With a bib around their necks and a smile on their faces, every one greedily cracks into their lobsters for a bite of its lush, delicious meat! Now that’s a snapshot of the ideal fun-filled lobster feast.
Want to organize a lobster night but don’t know where to begin? Follow our tips to put this lofty crustacean in the spotlight!
Use the right stuff
Above all, don’t take out the good tablecloth; instead opt for a large plastic one that knows how to handle dirty fingers and spattered juices! Also stock up on the proper material so everyone can crack into the shell and legs and savour every morsel of their lobster. This includes a lobster cracker or nut cracker and a seafood fork for each guest, and heavy-duty kitchen scissors along with chef’s knives within easy reach.
To stay in control of the mess, set up some large containers or a waste bin to collect empty shells, and don’t forget lots of moist hand wipes and paper napkins! What makes eating lobster so much fun is that you can devour it with your fingers!
Choose the cooking method
There are three cooking methods for live lobsters: steamed, boiled, or grilled.
Cooking times vary depending on whether the lobster is male or female. To tell them apart, ask your fish expert or check under the lobster’s belly by its legs. Males have large hooks, and females have small thin hooks.
- In a large pot with lid, bring 2.5 cm (1 in.) of water combined with 10 mL (2 tsp.) of salt to a boil.
- Place lobster in pot, head first with tail folded under. Cover with lid.
- Allow 12 minutes of cooking time per 450 g (1 lb.) of lobster for a male and 14 minutes for a female. Add 90 seconds more per extra 225 g (½ lb.).
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Plunge lobster into water, head first with its tail folded under.
- Calculate cooking time from the moment water returns to boil, following the chart below.
- Once the lobster is cooked, submerge it briefly in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.
|Lobster weight||Cooking time
|335 g (¾ lb.)||8 min||10 min|
|450 g to 560 g (1 to 1¼ lb.)||10 min||12 min|
|675 g (1½ lb.)||14 min||16 min|
|900 g (2 lb.)||16 min||20 min|
|1.35 kg (3 lb.)||18 min||23 min|
|1.8 kg (4 lb.)||20 min||24 min and +|
- Preheat barbecue to medium and oil the grill.
- Place lobster (live or blanched) on a work surface. Insert the tip of a knife on the cross behind the lobster’s head and pierce the shell. Cut the lobster in half lengthwise, first toward the head and then toward the tail. Remove the intestines and the sac behind the eyes.
- Brush the meat with melted butter or garlic butter. Drizzle with a little lemon juice. Place the lobster halves on the grill, meat side up, and cook covered for 7 to 10 minutes for live lobster, or 5 to 8 minutes for blanched lobster.
Shell like a pro
If you’ve never shelled a lobster before, don’t worry! With the right tools and technique, you’ll get the job done with zero hassle.
- Remove the lobster’s tail, claws and legs by twisting and pulling away. They’ll detach easily from the body.
- Remove the tail’s meat by cutting through the middle of the bottom shell with a pair of scissors.
- Crack the claws by thumping them with the back of a chef’s knife to get to the meat.
- The remaining lobster meat and legs can be removed using a lobster cracker and seafood fork.
The perfect sides
Since lobster is the real star of the meal and needs little to be fully savoured, go with simple sides!
- Offer a variety of flavoured butters and mayos—garlic & herb, lemon, or spicy to satisfy every taste.
- Serve with a side of rice, new potatoes, pasta with pesto sauce, a green salad or grilled veggies prepared as simply as possible.
- Pair your meal with a fruity and vibrant wine or a smooth blond beer.
Now that you’ve got everything you need for an unforgettable lobster feast, all that’s left is inviting your guests!