In seven easy steps learn how to cook lobster and then extract the meat
Cooking lobster is seemingly intimidating, to say the least – all of those claws and tentacles and beady eyeballs flailing about because it is alive, after all. Putting a living creature into a pot of boiling water isn’t for everyone, but I’m here to tell you that it really isn’t all that difficult to cook and extract that succulent, sweet meat. All you need is a rather large pot and a bit of gumption! So, shall we?
When you’re purchasing your crustaceans, smaller lobsters tend to be sweeter, so don’t think that bigger is always better. Contrary to what you may have heard, they don’t scream when they hit the pot.
2-4 lobsters, 675 g each
1. Fill a very large (16 Litre) stockpot three-quarters full with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil and add ½ cup of coarse or sea salt. You can either be brave and snip off the rubber bands while you hold it (this is if you don’t like boiling plastic) or leave them on and plunge lobsters head first into the boiling water.
2. Cook, uncovered for 12-14 minutes, from the time the lobsters go into the pot.
3. Remove lobster from pot with tongs. Plunge into sink filled with cold water. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes. If rubber bands are still on, snip them off.
Extracting the meat
Lobster can be pretty pokey, and it is a good idea to use plastic gloves while extracting the meat.
1. Twist tails from body. Twist claws with their knuckles from body.
2. Working with tail first, put it on a cutting board and press down on it hard with both hands. This will crack the shell. Using both hands, pull off tail fins. Bend tail backwards to crack off the end of the shell. Pull the meat out.
3. Separate knuckles from claws by grasping “thumb” and bending it back to snap it off. Remove knuckle meat with long, narrow fork.
4. Crack claw in half using a very sharp chef’s knife. Remove meat.
Once all meat is extracted, rinse under cool water, and proceed with the following recipes.
Save the shells for lobster bisque.
Photos by Renee Kohlman