How do I choose the freshest live lobster?
The best quality live lobster should always respond when picked up or handled. Typical responses of strong and healthy lobsters include lifting of their claws, moving legs and a tail that is tightly curled, flicks or is extended out and arched upwards. Lobsters exhibiting minimal movement or limp limbs and tail should not be purchased.
How do I handle live lobster?
Live lobster should always be handled with care. Pick the lobster up by its body, being sure to avoid contact with the claws. If you put force on the claws, the lobster may release them as an escape response. Also, a lobster can close their crusher claws with a force ranging from 27 to 58 pounds. Elastic bands are usually kept on the claws to prevent accidents.
How do I store live lobster?
Lobster should always be kept wet and cold in your refrigerator until cooking time. Do not submerge lobster in fresh water or ice; simply place them in a large open container in your refrigerator and cover them with a damp cloth/paper towel.
How many days can I keep live lobster?
If lobster is kept cool and damp in the refrigerator and you have followed proper storage instructions, they can typically be kept for a maximum of two days (including transit time).
How long can I keep cooked lobster?
Cooked lobster in the shell can be kept for up to two days in your refrigerator in a covered container. Cooked lobster meat shucked from the shell can be refrigerated for two to three days in a covered container.
Can live lobster be frozen?
Live lobster should not be frozen; however, cooked and shucked meat and cooked, shell-on lobster can be properly frozen quite easily. Cooked lobster meat (shucked or shell-on) can be frozen while submerged in a prepared brine solution in a container or freezer bag (¼ cup salt with 1 liter of fresh water).
How do I defrost frozen lobster?
Frozen lobster can be defrosted in your refrigerator for 15-18 hours (recommended method) or by placing it in a sealed plastic bag under cold running water for quick defrost.
What is the best way to cook lobster?
Traditionally, lobsters are prepared by immersing them in a pot of salted water heated to a rolling boil. This cooking method offers the advantage of retaining the delicate texture and flavor of the product.
Traditional Boiled Cooking Method:
Pour at least 1/2 gallon (2 liters) of water per pound of lobster in a large pot. Mix in 1/2 cup of sea salt per gallon (2 tbsp of sea salt per liter) of water and bring to a rolling boil. Carefully drop the lobsters headfirst into the rapidly boiling water, one at a time. Return the water to a boil and start timing. To avoid overcooking, only similarly-sized lobsters should be cooked together. If there are various sizes in the pot, base the cooking time on the largest lobster to ensure that it is cooked (see Cooking Guide).
Steamed Cooking Method:
Pour 2 inches (5 cm) of water in a large, heavy bottom pot. Place on high heat until it reaches a boil. Carefully drop the lobsters headfirst into the boiling water, one at a time. Cover the pot and start timing (see Cooking Guide). Check the water after five minutes to ensure there is enough in the pot so it does not burn dry. Take care when removing the lid as there will be a lot of hot steam inside. Remember to open the lid away from you.
Broiled Cooking Method:
Split a pre-cooked lobster in half lengthwise and crack the claws. Remove and discard the vein running down the tail and the small sac located behind the eyes. Brush the lobster with melted butter or basting sauce to keep the meat moist and tender. Place on a broiler pan and broil, shell side down for three to four minutes, or just until the lobster is heated through (see Cooking Guide). Be careful not to overcook.
Grilled Cooking Method:
Split a cooked lobster in half lengthwise. Crack the claws. Remove and discard the vein running down the tail and the small sac located behind the eyes. Brush the lobster with melted butter or basting sauce to keep the meat moist and tender. Place directly on the grill, shell side down, for 2-3 minutes, or just until the lobster is heated through.
Be careful not to overcook.
To re-heat cooked lobster, simply steam in 1” of
boiling water, in a heavy bottom, covered pot for 3
minutes for a 1.25 pound lobster (increase time by 30
seconds per pound over 1.25 pounds). To re-heat by
boiling, place lobsters into boiling water for 3 minutes
for a 1.25 pound lobster (increase time by 30 seconds per
pound over 1.25 pounds). For Grilling or Broiling, see
Cooking Guide below.
Ideally you should use a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest portion of the body by piercing the thermometer tip through the membrane on the back between the body and tail of the lobster. A properly cooked lobster should reach 80ºC (180ºF).
Why do lobsters turn red when cooked?
A lobster’s shell is naturally red in color, which is caused by a carotenoid pigment, similar to that which is found in carrots. Other pigments on the surface of the shell mask the underlying red color. Cooking destroys the surface pigment’s protein bonds, allowing the underlying carotenoid pigment of the shell to show through. The lobster then turns its natural color, which is red. The change in color usually occurs rapidly since the pigment bonds begin to break down as soon as the lobster is immersed in boiling water.
What is the best way to eat a lobster?
Grasp the body and twist off the large front legs and claws. Separate the claw from the knuckle.
Break the hinged part off the claw and remove the meat with a fork or pick. Crack the claw with lobster crackers. Be careful to crack the shell only and not damage the meat inside. Knuckle meat can be removed with a fork.
Twist the tail away from the body.
Cut the tail on both sides or grasp it tightly and squeeze until it cracks. Snap off the tail flippers.
Push out the meat in one piece. Pull back the flap on the upper side of the tail piece to expose the vein. Remove and discard the vein.
Unhinge the back from the body and remove the edible green tomalley.
Open the main lobster body section by cracking it apart. The delicious meat in this section can be dug out with a fork or pick. Discard the dark sac located between the eyes (since this is not edible). Twist the walking legs from the body. Clench between teeth and nibble meat from legs. The same method can be used to extract meat from tail flippers.
What is the green substance found inside a cooked lobster?
This is called the tomalley and it functions similarly to the liver and pancreas in the lobster. The tomalley is edible and some people consider it to be a delicacy since it is very high in flavorful lipids.
What is the red/coral substance found along the inside of the lobster tail?
This is called lobster roe or eggs and is only present in females. Lobster roe is edible and some people consider it to be a delicacy. Uncooked lobster roe is dark green, only turning red when cooked, just like the shell.
What causes some lobsters to be blue?
Blue lobsters are caused by genetic differences in the pigments that make up the shell surface color. Rather than containing all of the pigments that combine to make a green-brown color, the shell of a blue lobster contains only a blue pigment. Genetic differences can also cause other strange colorings, such as light orange and patterns including yellow spots.
How long can I travel with live lobster?
When handled properly and stored in a cool and damp environment, live lobster can typically live out of water for up to approximately three days. Lobsters have specialized gills, allowing them to extract oxygen from air, as well as from water. Their gills must be damp and cool in order for them to survive out of water for a prolonged period of time.
When travelling and purchasing lobster from our Halifax Stanfield International Airport retail location, please consult with our onsite retail associates for travel packaging recommendations.
Is it safe to eat the bag of frozen peas my lobster was packed with?
We do not recommend consuming the bag of frozen peas used to protect your lobster during shipping. During transit, the lobster may have punctured the bag of peas, resulting in cross-contamination.