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Lobster Cooking Tips

Boiling Lobster

Although most Cajuns rush to select the largest ingredients they can find when cooking, I suggest they take a step in reverse when choosing a live lobster. The smaller the lobster, the sweeter and more tender the meat. Ideally, a 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound lobster is always best when boiling, steaming or grilling.

Boiling Lobster:

When boiling lobsters, use a kettle large enough to hold 1 or 2 lobsters at a time allowing 3-quarts of water per lobster. You may wish to add 1 tbsp of salt per quart. When water comes to a rolling boil, submerge live lobsters one at a time. Return water to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and boil 8 to 10 minutes for 1- to 1-1/4 pound lobsters, or 12 to 14 minutes for 1 1/2-pound lobsters. The tails should begin to float toward the surface once the lobsters are cooked.

Steaming Lobster:

If you wish to steam a lobster it is best done in a large stainless steel pasta pot using the steaming insert. Place approximately 2 inches of water in the bottom of the stockpot and bring to a rolling boil. Place 2 or more lobsters in the pot, cover and steam 8 to 10 minutes for a 1- to 1 1/4-pound lobster and 12 to 14 minutes for a 1 1/2-pound lobster.

Grilling or Broiling Lobster:

If you prefer to grill or broil your lobster, I suggest submerging the lobster for 2 minutes into a pot of boiling water. Remove and allow the lobster to cool slightly. Turn the lobster over on its back and, using a sharp chef's knife, split it open from head to tail. Brush the tail meat lightly with oil or butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the lobster on a large cookie sheet, meat side down and cook 5 minutes. Turn over onto the shell and cook 5 additional minutes, or until meat is firm and white. Do not overcook.

Cooking Instructions How do I cook this? Boiling Bring a large pot filled with water (salt is optional) deep enough to submerge the lobster by about 3 inches to a strong boil. Feel free to add garlic cloves, white wine or lemon to the water. Add the lobsters head first to the boiling water. Wait for the water to begin boiling again, then cook for 10 minutes per pound, for the first pound. Add 3 minutes per pound for each pound thereafter. For example, a 2-pound lobster should boil for l3 minutes and a 1.5 pound lobster should boil for 11 minutes. Drain and serve with butter and your favorite side dish - Corn, potatoes, salad or coleslaw are always tasty. Steaming Fill a large pot with about 2 - 3 inches of salt water and bring to a boil. Feel free to use a steaming rack to place the lobsters on or just add directly to the pot. Cover and follow steps 2 - 5 above. Fresh Cooked Whole Maine Lobster Icebrand "Steam 'N Net" Lobster is caught in the pure clean waters off the rugged coast of Maine. They are steamed live in the traditional way in our unique "Steam 'N Net" bags, and shipped directly to your doorstep. They can be prepared two ways: Steam lobsters for approximately 2-3 minutes -or- Lobsters can be baked or broiled for approximately 2 minutes at 450 degrees.


Basic Lobster Cooking by Sidney Carlisle

Selecting and Cooking Lobsters Finding the perfect entrée for a special holiday gathering can be a chore. Turkey, ham or even goose may be required for a family meal, but when planning a menu for guests most of us want to serve something unique. Lobster fits the bill nicely since almost everyone likes it and not everyone will attempt to prepare it at home. Lobsters are easy to cook, a fact not often shared among friends. While they may be broiled or grilled, they are also delicious when just boiled or steamed. Boiling is probably the simplest method, as long as a large stockpot is available, and the cooked lobsters need only melted butter as an accompaniment. Acquiring decent lobsters may be a challenge, but even that is manageable if you know where to look. Unless you live on the east coast of the U.S., live lobsters are available three ways: from a fishmonger, from a supermarket tank or from an air freight purveyor. Fishmongers are few and far between in Texas, leaving most of us to choose from the tank or splurge on the more expensive freighted lobsters. Lobsters shipped by air arrive at their destination the day after they're caught and are guaranteed to be fresh and lively. Supermarket lobsters can actually exist for weeks in a store's closed system tank, an ordeal that can leave them sluggish. They lose weight if held for long and the claw meat begins to shrink, so it's important to choose carefully to get a healthy lobster. Many lobster fans believe there's a big difference in the taste and that shipped lobsters are well worth the price. Timing can be important when ordering lobsters by air. Although the lobsters are carefully packaged in special containers for air travel, they can survive for only about 36 hours. Shippers recommend that the lobsters be cooked and served on the day they arrive. If that's not possible, the lobsters should be partially cooked and then refrigerated until needed. They will need to be dropped back into boiling water to finish cooking. While instructions may differ from shipper to shipper, live lobsters packs should contain complete directions for their preparation. Lobster tails are also popular with savvy cooks. Tails may be easier to obtain than fresh lobsters since upscale seafood markets either keep them in stock or have a source for special orders. They are almost always frozen and are available in sizes ranging from 3 to 24 ounces. Once thawed, they may be served grilled or boiled. The meat from the tails may also be used in recipes specifying cooked lobster meat. Whether you opt for a box of live lobsters or are dealing with tails, the following should guide you through the cooking process. And for great grilled lobster, try the recipes shared by Dan Zawacki. He's known in culinary circles as Dan the Lobster Man and as the ultimate lobster cook. Enjoy! To Boil Lobster Use a pot big enough to hold 6 quarts of water and two lobsters at a time. Bring the water to a boil. Drop the lobsters in headfirst and cover the pot. Once the water returns to a boil, cook 10 minutes for the first pound of lobster and 3 minutes for each additional pound. (If the lobsters weigh 1-1/2 pounds each, they will be done in about 12 minutes. Base the time on the weight of one lobster, not the total weight.) Remove the cooked lobsters from the pot and drain before serving. To Steam Lobster Place a rack in the bottom of a pot that will hold the lobsters without crowding. Add two inches of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Add the lobsters and cover the pot. Weight down the lid so the steam doesn't escape. Once the water returns to a boil, cook about 14 minutes for 1 pound lobsters, adding 2 minutes per 1/4 pound on lobsters heavier than 1 pound. Base the time on the weight of one lobster, not the total weight. To Cook Lobster Tails Thaw the tails in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cold water. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the lobster tails and bring the water back to a boil. Cook 7 minutes for 5-ounce tails, 7-1/2 minutes for 6-ounce, and about 8 minutes if the tails weigh 8 ounces.

Maine Lobster on the Grill by Dan Zawacki

For two grilled lobsters, fill a stockpot with enough water cover the lobsters. Bring the water to a boil and plunge the lobsters headfirst into the water. Cover the pot. When the water returns to a boil, cook for 6 minutes. Turn the lobsters on their backs, shell side down. Use a sharp knife to cut through the middle of the soft shell, but don't cut through the back shell. Pour melted butter and lemon right onto the meat. Crack the claws and pour additional melted butter and lemon on the claw meat. Grill the lobsters over medium-high heat with the shell side down for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Grilled Lobster Tails by Dan Zawacki

Thaw the desired number of lobster tails. Insert a metal skewer into each tail lengthwise to keep it from curling. Drop the tails into a large pot of boiling water and set a timer for exactly 4 minutes. Remove from the water and lay the tails on their backs. Use a sharp knife to cut the soft top shell lengthwise down the middle without cutting through the back shell. Pour melted butter and lemon onto the meat. Grill, shell side down, over medium-high heat about 7 minutes for 6-ounce tails and 8 minutes for 8-ounce tails.

Live Lobsters Generally speaking, the firmer the lobster's shell, the longerit will live out of water. Hard shell lobsters generally liveabout 24-36 hours out of water; Soft shells can live anywherefrom 3-15 hours out of water. If your lobsters were shipped toyou, assume that they were taken out of the water at about noonthe preceding day, so they should be cooked the night you receivethem. Steam the lobsters by bringing 2-4" of lightly saltedwater to a rapid boil in a large pot. Place the lobsters in thewater for the amount of time given below.

1/2 cooked lobsters Harbor Fish will cook your lobsters for you if you areplanning to hold the lobsters longer than usual before eatingthem or in order to lessen the risk of lobster death during shipping.To warm fully cooked lobsters, steam them for just a few minutes.For half-cooked lobster cooking times, see the below table.

Cooking Times Size HardShell SoftShell 1/2 cooked HS 1/2 cooked SS 1 to 11/8 lb. 15-17 minutes 9-11 minutes 6-8 minutes 3-5 minutes 11/4 lb. 18-20 minutes 12-15 minutes 8-10 minutes 5-7 minutes 11/2 lb. 22-25 minutes 15-18 minutes 10-12 minutes 7-9 minutes 2 to 21/2 lb. 25-28 minutes 18-20 minutes 12-14 minutes 9-11 minutes

After Cooking Once lobsters are cooked, they will not spoil for one to twodays as long as they are kept cold. Please eat them withinthat amount of time. A spoiled cooked lobster smells of ammonia. To freeze lobster, first cook the lobster and pick the meat.Place the meat in a freezer bag and add milk (about 1 teaspoonmilk to one half pound lobstermeat), then place the bag in thefreezer. The milk helps to lock in the flavor of the meat andlock out "freezer taste".

Nutritional Information

cholesterol(mg) calories saturated fat(g) Lobster 72 98 0.1 Skinless Chicken 85 173 1.3 Skinless Turkey 86 140 0.4 Eggs (2) 550 158 3.4 Lobster is very high in amino acids which are the buildingblocks of protein. They are high in potassium and magnesium, vitaminsA, B12, B6, B3, and B2, calcium, zinc, and iron. Lobster alsocontains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to decrease therisk of heart disease.