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Cooking lobster

slacker Jul 27, 2006 11:29 PM

What is the rule of thumb for boiling time? ie, how many minutes per pound? I don't cook lobster that often and usually just guess on the time, and sometimes guess wrong.

Also, I usually eat lobster straight from the pot, without any adornment, I really like it as is. But might want to try something different this time, was thinking about par boiling it, then slicing in half and adding something and then under the broiler. But add what?

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  1. Candy RE: slacker Jul 27, 2006 11:32 PM

    I usually buy 1.5 lb. lobsters and never boil them. I steam them about 15-20 minutes total with the boiling water for the steam on high. Lobsters are so full of water anyway I learned a long time ago that the best method was to steam on a rack in a tightly covered pot.

    1. Rubee RE: slacker Jul 27, 2006 11:36 PM

      From my lobster bible (Lobster at Home by Jasper White), this is how we do it - bring salted water (about 1/2 cup of salt for each gallon) to a rolling boil before adding the lobsters and cook uncovered:

      1 pound - 8 minutes
      1.5 pounds - 11-12 minutes
      2 pounds - 15 minutes

      And some simple ideas for parboiling and then broiling - brushing with flavored butters. Some we've used are melted butter with garlic and a little ancho chile powder, butter with a little sake, ginger, and scallions, and melted butter with sauteed shallots and cognac or brandy.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Rubee
        ChowFun_derek RE: Rubee Jul 28, 2006 04:47 PM

        Does the book mention timing for steaming lobster?

        1. re: ChowFun_derek
          Rubee RE: ChowFun_derek Jul 28, 2006 04:57 PM

          1 pound -- 10 minutes
          1-1/4 pounds -- 12 minutes
          1-1/2 pounds -- 14 minutes
          1-3/4 pounds -- 16 minutes
          2 pounds -- 18 minutes
          2-1/2 pounds -- 22 minutes
          3 pounds -- 25-30 minutes
          5 pounds -- 40-45 minutes

          It looks like the info in Dommy's link below is from the book, although Jasper White is more specific about types of pots, not overcrowding, why to heavily salt the water or use seawater, etc. - there's even a microwave steaming chart.

          1. re: ChowFun_derek
            Infomaniac RE: ChowFun_derek Jul 28, 2006 05:17 PM

            It does, but I don't have the book with me now to give you weight to time info. for steaming. This book has many awesome recipes for lobster. I recently made a lobster hash recipe from the book that was amazing.

            1. re: Infomaniac
              Rubee RE: Infomaniac Jul 28, 2006 06:34 PM

              I LOVE this book. I'll have to try the lobster hash! Everything I've made from it has been great - lobster stew, his recipe for lobster stock, salads like the avocado, lobster, and toasted almond salad, and the Vietnamese cabbage and lobster salad, lobster risotto, lobster broiled with whiskey butter, Newburg, Thermidor, and the lobster and papaya quesadillas. I have to say our top three favorites are probably the baked stuffed, the pan-roasted with cognac, and Rick Bayless' grilled lobster with toasted garlic, avocado and red chile.

              1. re: Rubee
                slacker RE: Rubee Jul 28, 2006 08:35 PM

                What is the recipe or general recipe for the baked stuffed lobster?

                1. re: Rubee
                  Rubee RE: Rubee Jul 28, 2006 10:11 PM

                  Oh, have you started a craving!

                  Here is the basic recipe at this link:

                  But with these variations and tips:
                  He says Ritz crackers are the best (and that's what I use) - or oyster crackers or New England common crackers, 3 ounces crumbled, instead of the cornbread. Always mix the stuffing at the last minute so it doesn't get soggy, do it gently, and don't pack the stuffing tightly. If using cooked lobster and/or crabmeat instead of raw scallops or shrimp, let onions and herbs cool before adding (I like to use the Phillips crabmeat from Costco). And 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 lobsters are ideal (smaller overcook and larger cook unevenly). 425 degrees -

                  1-1/2 17 minutes
                  1-3/4 20 minutes
                  2 lbs 24 minutes
                  2-1/2 30 minutes

          2. Dommy RE: slacker Jul 27, 2006 11:45 PM

            We did two huge monster lobsters this week (Post coming soon!) and we used this as our guide:



            1. s
              Snowflake RE: slacker Jul 28, 2006 02:04 PM

              I throw 1 and a half cans/bottles of beer, corona, bud or any kind of pilsner type beer in a pot with some onion, bring to a boil and then through the lobsters head first in so that the tails and claws basically steam. 1.5 lb lobster, 11 minutes.

              1. b
                Biggie RE: slacker Jul 28, 2006 06:44 PM

                split the lobster in half lengthwise while still raw, and toss it over indrect heat on a grill (shell side down), with little dots of compound butter all over the meat. Let them grill for about 15 minutes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Biggie
                  Dommy RE: Biggie Jul 28, 2006 07:31 PM

                  I find this done BEST with California and Florida Lobsters (Where all the tail in the meat and the meat is more hardy to REALLY take to the grill and smokey flavors)

                  But you are right... this is EXCELLENT... Hmmm... Can't wait for our lobster season to start! :)


                2. Scagnetti RE: slacker Jul 28, 2006 06:59 PM

                  Don't forget to tie a wooden spoon to the tail like a splint and the tail won't curl up when you cook it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Scagnetti
                    dano RE: Scagnetti Jul 29, 2006 12:47 PM

                    heh, i've alwayw stuck a skewer up em.

                    1. re: dano
                      ChowFun_derek RE: dano Jul 29, 2006 02:39 PM

                      I've used a chopstick with good results...

                  2. jfood RE: slacker Jul 29, 2006 08:56 PM

                    I posted this 3 weeks ago, still the best method

                    Get a lobster really, really mad before throwing them in the cooker. I was told years ago that the lobster excretes soemthing from the brain into the body (like adreneline) that makes the meat even more tender and delicious. I will not post what I have done to them over the years. I apologize to my chowhound animal lover friends.

                    My DW's family is from Boston and i am now the desginated lobsta-cooker.

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