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Oct 26, 2006 07:39 PM

How long will lobster live out of the tank?

I would like to buy some live lobsters on Friday to prepare on Saturday evening. Is there a way to keep them alive for 24 hours or so? I'm used to doing tails, so steaming a live one is a new adventure for me. I just hate to fight the crowds at the fish market on Saturdays..... Thanks in advance for any tips!

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  1. Lobsters are hardy creatures even out of water. Just put them in a paper bag and put them in a cool part of the refrigerator. They'll snooze and bubble but I think they'll stay alive for at least 24 hours.

    1. Buying them friday to cook saturday is a fine idea but you might want to change your tack. Have you considered parcooking your lobsters friday night and then throwing them in the fridge to finish saturday? I don't think that they will be in the prime of life after 24 hours out of water.

      1. They will survive if properly refrigerated. I wouldn't go much longer than 36 hours.

        1. 24 hours in the fridge won't be a problem for healthy lobsters. Wrap some damp newspapers around them and put them in the bottom of the fridge.

          If you're not locked into steaming them, you might consider stuffing and baking them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Scrapironchef

            I watched the Alton Brown episode on lobsters recently. . .he advocates putting them in the fridge because it dulls their senses -- he's overly concerned with killing them humanely. So yeah, you wouldn't have to worry about them running around.

          2. i may sound dumb, but i keep kosher, so i have no experiance whatsoever with lobsters but if its still alive, wont it crawl around the fridge?

            4 Replies
            1. re: chai18

              They could, but the light is off in the fridge so they probably won't get too far :) I squeamish about live seafood and the same thought crossed my mind.

              1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                Out of the water they're not exactly speed demons, chilled in the fridge they're pretty torpid.

                1. re: Scrapironchef

                  How far do you think you'd go wrapped in wet newspaper??

                  They'll get in there and more or less fall asleep.
                  As I understand it, they can actually live a surprisingly long time like this. As long as the paper is wet.
                  I'd just fight the crowd on Saturday. Get there really early and it won't be too bad.


                2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                  LOL Tracy!!!

                  I was going to comment that unless there is another lobster in the frig, I don't think they'd want to go anywhere.

                  I've parboiled my lobsters and then "finished them off" later.