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Lobster & Oyster Information

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COOKING A LOBSTER     > Back to Top <

The two most popular ways to cook Lobsters are Steaming and Boiling. These are explained here. But before we get started, we just want to dispel a common myth: Lobsters do not scream when you put them into boiling water. The sound you hear is air whistling out of the shell as it expands due to the heat. That's our story, and we're stickin' with it. That out of the way, here's how you cook a lobster:

Steaming Put about 2 inches of sea water or salted fresh water in the bottom of a large kettle. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Put in the live Lobsters, one at a time, grasping just behind the claws. Let the water boil again and begin timing. Allow 18 minutes for a 1 to 1-1/4 lb. hard-shell Lobster, and 20 minutes for a 1-1/2 lb. hard-shell Lobster. If the Lobster has a soft-shell, reduce the cooking time by 3 minutes.

Boiling Fill a large kettle 3/4 full of sea water. If sea water is not available, add 2 tablespoons of salt for each quart of water. a good rule of thumb is to allow 2-1/2 quarts of water for each Lobster.

Bring the water to a boil. Put in the live Lobsters, one at a time, and let the water boil again. Lower the heat, cover the kettle, and simmer for about 15 minutes for 1 to 1-1/4 lb. hard-shell Lobsters, and about 20 minutes for 1-1/2 to 2 lb. hard-shell Lobsters. Like with steaming, soft-shell Lobsters take a little less time to cook, so reduce the cooking time by 3 minutes.

A general rule of thumb: When the antennae pull out easily, the Lobsters are done.




HOW DO I SHUCK AN OYSTER?    > Back to Top <

There is a point or a hinge at the opposite end of the cup. Take a good sharp oyster knife and insert it in the point. Apply a little pressure and pop it open. Then cut the bottle mussel. If this method does not work you can microwave them on high for about 20 seconds, plunge them in cold water and then pry open with your knife.





If the oysters are not immediately fresh, then only 2 or 3 days may be their storage life. You can tell when an oyster is going bad. Always make sure the shells are tightly closed. If they have opened the oyster will loose its fluid. You will know when you have a bad oyster as the smell is very offensive. Cover your oysters with a damp cloth and let the oysters breath. They need an airy place in your fridge.





Well... there are as many correct answers to that question as there are experienced Lobster eaters. But if you need a little help, the steps below will ease you through the process. Even the experienced Lobster veteran may learn something here. Ready for your lesson? Let's begin!

Part A -- The Claws:
1. Twist off the claws so that they break off at the end where the "arms" connect to the body. FYI: The larger of the 2 claws is called the "crusher claw," the smaller is called the "tearing claw." We don't have any suggestions about which one to eat first; we do strongly recommend, however, that you eat them both!

2. Bend the "arms" back to separate them from the main (pincher) part of the claws. Crack open the segments to get the tasty morsels out of these small parts. (Cracking open the parts of the shell can be acheived using one or more of the following: Nutcracker, pliers, knife, hammer, rock, whatever else looks like it might work.)

3. Pull the small section of the claw back until it separates from the larger section. Sometimes, the meat in this section comes loose when the claw separates. Otherwise, you'll have to pry the meat out of the small section of the claw using one tine of a fork. 4. Break off the tip of the remaining (larger) section of the claw. Make sure to break it off far enough down to be able to insert a finger in the resulting hole. (Examine your fingers for a more precise measurement.)

5. Carefully (We wouldn't want you to hurt yourself) stick a finger into the hole you just made to push the meat out of the other end. Congratulations! You got through the claws, the part of the Lobster that about 1/2 the Lobster-eaters we know consider to be their favorite part. Let's move to the part that the other 1/2 claims is best.

Part B -- The Tail:
1. Gently bend the tail back until it separates from the body. It's important to be gentle here, because the body contains a lot of excess water. Bending the tail back with all your might is likely to cause Lobster juice to spray all over yourself or your friends. (In some circles, this is considered impolite.)

2. Bend the flippers back to remove them from the tail. (Again, be gentle to avoid spraying. See Part B -- The Tail: Section 1) By the way, the flippers contain little tiny pieces of tasty meat; an added bonus for those who don't mind a little extra work.

3. Stick a finger through the hole where the flippers used to be to push the tail meat out the other end. Sometimes, it's necessary to break some of the "ribs" on the underside of the tail to make this possible.

4. Peel back the top of the tail. This section is quite tasty, and removing it exposes the long "vein" that runs the length of the tail. This is very important: That long "vein" should be removed before eating the rest of the tail meat. Why is that so important? Because that's not really a "vein" at all! It's the Lobster's digestive tract. Ok, that's as much of the Lobster as some people eat. True hardcore Lobster lovers will tell you, though, that there's a lot of edible parts you still haven't touched. 

Part C -- The Rest of the Lobster:
1. The Legs -- Break the legs away from the body, then break off the other end (the part that looks like little mini-claws). Stick one end of the leg in your mouth and suck the meat out in much the same way that you might suck on a straw sticking out of a milkshake.




HOW TO BOIL LOBSTERS    > Back to Top <

Boiling is probably the most popular way to cook New England lobsters, and it's easier than you might think!

Here's How: Fill a large pot half to two-thirds full with water. Set your burner to high heat and bring water to a rolling boil. Add lobsters to the pot head first, making sure that they are completely submerged. Cover the pot tightly and return to a boil as quickly as possible. Once water is boiling again, cook the lobsters 10 minutes for the first pound and 3 additional minutes for each additional pound, i.e., cook a two-pound lobster for 13 minutes. When the antennae pull out easy, the lobsters are done. Serve with melted butter.

Tips: Be sure to keep the water boiling throughout the cooking time, but be careful that the pot does not boil over. Times given are for hard-shelled lobsters; if cooking new shell lobsters, reduce boiling time by 3 minutes. Try adding a cup of white wine to the water before boiling to add a bit of flavor.




LOBSTER FACTS    > Back to Top <

Did You Know? The meat in a 1-pound lobster has only 98 calories and 13 milligrams of cholesterol (less than an equivalent portion of skinless chicken).




LOBSTER RULES    > Back to Top <

1. Buy lobsters the day you cook them, and transport and store them carefully.

2. Locate the best source for the most recently caught lobsters.

3. Determine the right size of lobster for you.

4. Choose a healthy, lively, freshly caught lobster.

5. Always buy the hardest-shelled lobsters you can find.

6. Never stick your hand into a bag of lobsters.

7. Be environmentally responsible.



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