How to Prepare Lobster: A Quick Guide – Seaco Online
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How to Prepare Lobster: A Quick Guide

Lobster is an incredibly delicious and luxurious seafood that is perfect for special occasions.

Preparing lobster may seem intimidating, but with a little bit of knowledge and practice, anyone can do it.

Whether you're boiling, baking, or grilling your lobster, there are a few key steps to follow to ensure that it turns out perfectly every time.

Lobster placed in boiling water, then removed and cracked open to reveal tender meat

The first step in preparing lobster is selecting and storing your lobster.

It's important to choose a live lobster that is healthy and active, with a hard shell and a good weight.

Once you've brought your lobster home, you'll need to keep it alive and fresh until you're ready to cook it.

You can store your lobster in the refrigerator or in a cool, damp place for up to 24 hours, but it's important to keep it moist and well-ventilated.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing a live lobster with a hard shell and good weight is essential for preparing lobster.
  • Properly storing your lobster in the refrigerator or a cool, damp place will keep it fresh until you're ready to cook it.
  • Boiling, baking, and grilling are all great methods for cooking lobster, and each requires a slightly different approach.

Selecting and Storing Your Lobster

A chef selecting a live lobster from a tank, then placing it in a pot of boiling water

Preparing a lobster can be a daunting task, but selecting and storing your lobster correctly can make all the difference. Here are some tips to ensure you have the freshest and most delicious lobster possible.

Choosing the Right Lobster

When selecting a live lobster, look for one that is lively and active. Avoid any lobsters that appear sluggish or have a strong odor.

If you are purchasing from a grocery store or fishmonger, make sure the tank is clean and well-maintained.

When choosing a lobster, pick it up by its sides. The tail should immediately curl and tuck up under its body. Tugging on the tail should produce the same reaction.

The pincers should be restrained with an elastic band as the lobster is a cannibal and will eat its own kind. Fresh lobster should always be live or frozen.

Storing Live Lobsters

If you are not cooking your lobster immediately, store it in a cool, moist place.

You can keep live lobsters in a tank or a large cooler with a damp cloth covering them. Do not store them in fresh water or ice as this will kill them.

Store lobsters in a strong paper bag or right in the lobster pot if you were lucky enough to receive one.

When transferring lobsters, pick them up by the body, not the claws or the tail.

To handle a live lobster, pick it up by the large shell just behind its head (the carapace shell).

When you're ready to cook your lobster, make sure it is still alive. If the lobster has died, do not eat it. Cook the lobster the same day you bring it home for the best flavour.

Cooking and Serving Lobster

A lobster being boiled in a large pot of water, then being removed and served on a plate with lemon wedges and melted butter on the side

Preparing and serving lobster at home can seem daunting, but it's actually quite simple. Here are some tips to help you cook and serve delicious lobster.

Preparation Methods

Before cooking lobster, it's important to prepare it properly.

If you're using live lobsters, you'll need to kill them first.

To do this, place the lobster headfirst into a pot of boiling water.

Alternatively, you can use kitchen scissors to cut through the bands on the claws, then place the lobster in the freezer for about 20 minutes to put it to sleep before boiling.

If you're using frozen lobster tails, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

To remove the meat from the shell, use kitchen scissors to cut along the underside of the shell, then gently pull the meat out.

Cooking Techniques

There are several ways to cook lobster, including boiling, baking, broiling, grilling, and steaming.

To boil lobster, fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the lobster and cook for about 8-10 minutes for a 1-pound lobster.

If you're cooking more than one lobster, add an extra minute or two for each additional pound.

To bake or broil lobster, split the lobster in half lengthwise, remove the tomalley, liver, and roe, and brush the meat with melted butter and garlic.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or broil for about 10 minutes, until the meat is opaque and the shell is bright red.

To grill lobster, brush the tail meat with olive oil and seasonings, then grill over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, until the meat is opaque and the shell is bright red.

Presentation and Accompaniments

Once your lobster is cooked, it's time to serve it up.

To remove the meat from the shell, use a lobster pick or kitchen scissors to crack open the claws and tail.

Serve the lobster meat with melted butter and lemon wedges on the side.

For a fancy touch, garnish your lobster with chopped parsley or other herbs.

Lobster pairs well with a variety of side dishes, including roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, and corn on the cob.

Frequently Asked Questions

A lobster being prepared with utensils, a pot of boiling water, and a chef's apron

What's the best way to cook a whole lobster?

Boiling is the most common method for cooking a whole lobster.

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the water to enhance the flavour of the lobster.

Place the live lobster in the pot, head first, and cover the pot with a lid.

Boil for about 10 minutes per pound of lobster. Once cooked, remove the lobster from the pot and let it cool before serving.

Can you give tips on cooking lobster tails at home?

Lobster tails can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, steaming, baking, and grilling.

To boil lobster tails, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the lobster tails, and cook for about 8-10 minutes.

To steam lobster tails, place them in a steamer basket over boiling water and cook for about 8-10 minutes.

To bake lobster tails, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, brush the tails with butter, and bake for about 12-15 minutes.

To grill lobster tails, brush them with butter and grill for about 5-7 minutes per side.

What's the most humane method to cook live lobster?

Putting the lobster to sleep before cooking is recommended for humane reasons.

To do this, place the lobster in the freezer for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will slow down its metabolism and make it less aware of its surroundings.

Then, quickly and humanely kill the lobster by inserting a sharp knife into the head just behind the eyes.

How should I go about reheating frozen cooked lobster?

To reheat frozen cooked lobster, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Then, place the lobster meat in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for about 2-3 minutes.

Alternatively, you can wrap the lobster meat in foil and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-12 minutes.

What are some creative ways to serve cooked lobster?

Cooked lobster can be served in a variety of ways, including in salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and risottos.

You can also try serving it with different sauces, such as garlic butter, lemon butter, or hollandaise sauce.

Lobster can also be used as a topping for pizza or mixed into a seafood chowder.

How long should you boil lobster to get it just right?

Boiling times can vary depending on the size of the lobster. As a general rule, boil lobster for about 10 minutes per pound.

For example, a 1.5-pound lobster should be boiled for about 15 minutes, while a 2-pound lobster should be boiled for about 20 minutes.

Remember to add salt to the water to enhance the flavour of the lobster.