Boiling is one of the most common methods of cooking lobster. It is literally as easy as boiling a pot of water. If you can do this, you can cook a lobster. You may want to salt the water so the lobster retains its ocean seasoning. You can also add wine, herbs, or other seasonings to the water if you like to add more flavor. Thyme and bay leaves make a nice seasoning.
Start with a live lobster. While some people balk at this, dead lobsters may not cook properly, especially if they have been dead for awhile. Bring the water up to a rolling boil. Snip the rubber bands off the lobster’s claws. Pick up the lobster by grabbing the base of the tail just behind the body. The lobster will not be able to pinch you from this angle. Quickly plunge the lobster head first into the boiling water, being careful not to burn yourself.
This process kills the lobster very quickly. Place a lid on the pot and let the lobster boil for 15 minutes (for a 1-1-¼ pound lobster). Larger lobsters will take longer to cook. See our handy chart below. The shell will be a bright red and the tails will be curled under when they are done cooking.
If you want to make certain the lobster is fully cooked, pull gently on an antenna or small leg. If fully cooked, they should detach easily. When you cut the lobster open, the meat will be white and opaque. If it is still translucent, it is not fully cooked.
Inside the body cavity, you will find a substance called tomalley. When the lobster is cooked, it should be a greenish-yellow color. Female lobsters may have roe inside. When cooked, it is firm and bright orange-red. If undercooked, it is greenish-black with an oily, tar-like consistency. If you use a thermometer, the inside temperature of a fully cooked lobster should be 180 degrees F.
How Long to Boil Lobster
How to Boil Lobster Tails
Learning how to boil lobster tails is a great way to impress a date. They will love that you went to so much trouble to make a special dinner for them. Knowing how to cook lobster is a great feather in your cap. While it looks intimidating, it really is one of the easiest varieties of seafood to cook.
While the lobster boils, you can make clarified butter for dipping. Just melt the butter in a pan over medium-low heat. It will melt faster and more evenly if you cut it into small chunks. Skim off the foamy top layer. Pour off the clear, yellow middle layer to use with your lobsters. Discard the cloudy milk solids at the bottom. You can even add a little lemon zest to the butter when you serve it with the lobster. Three sticks of butter will give you 1-1/4 cups of clarified butter.
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