03 Aug How to Cook a Lobster
Here is a basic yet surefire way to cook lobster meat for later use in any recipe. We prefer steaming to boiling to prevent the meat from getting mushy. The key is using a large enough pot to comfortably fit all the lobsters you’re cooking.
Many chefs prefer to put them out of their misery first by piercing through the head, and some claim that this relaxes the meat so it stays tender when cooked (we’re not so sure about this). You may not wish to do this.
Fill the bottom of your lobster pot with an inch or so of water, and add a tablespoon of salt. It should taste like seawater. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Add your lobsters and cover. It should take about 15 minutes to steam an average 1 ½-pound lobster. You’ll know the lobsters are done when they turn a bright red. For 2-pound lobsters, cook for 20 minutes, and for 2 ½-pound lobsters, cook for 25 minutes. You may be tempted to peek partway through, but it’s best to keep the lid on to avoid letting the steam (or the lobster) escape. Sometimes people claim that the faint squeaky noises that emanate from the pot are the screams of the lobsters, but we assure you this is not the case. It’s the steam escaping from the space between the shell and the meat.
If you can’t resist saving the lobster for later use, serve with melted butter, lemon wedges, a bib, and dig in. Otherwise, if you’re cooking the lobster meat to use in another recipe, immediately plunge into a prepared ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice water) to stop the cooking and chill the meat. When fully cooled, crack the shell open and remove the meat. Reserve refrigerated in a closed container for use within a day or so. You can save the shells for use in a lobster or seafood stock. Place the drained shells in a plastic freezer bag, squeeze out any air, and freeze until ready to use.