COOKING & HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS FOR LOBSTER
Want to know how to cook live lobster properly?
We can tell you how to cook lobster and provide tips on cooking lobster the right way.
If you are cooking only a couple of lobster, then a smaller stock pot will do. Rule of thumb is you should be able to close the pot easily with the lid. If you ordered a dozen lobster, then you will need a larger stock pot 10L or up. You might have to do a couple of batches but it won't take long.
WATER: The amount to water depends on how you are wanting to cook them. One important thing is to salt your water preferably with sea salt but iodized will do. A solution of 10:1 is good. So 100 ml of water you require 10 ml of salt. You can also season your water with herbs. It won't remove the wonderful taste of the lobster but it will give it a hint of flavour.
COOKING: If you decide to steam your lobster, cover the bottom of the pot with a 4-5 inches of water, cover and bring to a boil. Add lobster to the pot and replace cover. One thing to note is if the lobster come with bands on the claws (and they should), you should remove them before cooking. Otherwise, you might have a slight rubbery taste to the lobster. Also prepare a sink half full of iced water. I'll tell you more about this further down.
Boiling lobster is another method of cooking lobster. Fill your pot to ¾ full of salted water and bring to a boil. Add lobster and cover with lid. Be sure to not over fill your pot with water or lobster. It doesn't take long before it could boil over and doing another batch doesn't take that long.
Lobster cooking time is based on how many pounds are in the pot. Basic rule is 15 minutes for the first pound and .30 seconds for each additional pound of lobster. So if you bought 4 lobster weighing 1.5 lbs each, you would have 6 lbs to cook. So cooking time would be approximately 17.5 minutes. There is some variance allowed too so if you cook the lobster an extra minute, it wouldn't compromise taste. One trick to determine if they are done is to pull on one of the antennae or small legs. If it pulls off easily, you know your lobster are done. A sturdy tug will do.
Now I had mentioned preparing a sink half full of iced water. You should also place some old newspaper on the counter or table. When your lobster are done, remove them from the pot with tongs one at at time and place in the water. This will stop the lobster from cooking internally and prevent overcooking. Leave the lobster in the water for 3 minutes and remove. Place on newspaper UPSIDE DOWN. This prevents flavour from escaping.
CRACKING AND EATING:Now that you have cooked your lobster, how do you get at the meat? Quite simply, you crack the lobster open. Again, it can be messy so be sure to crack your lobster over newspaper. First step is to pull off the tail. You will probably notice green and red material inside. This is normal and is considered a delicacy to many. Green is called tamale and the red is the roe. Now you cup the tail in your hand with the bottom out. Crack in with your fingers towards the center and then spread the tail apart from the top. Pull out the delicious lobster tail meat from the shell. You can clean off the green or red material or not. Next pull of the claws and knuckles from the body. Pull out the small bottom claw from each claw. You can either use a cracker to get at the claw and knuckle meat or a knife to open up the shells. Be careful with this method though. A lobster fork or pick comes in handy too when trying to get at the meat. Not everyone likes fussing with the body or small leg meat but trust me, there is some tasty meat in these sections. For the body, pull the outer shell from the bottom section. Now that you have the bottom section, you can pull off all the small legs and either roll the meat out of the legs with a small rolling pin or just suck out the meat with your mouth. For the body, break it open down the center line either with your hands or a knife and use the lobster pick to pull out the wonderful meat around the shoulders of the body. If you have any lobster left over, place the whole lobster (wrapped in newspaper) upside down in the fridge. It is good for a couple of days.
How you eat your lobster is up to you. I like mine the old fashioned way with just plain butter but you can add garlic and other spices to dip your meat into. Traditionally a lobster supper is enjoyed with some potato salad, fresh rolls and maybe an ear of corn. There are many lobster recipes out there as well so if you want to get creative, that's good. So those are the basics on preparing, cooking and eating live Atlantic lobster. If you have any questions on how to cook lobster, please feel free to contact us. We'd be glad to help.
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