How to cook lobster? Which way is better – boil, grill, bake or broil? We shall give you the best
Lobsters are among the most delicious inhabitants of the oceans and are recognized worldwide as a delicacy, therefore they are quite expensive and not an everyday pleasure. That is why not everyone knows how to cook lobster. Unlike shrimps, crabs or ordinary crayfish, lobsters are the largest of the crustaceans. This is an exquisite meat, for knowledgeable gourmet, with a unique taste. There are many different ways of cooking, but even if it is eventually baked or fried, it is usually first cooked. It is understandable that when you get a lobster in your hands you wouldn’t want to spoil it! Well, follow our advice and you will succeed!
How to cook lobster – cooking time rules
One of the simplest ways to cook a lobster is to boil it. Once it is boiled you can use the meat in numerous dishes – salads, soufflé, soups, parfait, mousses, tartlets, soup, etc. or simply serve it with some sauce. The most important factor when boiling, is time. How long do you need to boil it? Many people rely on the vivid red color as an indication but large lobsters may turn red before they are cooked, so it is better to rely on time. Keep in mind that if you overcook the lobster, the meat will be rubbery but eating an under-cooked meat is not good.
Once the cooking time has been reached, remove the lobster from the pot with some sturdy tongs and put them on a plate to drain until they’re cool enough to serve. Here is the approximate time for boiling:
- 1lb (0,45 -0,60 kg) – 12 – 15 minutes
- 1,5 lb (0,6-0,9 kg) – 15 – 20 minutes
- 2 – 3lb (0,9-1,4 kg) – 20 – 25 minutes
- For large lobsters follow the rule – 4 minutes for each pound.
Place a large pot of water (large enough for your lobster to fit in it completely), cover with a lid and wait until it boils intensely. Add salt, let the water boil again and place the lobster into the boiling water head down. Cover, reduce the heat and cook until ready as per the weight. Take out the red lobster, let it drain and lightly cool. Serve with a sauce or with lemon wedges.
How to cook lobster tails?
Lobster tails are a more popular choice as their meat is moist and very delicious and they are easier to cook. Lobster tails are sold frozen and fresh and when you buy them fresh make sure that the tale is white and there is no discoloration. If you bought frozen tails, thaw them first in the refrigerator or place them in a freezer bag and soak them in a large bowl of cold water. Do NOT use hot water as it starts cooking the tails.
The first step is to cut the lobster tails. How to do that? You need to begin with cutting the shell from the top towards the fan. Make sure that you leave the fan part of the shell intact as your meat will be cooked in the shell and leaving a part of it will keep the meat inside.
If you want to butterfly a lobster tail for a more spectacular presentation when you plate it, follow these simple rules. This is also called the piggyback method. Once you have cut the shell, open it just enough to free the meat. Carefully pull out the meat from the shell and stop at the fan. Pull out the vain, butterfly the meat of the lobster on the shell.
So, how to cook lobster tails? There are different cooking methods and you can choose between baking, grilling, broiling, steaming, etc. We shall give you quick guiding lines on the basic techniques and you can experiment with your favorite herbs and sauces.
How to bake lobster tails? A butterflied lobster tail is baked in a pre-heated oven for 1,5 minutes per ounce of tail weight at 375 Fahrenheit / 190 Celsius. If you have tails weighing about 10 ounce (280-300 g.) bake them for 10 minutes, then add some butter to each tail and broil them for three more minutes. Make sure that they are not near the heat, a distance of 6-7 inches (12-15 cm.) will prevent the tails from burning.
Broiling lobster tails – you can choose this cooking method for butterflied tails, although this method requires some experience. You need to thaw them (if you bought them frozen), cut the shell and butterfly the flesh. Season with butter, salt and pepper and add herbs – paprika, garlic, etc. Line the broiler pan with foil and broil the tails for 5-10 minutes. Make sure that the tails are at a distance of 6-7 inches (12-15 cm.) from the heat because the butter may burn.
Steaming is one of the easiest cooking methods and you can use it if you are not experienced or you are not comfortable with broiling. Instead of water, you can use beer to add flavor. You can half the tails to minimize the chance of under-cooking, butterfly the meat or steam the tails as they are. The steaming time will depend on the weight of the tail and the way you chose – to cut them or not. You can serve steamed lobster tails with butter, garlic and lemon or with a sauce of choice.
How to cook lobster tails in the oven? Baking in the oven is a guarantee that you are going to be in control and you will not have an overcooked or undercooked tails. You need to cut the shell and loosen the meat inside. Add butter, salt, pepper, herbs that you like, garlic powder, lemon juice. Bake the lobster tails in a preheated oven 450 degrees Fahrenheit / 230 degrees Celsius. Usually, a two ounce lobster tail need to be baked for 10 to 12 minutes or until the meat is opaque. Of course, time will vary and will depend on the weight of the tails. Add four to six minutes of baking time for each ounce above that.
How to grill lobster tails? Grilling lobster tails starts with preparation like any other cooking method. You need to thaw the tails, if frozen, rinse them and pat dry with paper towels. Butterfly the tails and brush the meat with melted butter. Preheat the grill, turn to medium heat and lightly grease the rack. Place the tails, meat down, on the rack, cover and grill for about six minutes. Turn, brush with butter again, cover and cook for another six to eight minutes or until the meat is opaque. The lobster is done when its internal temperature, checked by an instant read thermometer, reaches 135 F.
Whichever cooking method you choose, make sure you follow the advisory time so that the lobster meat is cooked and you can enjoy an exceptionally decadent meal!