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Old 12-10-2008, 03:35 AM   #1
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Tell me about cooking a live lobster

So my fiance and I were talking with his cousin and girlfriend about doing some lobsters at home. We are in MN, about as far from any ocean as you can get in the US. I've never cooked live lobster before, but it can't be that hard from the bit I've read so far.

So, for the complete lobster cooking newbie, what do I need, and where do I start? I know we'd need to have some live ones overnighted from Maine, and a big pot (how big?). What size lobsters are a good size? We don't have huge appetites. Any tips on how to store them, or other things from the New Englanders that I wouldn't know about? Is this a decent time of year for them; we'd probably try it sometime in the next month or so.



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Old 12-10-2008, 04:47 AM   #2
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DW usually makes live lobster for new years eve. Here is what I think I know.

Ww start with a 16 quqrt stockpot. I lovingly refer to it as "The death Camp". Fill about 2/3 or a little higher with water. Add salt to the water. We use sea salt, Kosher or just plain salt should work. How much is to taste. How salty do you want your lobster.

In New Jersey we have a good supply of live lobster. You do not state where you are from, so I will leave procurement to you.

One and a quarter to one and a half pound lobsters are said by many to be the best. Larger lobsters can be tough. I have also had two pounders that were great. Your call.

Keep the lobsters in the fridge till ready to cook. Do not keep them in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Whwn ready to go put them on the counter and look to make sure they are still live.

Put them in the boiling water, bring it back to a boil. Watch for a color change from the dark color they came to the orangeish cooked lobster color.

Cook 10 Minutes for the first pound and 3 minutes for each additional pound.

Serve with drawn butter.

Hope this helps.


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Old 12-10-2008, 04:51 AM   #3
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Lobster Cooking Times

For boiling or steaming a lobster
Lobster Weight Cooking Time
1 - 1 lb. 12 - 15 minutes
1 - 2 lb. 15 - 20 minutes
2-3 lb. 20 - 25 minutes
3-6 lb. 25 - 28 minutes
6-7 lb. 28 - 30 minutes

I prefer them around 1 pound.

more info here Lobsterhelp.com - How to Boil a Lobster
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:10 AM   #4
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The advice given above is good. I prefer steaming my lobsters over boiling them. There is no taste difference, but steaming is less messy. When you crack open a boiled claw you have a gush of hot water pouring out. When you do the same with a steamed lobster you have a trickle, if anything. For steaming, but put a few inches of water in your pot and bring to a boil. If you have some clean river rocks or something else to elevate the lobsters off the bottom of the pot (steamer basket or something) then use that. Some people steam with beer or wine or other flavors, but I do not see the need. I use use straight water. Ocean water is great to use, but since you are not near the ocean just use tap water.

Drawn butter is great to serve with this lobster, but lately I have actually enjoyed using just melted butter.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:32 AM   #5
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oh, that gush of lobster water is great if you serve the monsters over a plate of potatoes. the spuds soak it up, giving you even more lobster deliciousness.

i prefer a 2 to 2 1/4 lb. lobster per person, or you could serve two 1 to 1 1/4 lb. lobsters per person. steamed or boiled is the best way, imo. unless you're very experienced with it, grilling or broiling dries them out.

after boiling or steaming, let it cool for a few minutes, then seperate the lobster by pulling off the claws/arms at the joint where it joins the carapace (large upper body section). next, grab the tail firmly in one hand, the carapace in the other and twist the tail away from the body.

seperate the claws from the arms, then crack the claws open with a mallet or the back of a heavy knife. seperate each arm section, and dig or push out the meat.

next, pull off the tail fins, and pull back on the side edges of the tail to crack it open, and push out the meat from the tail end out to the body opening. if it's too thick of a shell, use a shears to cut the underside of the tail open, then push out the meat.

and don't forget to pull of all of those little leglets! discard the section where it joined the body. then, using a rolling pin, squeeze out the meat by rolling it out.

man, am i hungry for lobster...
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:39 AM   #6
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Heck, I'm getting hungry for lobster, and it's 8:40 am when I'm posting this!
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:41 AM   #7
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Nothing wrong with lobster for breakfast!
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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Lobsters under 1 1/4 pounds are called "chickens."

I prefer them a bit larger -- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. After all, they are a treat.
(side note: lobsters are very cheap here these days. cheaper than steak)

Anyway, I just put a huge pot of water salted with a heavy hand (should taste like seawater) on to boil and then drop them in headfist. Put them in the freezer for 10 minutes beforehand if you want them calm, as sometimes they can fuss and that can be upsetting.
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:59 PM   #9
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I have bought them from here as presents and the folks have been very happy with them and the accompaniments (cheese cake, soups....). I'm pretty sure directions come with them. I know when someone sent me lobsters before I got directions on how to boil them, which basically amounted to sticking them in the boiling pot head first... Cooking lobsters is easier than boiling potatoes IMO (lol). And while I love lobster.... I really love lobster tail. Just cut it down the length of the hard shell and into the meat, spread it open, and stick it under the broiler, basting with lemon butter until done. Whole lobster is cool, but I'd rather have a nice 14 oz or bigger tail.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jennyemma
Lobsters under 1 1/4 pounds are called "chickens."
Lobsters in the 1-3 oz size are called "Crawfish"

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