There are a few different ways to prepare live lobster; here's ours.

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How to Cook and Clean Lobster

How to Cook and Clean Lobster

Our love of crustaceans knows no bounds, apparently, so it’s time to talk about lobster. A few years ago, we detailed how to cook and clean live crab and today I’m popping in to tell you that cooking lobster at home is easy, too. Although eating crab and lobster may not necessarily feel adventurous, cooking these guys can be pretty intimidating. I mean, you’re cooking a live thing that has claws. Which is why whenever we attempt this, I always have Matt do the cooking. Ha! But really. Let’s break it down. Sidenote: no more brown rental apartment kitchen!

There are a few different ways to prepare live lobster and ours is arguably the most humane (aside from not eating them, but alas, this is not a vegetarian site…). Here’s what you need to know.

How to Cook and Clean Lobster

How to cook lobster

1. Start with one live lobster (around 2 – 2 1/2 pounds). Arm yourself with a pair of tongs.
2. Place the lobster in the freezer for about fifteen minutes (this is the first humane part: doing this numbs the lobster).
2. Once the lobster is good and chilled, place him upside down on a large cutting board and then place the tip of a super sharp knife between his hind legs (the ones at the very back of his body). With a sharp thrust of the knife, cut through his body. This is the second humane part, even if doesn’t sound like it!
3. Now, prep your largest stock pot: fill it with about 1 inch of salted water. Bring the water to a boil, then place the lobster in the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, prep an ice bath: fill a large bowl with ice and place it in your sink.
4. Use your tongs to remove the lobster from the pot and submerge him in the ice bath for a few minutes.

How to Cook and Clean Lobster

How to clean lobster

1. Hold the lobster with both hands with one hand on the tail and the other on the body. Twist to separate the tail from the lobster body. Twist again to remove the claws from the body. You can now discard the rest of the carcass.
2. Getting the meat out from the shells should be relatively easy; use a fork to pierce the meat in the tail, then twist slowly to remove it from the shell so it stays in one piece.
3. Twist the claws to separate them from the lobster legs then use a claw cracker to crack the claws and meat and gently remove the meat.
4. Rinse the meat under cold water and proceed with your recipe.
How to Cook and Clean Lobster

Recipes

The first thing you may think of making using your lobster meat may be lobster rolls. Good choice! If you’re a Pairings Box subscriber, you’ll find our recipe in our recipe index. If not, here are a few that you can try:

Risotto
Pasta
Bisque

If cooking whole lobster is just not your thing, no problem. You can still pick up some tails and prep them easily and quickly. Here’s a recipe worth trying.

Print this recipe

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Ha! Having Matt do the cooking on lobster night sounds like the best idea. I’ll subtly print this out and leave it lying around for my husband:)

  • Good plan! Hope you and that sweet babe are doing well! x

  • ellcoolj

    I have been a fan of the grilled lobster in recent years. A quick dunk in the boiling water (1 min)…pull it out and slice open length wise. Dress with ginger garlic sauce, then grill shell down 8-10 min… YUMMMMMMMMM…. and don’t discard the body. There is great meat by the “ribs”

  • That sounds amazing!

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