Cooking Lobster


Lobster is a crustacean that is considered more of a luxury food item. It is typically only available in the spring and summer.
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 Lobsters are cooked by weight. Even though
they turn bright red almost immediately, this is not an indication of doneness. When boiling, the cooking time begins once the water has returned to a boil.

Boiling lobsters is the most common way to prepare this type of shellfish; grilling is another great option. We'll first take a look at how to properly boil at lobster on the next page.

Want more information? Try these:
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Cooking Seafood: Get your feet wet by exploring the best ways to prepare seafood.
  • Shellfish: From shrimp and lobster to clams, mussels, and more, you'll find valuable information on shellfish at HowStuffWorks.
  • Shellfish Recipes: Dive into the many amazing shellfish recipes featured in this article.

Boiling Lobsters

Boiling lobsters is the most typical way you will find lobster prepared. You should purchase live lobsters as close to the time of cooking as possible and store them in the refrigerator.
  1. Fill 8-quart stockpot with enough water to cover lobsters. Cover stockpot; bring water to a boil over high heat.

  2. Holding lobster by its back, submerge head first in boiling water. Cover and continue to heat. When water returns to a boil, cook lobsters from 10 to 18 minutes, according to size:

    • 1 pound          10 minutes
    • 11/4 pounds    12 minutes
    • 11/2 pounds    15 minutes
    • 2 pounds        18 minutes

  3. Transfer to 2 large serving platters. Remove bands restraining claws. To remove meat from claws, first break them from the body. Pull off the "thumb" part of the claw.

     

    Once the lobster has been boiled, the claw should pull away easily.
    Once the lobster has been boiled, the claw should pull apart easily.

  4. Then, using a metal nutcracker, crack claw gently to avoid damaging the meat. Using seafood fork, gently remove claw meat (it should come out in 1 piece).

     

    Use care when cracking the claw so as not to damage the meat inside.
    Use care when cracking the claw so
    as not to damage the meat inside.


  5. Crack legs gently with nutcracker. Pick out meat.

  6. To remove tail meat, place lobster tail with underside facing up. With kitchen scissors, cut through underside of shell. Pull shell apart and slide your index finger between meat and shell to loosen meat; gently pull out meat from shell.

     

     Slide your finger between the shell and the tail meat and pull gently.
    Slide your finger between the shell
     and the tail meat and pull gently.
Find helpful suggestions on grilling lobster in the next section.

Want more information? Try these:
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Cooking Seafood: Get your feet wet by exploring the best ways to prepare seafood.
  • Shellfish: From shrimp and lobster to clams, mussels, and more, you'll find valuable information on shellfish at HowStuffWorks.
  • Shellfish Recipes: Dive into the many amazing shellfish recipes featured in this article.

Grilling Lobsters

Grilling lobster tails takes a competent and vigilant grill master. To ensure the perfect presentation, a little preparation is required.
  1. Prepare barbecue grill for direct cooking.

  2. Place lobster tails on cutting board with backs facing up. Cut through center of lobster shells with kitchen scissors, starting in the middle and cutting to each end.

     

    Cut down the center of the shell with a pair of kitchen scissors.
    Cut down the center of the shell with a pair of kitchen scissors.

  3. Press tails down to crack shells. This prevents curling on the grill.

  4. Place thumbs on either side of cuts in shells. Roll hands to the sides while pulling shells apart to expose meat.

     

    Gently pull the shells apart to reveal the meat.
    Gently pull the shells apart to reveal the meat.

  5. Gently pull out meat from shells, starting at wide end of shell. Leave meat attached to the shells at the narrow end.

     

    Extract the meat from the shell at the wide end, leaving the meat at the narrow end attached.
    Extract the meat from the shell at the wide end, leaving the meat
    at the narrow end attached.


  6. Press shells closed under meat, letting meat rest on tops of closed shells; brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  7. Place lobster tails, meat side down, on preheated grill.

  8. Grill lobster tails, on covered grill, 7 minutes per side or until meat turns opaque and is cooked through.

  9. Serve in the shells or, if desired, remove lobster meat from shells. Slice meat.
No matter how you prepare lobster, if you follow the helpful guidelines in this article, it's bound to be delicious.

Want more information? Try these:
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
  • Grilling: Grilling isn't just for summertime barbecues anymore. Find out how to cook all your favorites on the grill, all year round.
  • Cooking Seafood: Get your feet wet by exploring the best ways to prepare seafood.
  • Shellfish: From shrimp and lobster to clams, mussels, and more, you'll find valuable information on shellfish at HowStuffWorks.
  • Shellfish Recipes: Dive into the many amazing shellfish recipes featured in this article.