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Lobster Cooking Tips and Hints

Left or right-handed? Which lobster is sweeter?


live raw lobster cooked shellfish seafood

Live and Cooked Lobsters

© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Lobster Cooking Tips and Hints

• Do not remove the elastic bands from the claws until the lobster is dead. The pincers are quite strong (strong enough to break a finger!) and can give you a nasty, pinching cut.

• Boiled lobster: Allow 12 minutes cooking time for the first pound when boiling and an extra minute for every additional quarter pound. You can start the lobsters in cold water but do not begin timing until the water comes to a boil. Be sure the pot is large enough so that the lobster is completely submerged.

• When using frozen cooked lobster, do not defrost first. It will retain more flavor. This is especially true when used in casseroles. Add it last to hot dishes and sauces and heat until just warmed through so it doesn't toughen.

• When boiling lobsters, be sure to save the water from the pot. It will be richly flavored and make a good soup base.

• After boiling whole lobsters, pierce the head to let the boiling water drain out.

• Lobster connoisseurs claim the female lobster meat is more tender and often has the coral or eggs. The female can be identified by the limp, soft feelers that line both sides of the lobster body at the tail end. The male's feelers are rough, and the tail is also wider.

• Lobsters have a high proportion of glycogen, a polysaccharide that converts into glucose, a simple sugar. This is why the meat tastes so sweet. Lobster is the sweetest meat of the three most widely-eaten crustaceans followed by crab and then shrimp. The longer a lobster sits in storage, the more its sweetness diminishes.

• Lobsters naturally have one larger forward claw, causing them to be identified as left-handed or right-handed. The meat from the smaller claw is more tender and sweeter, thus considered more succulent. The larger claw has more meat which may not be quite as tender, but still a delightful and treasured taste sensation.

• If you need the tail to come out straight after cooking, run a wooden skewer lengthwise through the tail and meat and remove when done.

• Like shrimp, lobster will become tough when overcooked. When the meat turns opaque, it is done and should be immediately removed from heat.

More About Lobster:

Lobster Cooking Tips
Lobster Selection and Storage
Lobster Terminology
How to Humanely Kill a Lobster
Lobster Equivalents, Measures and Famous Recipes
Lobster History
Lobster Recipes


Lobster At Home
Fish & Shellfish
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
Big Book of Fish & Shellfish
More Cookbooks
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How to Boil and Clean a Lobster
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