Lobsters are a delicious seafood that are highly sought after because of their sweet and succulent taste. Lobsters have a long history in culinary circles, with their mild and slightly sweet flavor making them a great seafood option for many different dishes. Some of the most popular dishes made with lobster include Lobster Thermidor, Lobster Newberg, and Lobster Bisque. In this article, we will explore the best way to cook lobster and how to get the most out of your effort.
When it comes to cooking lobster, you need to know what type of lobster you want to use. Lobsters can range from the large New England lobster to spiny rock lobster or warm-water lobster. All of these are great for cooking, but it is important to understand which one will work best for the dish you want to create.
It is important to remember that all lobsters can be cooked successfully either in boiling water, steamed, grilled, or broiled. There are different methods of cooking lobster, so it is important to decide on the best approach before you start. Whether you are using fresh, frozen, canned, or frozen with the shell on, there is sure to be an approach that fits your cooking needs.
Preparing Lobster for Cooking
Lobster can be intimidating for first-time cooks. It's important to properly prepare the lobster for cooking to ensure that you get the best results. Here are some tips for prepping your lobster:
- Purchase fresh lobster, if possible. Lobster should be alive and active when purchased. If the lobster is still alive, place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it.
- With lobster, size matters. If using small lobsters, you can cook them whole. If using large lobsters, cut them lengthwise into halves, then break them down into pieces for easier cooking.
- To make the lobster easier to handle and help the flavors of the seasonings adhere to the shell, use a needle or sharp knife to score the underside of the lobster, making 2 or 3 shallow incisions. Make sure to cut only the outer shell — not the meat.
- Brush or rub the lobster generously with butter, olive oil, or a mixture of the two. This will help the lobster brown evenly and help to season the meat.
By following these simple steps, you'll be off to a great start when cooking your lobster.
Best Cooking Methods for Lobster
When cooked correctly, lobster can make for an exquisite culinary experience. Here are a few preferred cooking methods for lobster that will ensure the tastiest outcome.
One of the best ways to cook lobster is by steaming it. Once the water has reached a rapid boil, place the lobsters in the pot and cover with a lid. Allow the lobsters to cook for 15-20 minutes or until a nice orange-red hue shines through. You'll know the lobsters are done when their tail and antennae curl. For additional flavor, consider adding garlic, lemon juice, white wine or butter to the steaming water.
Similar to steaming, boiling lobster is another great way to guarantee a delicious lobster dinner. Place the lobsters in a large stockpot and cover with a generous amount of salted water. Bring the pot to a rapid boil, reduce the heat and allow the lobsters to simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the shells turn bright red. As an added bonus, the cooking water can then be used to create a flavorful stock.
Another popular way to cook a lobster is by grilling it. Start by making sure your lobster is split in half. Place the lobster halves on the grill, shell side down, and cook over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes. For added flavor, brush the meat with melted butter. Once the meat turns opaque and the shells are lightly charred, your grilled lobster is ready to enjoy.
Popular Lobster Recipes
When it comes to enjoying lobster there are many recipes to choose from. Here are some of the most popular recipes that are sure to please everyone in your household.
One of the more traditional recipes for lobster is to boil them. Boiled lobster is super easy to make and can be extremely delicious. Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, add the whole, live lobster and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with drawn butter and lemon wedges.
Grilling a lobster is another popular way to enjoy this seafood delicacy. Start by brushing melted butter over the trimmings and season with garlic, thyme and black pepper. Place the lobster on a hot grill -- shell side down and cook for five minutes. Flip and continue to cook for an additional five minutes. Enjoy with butter on the side!
Baked Stuffed Lobster
For those looking for a more gourmet style of cooking, try the recipe for baked stuffed lobster. Mix two cups of cooked, finely chopped seafood with one cup of melted butter, a half cup of mayonnaise, a quarter cup of lemon juice, two tablespoons of chopped green onions, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stuff the lobster with the seafood mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Serve with melted butter!
Benefits of Eating Lobster
Eating lobster can provide numerous health benefits. As an important source of lean protein, lobster is an excellent food choice for those looking to improve their overall nutrition. Lobster is low in calories, carbohydrates and fat, and high in Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and other minerals. Eating lobster can offer many nutritional benefits, such as improved heart and cognitive function, robust immune system and better sleep.
The Omega-3’s found in lobster can help reduce inflammation, which can alleviate pain caused by conditions such as joint stiffness, arthritis, headaches and certain muscle aches.
Improves Heart Health
Eating lobster can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and hypertension due to its high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids help lower high blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
Boosts Immune System
Zinc, found in lobster, is essential for boosting the immune system. It can help to fight off illnesses and infections, while also stimulating the cells that help to maintain and repair the body’s tissues.
Sharpens Cognitive Function
The essential minerals and vitamins that are found in lobster can help to improve cognitive function. Especially zinc, which plays an important role in brain development and improving concentration.
Keeps You Rested and Refreshed
The high levels of protein in lobster can help your body create serotonin and melatonin, both of which help the body relax and promote the ability to sleep better.
Tips for Selecting Fresh Lobster
When selecting a lobster for your meal, you want to make sure it is of the freshest quality. Here are some tips for picking a perfect lobster for the best-tasting experience:
- Choose a lobster that is alive. If it is not moving or rustling around in the tank, it has probably been pre-cooked and is not of prime quality.
- Check for an even, bright red coloration on the lobster’s shell. This indicates freshness.
- Look for signs of obvious bruising, missing appendages, and opaque coloring on the shell. These indicate the lobster is no longer fresh.
- The claws should remain slightly open. If they are tightly shut, it indicates the lobster did not travel well, and may no longer be of optimal quality.
- If possible, inspect the store's tanks to check the water temperature. Lobsters kept in cold water will keep fresher for longer.
By following these tips, you can ensure the lobster you select is of the highest possible quality, maximizing the flavour and tenderness of your meal.
Cooking lobster can be a rewarding experience that yields a delicious and unique meal. Whichever method you choose, it's important to select top-quality, live lobsters to get the best flavor and texture. When prepping, make sure to kill the lobster humanely, then rinse, clean and season it. Finally, cook your lobster according to your preferred method- whether you plan to grill, steam, or boil- and follow the instructions closely. In no time, you will have cooked a flavorful lobster dish guaranteed to be a hit.