When it comes to cooking lobster several methods are available, including steaming, boiling, broiling, and grilling. Other methods exist as well, however they can be more involved.
The method that you choose will probably reflect your personal eating habits as well as your ability to cook something that is still alive.
The squeamish factor plays a big role in a lot of lobster feeds, as many people find they can’t bring themselves to dump a living creature into a pot of boiling water.
However if you can stomach it, cooking lobster is one of the most rewarding culinary lessons you will ever receive.
Continue reading to learn basic methods on how to cook lobster with four different methods.
How to Cook Lobster with Boiling Water
This is perhaps the easiest method for cooking lobster, especially if you want to get things moving quickly without a lot of preparation.
Though this method allows you to avoid taking a knife to a live lobster, it will require you to use a pot large enough to cover the lobsters completely with water.
Bring the water to a complete or rolling boil. Add approximately one tablespoon of salt to each quart of water. Once the water is boiling, place the lobsters into the pot, claws first. Wait until the water comes back to a boil before you begin timing.
If the lobster is still alive and you just feel too guilty to dump it in the water as is, many chefs will “hypnotize” the lobster by rubbing the top of its head or its stomach, which will calm it down. Some argue that a frightened lobster will produce an adrenaline-like chemical that will affect the texture of the meat, but this has never been proven.
A one-pound lobster will take approximately five minutes to cook. Two pounds of lobster will take approximately 10 minutes to cook.
How to Cook Lobster with Steam
To steam lobster properly, you will again need appropriate equipment. This involves acquiring, either by borrowing or purchasing, a large, sturdy steamer.
The steamer should be as close to airtight as possible. A steamer insert placed inside a heavy lobster pot or stockpot that has a tightly-fitted lid is a good choice. Many people prefer to steam their lobster, as it all but ensures the final result will not be overcooked.
The kitchen stove is sufficient for this method, unless you are serving lobster to a party of eight or more. In that case, consider renting a propane burner designed for large stockpots to cook multiple lobsters or crabs.
If this is not possible, cook the lobster in small quantities to ensure proper cooking. The water in the pot must be boiling at a high rate. Be sure that you do not overcrowd the pot with too many lobsters since this will prevent all of them from cooking thoroughly.
Although it is a matter of personal preference, a few ingredients will add to the flavor of the lobster. If you are at a loss as to what to include, use this list of ingredients: one tablespoon of salt to one quart of water, one onion, one or two stalks of celery, two bay leaves, and approximately one teaspoon of peppercorns.
Chop the onion and celery in large pieces. Place everything into the pot and cover with approximately one and a half inches of water.
Others enjoy adding various herbs or lemon to their lobster for that extra kick of flavor. You can even use fresh seaweed with seawater to add more of an oceanic flavor that some lobster enthusiasts love. Most will agree that when it comes to steaming lobster, at the very least, salt is a necessity.
Bring this to a boil and place a steamer basket containing two lobsters into the pot. Close the lid tightly and boil for approximately 15 minutes. Check the pot occasionally to make sure that water remains in the pot. Add more if necessary, but do not add anything else.
After 15 minutes, check one of the lobster’s legs to see if it is thoroughly cooked. Steaming a lobster is one of the best ways to guarantee that you will not overcook the tender meat.
How to Grill a Lobster
Grilling lobster necessitates a little wielding of the knife since the first step to grilling a lobster involves killing it. It is essential to keep the rubber bands on the lobster’s claws unless you prefer to dodge them. Use a large, sturdy knife, preferably about 10 inches in length.
Place the lobster belly down on a large cutting board. The tail should curl toward the table. Flatten the lobster as best you can and grasp it with one hand at the point where the tail meets the lobster’s body. Take the knife, holding it properly, in the other hand.
Place the point approximately an inch and a half below
the eyes in the center of the lobster’s head. You can easily judge this by glancing at the location of the lobster’s eyes. Make sure that the knife’s blade is facing away from the lobster’s tail. Slice the lobster down the center of the head by bringing the blade between the eyes and slicing down to the cutting board. This is one of the quickest and most humane methods for killing a lobster.
Turn the lobster over onto its back. Using the same method as above, cut the lobster’s tail all the way down its length. Once you have the lobster tail cut, you need to remove the stomach and intestine, which are easily identified by their green coloring. Simply scrape them out.
You will also notice the liver and roe, which are a coral and yellowish-green color. These are edible and can remain, if you prefer.
Next, remove the claws from the lobster. Crack the claws, but keep the cracked shell on them. To have an easy clean up with this, place the claws inside a plastic bag of some sort before you actually crack them. Now, you are ready to grill.
The claws should be placed on the hottest part of the grill. Season the open half of the lobster with salted butter and pepper and grill for approximately three minutes. Flip the lobster over and continue to grill it for another four minutes. Flip the claws over at the same time.
Remove the lobster from the grill and enjoy. If at anytime during the grilling, flames flare up, remove the lobster away from them immediately and readjust your cooking time.
How to Broil a Lobster
Broiling a lobster is very similar to grilling it.
Prepare the lobster in the same manner as you would for grilling, beginning with the killing of the lobster. Place the lobster with the cut side down in a shallow pan about eight inches away from the broiling element. Broil for about three or four minutes until the shell has turned a bright red color. Remove the lobster just long enough to turn it over, apply butter and seasoning, and continue broiling for about three or four more minutes.
The suggested cooking times are approximations.
Broiler temperatures vary according to brands and models of ovens. Check one of your lobster’s legs to see if it is cooked thoroughly before removing it for eating. Additionally, lobster can be baked following these directions with the exception of turning the oven on to 425 degrees rather than the broiler setting.
Cooking Lobster Tails
Whole lobster is not the only way to prepare this ocean delicacy. Small lobster tails are available to purchase from most grocers. Ranging from 2 to 6 ounces, lobster tails are also known as “slipper lobster” and come from a variety of species related to the famous rock lobster.
The best part for cooking novices is that these slipper tails are available frozen and ready to cook.
To avoid a rubbery texture and to preserve the best of the flavor, thaw the tails in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours and avoid the temptation to use the defrost button on your microwave. While they can be cooked while frozen, melting off the ice beforehand will add to their tenderness.
Bake the tails at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, or broil them if you are further along in your cooking skills. Either way, be sure to brush them with butter or olive oil before cooking to ensure the best of flavoring. Serve them up with lemon juice or specialty sauce like hollandaise.
Unique Enjoyment of Lobster
Lobster can be considered travel-friendly cuisine, as many people enjoy it on camping trips or as part of an Oceanside picnic. Specialized lobster and crab boilers can be purchased to obtain that gourmet feast mobility.
Outside of ideal location, there are plenty of creative ways to enjoy lobster. On a cold winter evening, enjoy a bowl of lobster bisque. An excellent recipe can be found on RedLobster.com. Try it out and see if you can serve up an even better batch than the famous restaurant chain.
Lobster wraps, consisting of lobster meat, muenster cheese and tortillas are also a popular choice. Winning first prize at a recent Maine Lobster Festival, these are perfect as a luncheon treat.
Lastly, try your hand at a seafood casserole, large enough to feed an entire family, and brimming with exotic tastes of the ocean.
Once you decide to learn how to cook lobster, look for information in several places.
Watch televised cooking shows for helpful tips.
Conduct research on the Internet.
Talk to friends and acquaintances that have already experienced the pleasure of tackling this cooking lesson with success.
And who knows? Maybe you will become the next great chef to create a cooked lobster recipe that is yet to be tasted!