the following: To remove the rubber bands which us purest feel is essential, pick up the lobster, and with your hand, cross the front claws, then grab the lobster with crossed claws with one hand, and snip off the rubber bands with a pair of scissors. Then into the pot. Easy peasy! There is some excellent meat in the body between the ribs on larger lobsters, worth going after if you are a purist, or shucking the lobster for meat. The Tamale, ie the liver as you mention, looks like, well awful, but it is delicious and the only liver I eat. The “Coral” or roe is a delicacy also. Great article. Posted from Nova Scotia, where half of our catch is shipped to our friends in Maine!! Cheers!
Thank you Frank, for the tips! Those claws sort of freak me out so I haven’t tried taking the bands off, but your instructions totally make sense. Love the lobster tamale too!
Excelently taught, thank you very much because I needed all of it, every single word.
I had an idea how to do it, your article filled in the gaps, thanks.
What do you mean “We don’t have American lobsters out here in California”? I have lived in California all of my life and caught many spiny lobsters, native to the area I believe. They are incredibly delicious and in my opinion much tastier than Maine Lobsters.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
You are correct, California spiny lobster is a native species. Few Americans eat it because most of the commercial catch goes to China, where consumers are willing to pay a premium for it. Here’s an interesting article about that. It must be great fun to catch and eat spiny lobster! Thank you for sharing.
Hi Jim, “American lobster” is actually the name of the specific species (homarus americanus) of lobster found off the coast in New England. So yes, we do have native spiny lobsters here in California, but they aren’t the “American” species. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_lobster
You forgot one thing…. submerge in cold water for a couple of minutes after cooking so the lobster does not continue to cook from residual shell heat… NB born and bred, pulled traps in my day
Good tip, thank you David!
If you’re cooking (3) two pound lobsters in the same pot, do you increase the amount of time for the boil.
Hi Ron, once you’ve put the lobsters in the boiling water, and the water has returned to the pot, that is when you start your timing, and it is the same for one or more lobsters.
Very helpful and informative. Instructions were very clear and understandable!
We had several friends over for a lobster boil. I put the lobsters on the deck and let them “race.” The winner went into the pot last.
I just have A lobster tail? How do you cook it?
Hi, Patricia! Try this recipe for Broiled Lobster Tail with Brown Butter Sauce.
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?
This is true..you want to stab a sharp knife just behind the head where the head meets the body and give it a twist. Kills it instantly and more humane than dropping into a pot. I like to freeze my lobster for 20 mins to stun it before putting a sharp knife with a little twist. There are studies that show they feel pain when put into boiling water
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!