FROM THE WOOD STOVE TO YOUR STOVE
Bring a Bit of Maine to Your Kitchen!
Fill a pot large enough to hold the number lobsters you are cooking with about 2 inches of water salted. (if it is available use sea water & omit the salt)
Bring to a boil.
Add Lobster to the pot - It's OK lobsters have neither a sophisticated nervous system nor a brain and are unable to feel pain. If it's available, cover lobsters with a layer of seaweed.
Cover and return to a boil. Don't worry the hissing you hear is not the lobster, it is only steam escaping the shell.
Start timing when the filled pot has returned to a full boil. Base your timing on the size of one lobster not the weight of the lobsters combined.
Lobster Steaming Times (Hard Shell Weight)
1 pound 8-10 minutes
1-1/4 pounds 10-12 minutes
1-1/2 pounds 12-14 minutes
1-3/4 pounds 15-17 minutes
2 pounds 16-18 minutes
2-1/2 pounds 18-20 minutes
*Reduce time for soft shell lobster.
Halfway through cooking time rearrange the lobsters to ensure even cooking. Lobster meat will be white when fully cooked.
NNOW LET'S EAT!
What You Need
- Lobster pick (If you don't have one the narrow pincer of the smaller lobster claw works fine), Nutcracker, Empty bowl for discarded shells, Bib (optional), Extra napkins (a must!)
Follow These Steps
- Start here: The tail
This part of the lobster is the easiest to handle and is usually the meatiest. Grab the body in one hand and the tail in the other, and twist in opposite directions. The tail will break off. Roll the tail onto its side on the table, and push down with both hands until the shell cracks. This will loosen the meat so that it comes out in one neat chunk. Break off the flippers at the end. Then insert your thumb into the flipper end of the tail, pushing the meat out the other end. Peel off the dark vein that runs through the tail and discard it.
- The claws
Using your hands, twist off one claw at the closest knuckle joint. (Be careful with those serrated edges and spikes.) Next, rip off the “thumb” of the claw (the slimmer half of the pincer), and remove the meat inside it with a pick. Put the rest of the claw into a nutcracker on its flat side, and crack at the widest point. Pull out the meat with your fingers; it should come out in one piece.
- The knuckles
These are the sections between the claws and the body. (There are four total.) You can pull off a knuckle with your hands and break it open with the nutcracker. Push the meat out of the shell with a pick.
- The legs
Yank off all eight legs with your fingers, then suck the meat from each leg, one by one.
- Save for last: The body
This takes the most work and makes the most mess. (If your lobster is smaller than 11⁄2 pounds, don’t bother, because you won’t find much meat.) Hold the body steady near the tail end as you pry the shell off the top of the lobster with your other hand, revealing the rib cage. Use the pick to push the meat away from the ribs. For the adventurous: You’ll spot a soft green paste, called tomalley, which is the liver. It’s a salty and creamy delicacy that you can eat plain or spread on crostini. Female lobsters contain red or orange eggs that are edible.