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How do you do your LOBSTER at home?

woodburner Sep 1, 2007 12:47 PM

All I have done at home is to steam with some water in a pot, and a veg steamer inserted to keep the lobster above the water. Works great, some melted butter...

But now it's time for variations on the theme. Anybody do a "shrimp boil/lobster boil" preparation to add flavor? Anyone tried grilling? Other methods? Thanks.

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  1. Candy RE: woodburner Sep 1, 2007 01:07 PM

    I steam lobsters, occasionally I will use a sesoned shrimp/crab boil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Candy
      CHEFBUCK RE: Candy Sep 1, 2007 01:12 PM

      When steaming lobster stick a metal skewer through the tail to keep it straight when cooking.

    2. Richard 16 RE: woodburner Sep 1, 2007 01:18 PM

      I've added a mirepoix to the water. It's pretty good. Bay leaf, etc., can be added. A really good broth is from corn cooking water. But the best idea comes from a restaurant I used to work at: They used the cooking water all day; a huge vat only used for lobsters. By the end of the day the water was almost flavorful enough for a bisque.

      So, I save the cooking water, reduce and freeze. Sometimes I use the broth for crab and/or shrimp, and use that for any of the three. Often I'll mix the lobster broth with the corn broth - that's my favorite! What a bisque!

      1. steve h. RE: woodburner Sep 1, 2007 01:23 PM

        i boil 'em. jasper white's boiling chart is the best.

        1. Eric in NJ RE: woodburner Sep 1, 2007 01:23 PM

          I steam them too but throw some old bay or Phillips seaoning in the water also.

          1. k
            KevinB RE: woodburner Sep 1, 2007 07:09 PM

            We sent our Filipino housekeeper to a Chinese cooking class, and she learned to do lobster like they do in Chinese restaurants. She washes them in the sink (live), while the wok is heating. Then she puts each lobster on a cutting board, inserts a heavy chef's knife just behind the head, and splits the lobster right down the back. (This is not a job for the squeamish!) She cuts up the body into serving size pieces, smacking open the claws, and legs, and tosses them into the wok (which generally has some neutral oil flavoured with just a few drops of sesame oil), and stir fries for a minute or so. Then she adds green onions and chopped ginger, and stir fries for a few more seconds until all the lobster pieces are a bright red. This is traditional Chinese cooking, so the entire head gets tossed in as well. (Don't split the head) I'd practice this at least once before unleashing it on guests!

            3 Replies
            1. re: KevinB
              woodburner RE: KevinB Sep 1, 2007 07:44 PM

              Dude. Wow. Good answer...

              1. re: woodburner
                monavano RE: woodburner Sep 2, 2007 03:38 PM

                I got nothin' after that!

                1. re: monavano
                  Novelli RE: monavano Feb 8, 2012 09:06 AM

                  This is how I've done it in the past. Hack em up into pieces, toss into a hot wok with oil, toss in some ginger, palm sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, and green onions.

            2. inuksuk RE: woodburner Sep 1, 2007 08:03 PM

              It's a bit of work (but then I don't serve lobster much) but roasted. http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles...

              And, this is just my own personal taste mind you, I find putting butter on lobster like bringing coal to Newcastle. I like a thin mix of wasabi and soy sauce, particularly a shrimp flavoured soy sauce. Or Amoy brand oyster sauce with dried scallop. Yeah, you could make the coal/coal mining town analogy there too but that's what I like.

              1. h
                holy chow RE: woodburner Sep 2, 2007 03:10 PM

                When lobster season starts here on the west coast, I'll take my spiny lobster catch home and keep 'em live for a day. The following day I'll grill 'em up and serve with a chipolte mayo and have tacos.

                On big nights I've done boils with Tony's Seafood seasoning, artichokes and andoule. Dip some bread in the broth and live large.

                4 Replies
                1. re: holy chow
                  ccferg RE: holy chow Sep 2, 2007 03:48 PM

                  Do you put them on the grill alive? That would make me a little squeamish, though I'm quite willing to throw them into a pot of boiling water, which probably doesn't feel much better.

                  1. re: ccferg
                    j
                    Jesdamala RE: ccferg Sep 2, 2007 03:53 PM

                    We love grilling spiny lobsters, but we have the fish person split them in half, in other words they do the messy work and they are mostly tail! We baste with garlic butter, and then we grill starting flesh side down, then turn and baste with garlic butter again! Yummmmmmmmm. Serve with tortillas, Mexican rice, beans, salsa and we have the Baja lobster dinner!

                    1. re: ccferg
                      h
                      holy chow RE: ccferg Sep 2, 2007 06:06 PM

                      I give the spiny's last rights on the board and grill them cut.

                      If cooking lobster makes you squeamish, you ought to stay away from beach sashimi and fish cleaning after a good day of fishing.

                      1. re: holy chow
                        l
                        Luna2372 RE: holy chow Jul 5, 2011 07:11 PM

                        I do the same thing with Atlantic lobster. A rub between the eyes, a quick prayer, then a sharp knife into that area behind the head.

                        Then steam 'em or grill em.

                        I do like lots of salt in the steaming water and maybe a lemon and a few bay leaves.
                        A nice spicy rub on grilled is good for a change.

                  2. i
                    irishnyc RE: woodburner Sep 2, 2007 03:52 PM

                    I split them head to tail, stuff them with crushed crackers, chopped shrimp, seasonings, and butter, and roast.

                    1. mcel215 RE: woodburner Sep 2, 2007 03:54 PM

                      Empty two cans of beer, in the bottom of a large pot, vegetable steamer turned upside down on the bottom. Bring beer to a rapid boil. Only put two at a time in the pot. Cover with heavy lid, and set time for 12 minutes. Take out, serve with melted butter. Nice and tender.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: mcel215
                        Gio RE: mcel215 Sep 2, 2007 04:21 PM

                        This is my next lobster feast. Many thanks for that!!! Does a heavier lobster require more beer? Just wondering. ; )

                        1. re: Gio
                          s
                          SusanSDG RE: Gio Sep 2, 2007 06:13 PM

                          Maybe if you drink enough beer, you'll be less squeamish. What about popping the lobster in the freezer for awhile before cooking it? That sounds mor humane, but does it affect the flavor/texture?

                          1. re: SusanSDG
                            h
                            holy chow RE: SusanSDG Sep 2, 2007 07:12 PM

                            It might be less humane to kill the lobster via freezing to death, slowly... ever so slowly instead of a quick kill.

                            Either way, that sucka will be good!

                            Lobster season is only two months away! Woohoo!

                            1. re: holy chow
                              sarah galvin RE: holy chow Mar 26, 2008 03:32 PM

                              You should kill them first by piercing in the back of the head with a knife. Although when boiling, I put them in head first without previously killing them.

                          2. re: Gio
                            h
                            holy chow RE: Gio Sep 2, 2007 07:11 PM

                            A heavier man requires more beer to cook the lobster, but the lobster will be fine with just two. ;)

                            1. re: holy chow
                              s
                              SusanSDG RE: holy chow Sep 2, 2007 08:29 PM

                              Bravo! Put better than I had.

                            2. re: Gio
                              mcel215 RE: Gio Sep 2, 2007 07:33 PM

                              I guessed at two beers, but what I am looking for is about 2 inches of beer on the bottom. So depending on how large your pot is, that is what you are looking for.

                              And my time is based on 1&1/4 lb lobsters. If the lobsters are larger, I add minutes. So my cooking time, for two 1& 1/2 half lb, is about 14-15 min.

                              I really don't want to overcook, even undercooking a tad is better. Overcooked lobster is rubbery, blech.

                              1. re: mcel215
                                l
                                Luna2372 RE: mcel215 Jul 5, 2011 07:13 PM

                                Have you tried different types of beer?

                          3. d
                            dagwood RE: woodburner Mar 25, 2008 09:27 PM

                            I realize this post is a bit dated but I just tried a different method recently and wanted to report....

                            Based on the recommendation by the Legal Seafoods cookbook, I tried microwaving them for the first time a couple of weeks ago. (It says to put them in a plastic bag but due to all the icky microwave-plastic-chemical reports, I just put them in a bowl)

                            I did stick them in the freezer first to chill them out a bit. Even so, I left the room until they were done. I love me some lobster but I am a bit squeemish about the kill.

                            They were, I have to say, very very tasty. And no wrestling them in the pot. I'd recommend giving it a try.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: dagwood
                              woodburner RE: dagwood Mar 26, 2008 06:17 AM

                              WOW! You nuked your lobster!! Cool... but didn't it explode? Even just a little? Little, mini, innard explosions? That's what I would be afraid of. I suppose a 2-lber would take, what, about 3-4 minutes??

                              1. re: woodburner
                                d
                                dagwood RE: woodburner Mar 26, 2008 08:41 AM

                                It didn't explode....maybe on the inside a little (poor sad little lobster....don't care to think about that). It leaked out a lot of juice but the bowl took care of that. Mine were just over chicken, probably around 1.25 ti 1.5 lbs each (I did four of them), and they took about 6.5 to 7 minutes, but probably could have stood for less time. Next time I'll start at 5.5 minutes probably. (They were for a quiche so they had some extra baking time on top of the nuking time)

                                FYI, the book calls for 6-7.5 minutes for chicken lobsters & another minute for each .25 lb, but I think that's a bit excessive. Or maybe my microwave is just stronger, I guess every one is different.

                            2. mrsjenpeters RE: woodburner Mar 26, 2008 09:49 AM

                              i'm not a fan of lobster (blasphemy, i know), so my husband rarely gets to eat it, but he's a big fan of homemade lobster mac n cheese.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: mrsjenpeters
                                RichardCrystal RE: mrsjenpeters Mar 26, 2008 10:00 AM

                                WHOA!!! mrsjen....Lobster mac and cheese? Can I find a recipe for that somewhere? I've never heard of it before but it sounds most intriguing.

                                1. re: RichardCrystal
                                  mrsjenpeters RE: RichardCrystal Mar 26, 2008 12:01 PM

                                  a good friend had what he described as lobster mac n cheese while on vacation, and, knowing our propensity for culinary projects, actually called us from the restaurant to tell us to come up with a recipe haha. :) we never did write down the recipe, but here is what we could recall...

                                  my husband used fresh whole crap and shrimp in addition to the lobster while making the dish. he used the crab, lobster, and shrimp shells to create a shellfish stock, which he used in addition to milk to make the roux for the sauce. he can't remember what cheese he used, but i remember it was a very pale orange, so i think cheddar and something like fontina. i think he ended up tossing the crab into the finished product as well, maybe the shrimp too. he steamed the lobster and crab. i would bet there was some white wine as well.

                                  searching on google turned up a bunch of links:
                                  http://www.google.com/search?q=lobste...

                                  many seem to be made with just your basic roux based cheese sauce though, and i think the shellfish stock is what upped the luxury quotient. this one might help:
                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                  1. re: mrsjenpeters
                                    hotoynoodle RE: mrsjenpeters Feb 9, 2012 11:29 AM

                                    i suppose "whole fresh crap" is better than bits of old crap? ;)

                                2. re: mrsjenpeters
                                  d
                                  dagwood RE: mrsjenpeters Mar 26, 2008 10:08 AM

                                  I second the request for homemade lobster mac n cheese! That sounds amazing....gooey comfort food meets decadence. How perfect is that?

                                  1. re: dagwood
                                    l
                                    Luna2372 RE: dagwood Jul 5, 2011 07:16 PM

                                    Lobster mac&cheese for breakfast after a huge Lob & Champers night is a supreme decadent experience...That I miss so much...Need lobsters soon!

                                3. s
                                  swsidejim RE: woodburner Mar 26, 2008 09:59 AM

                                  Whole Lobsters: steamed
                                  Lobster tails: grilled or stir fried

                                  I have done a whole lobster/shrimp/corn/kilbasa/red potatoes boil, and it was excellent
                                  my steaming liquid is typically beer, garlic, onion, celery, and old bay spice.

                                  I cannot fathom drowning beatiful, flavorfull lobster meat in a cheese sauce. In my very humble opinion lobster is the best on its own(grilled or steamed, & with no butter needed many times) or paired with a rare steak at the most.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: swsidejim
                                    l
                                    Luna2372 RE: swsidejim Jul 5, 2011 07:16 PM

                                    Have it for breakfast with just the tiniest hangover. Heavan!

                                  2. Rubee RE: woodburner Mar 26, 2008 10:31 AM

                                    All our favorite lobster recipes are from Jasper White's "Lobster at Home". I can't recommend this book highly enough.

                                    Some of our favorites are the lobster rolls, lobster, avocado and almond salad, Lobster Thermidor or Newburg, and the pan-roasted lobster with cognac, while my husband's special request is always the baked stuffed lobster. I posted recipe and pics here:

                                    My Favorite Baked Stuffed Lobster Recipe
                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/401863

                                    Lobster at Home
                                    http://www.amazon.com/Lobster-at-Home...

                                    1. g
                                      grant.cook RE: woodburner Mar 26, 2008 11:50 AM

                                      Are you a "stuff them live into a pot" person, or a "Stick a chef's knife into their head" person?

                                      1. mochi mochi RE: woodburner Mar 26, 2008 01:00 PM

                                        My husband broils them. Splits the tail, sprinkle with paprika, broil till just cooked and serves with clarified butter. My brother brings them back from Baja Calif. so it's just the tails. Wish it were near season.

                                        1. Veggo RE: woodburner Mar 26, 2008 01:46 PM

                                          A tip I got from a Hounder that works well: Pick the meat from a 11/2 -2 pounder, shred it a bit, mix with a 10.5 ounce can of Bookbinder's lobster bisque, heat with a splash of sherry, a little cream, and serve over linguine.

                                          1. b
                                            BJPiel RE: woodburner Jul 5, 2011 07:02 PM

                                            Get 4 bottles of Mad Hat brew, 3 cups water, some seafood seasoning or Tony Chachere's Cajun seasoning to a boil. Lobsters go in headfirst for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

                                            1. Tehama RE: woodburner Feb 8, 2012 04:41 AM

                                              Good morning! I've never cooked lobster at home. Wild caught North Atlantic Lobster Tails are on sale this week at my local market and I think I would like to give them a try. The advt says minimum weight 4.2 lb's....

                                              How do I cook them? Grateful for any cooking times, tips, & tricks! Thank you!

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: Tehama
                                                f
                                                fourunder RE: Tehama Feb 8, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                If you would rather not stink up your kitchen.....check to see if your supermarket has the ability to steam them for you. In my area, most all will offer to do this for you while you shop free of charge.

                                                If you decide to do so at home, you can bake or steam/broil. Many have provided the information already in this thread, but here's a good link

                                                http://www.lobsterfrommaine.com/cooki...

                                                1. re: fourunder
                                                  Tehama RE: fourunder Feb 9, 2012 04:49 AM

                                                  Oh, thank you! It is much appreciated - and especially the part about the "stink factor." As much as I love salmon, one time I made a recipe that called for it to be cooked in a cast iron skillet on the stove. Lord have mercy -- that was the stinkiest recipe I had ever made and it was days before that smell got out of the house. Have a great day, and thanks for the tip and link!

                                                  1. re: Tehama
                                                    t
                                                    terasec RE: Tehama Feb 9, 2012 06:23 AM

                                                    Your seafood shouldn't stink up the place.
                                                    If it does, may not have been so fresh to begin with.
                                                    As for lobster? Being italian, I can't skip the parsley/garlic/oil.
                                                    Usually quick boil the lobster,
                                                    Heat the parsley/garlIc /oil in a small pan.
                                                    Crack the lobster tail open and smother it with parsley/garlic/oil
                                                    Then in the oven for a quick bake.

                                                    1. re: terasec
                                                      Tehama RE: terasec Feb 9, 2012 11:06 AM

                                                      I love that idea! How long is a quick boil? Any idea how long to put the lobster tails in the oven for? What temp and bake or broil? I think that sounds fabulous!

                                                      Grazie!

                                                      1. re: Tehama
                                                        t
                                                        terasec RE: Tehama Feb 9, 2012 11:20 AM

                                                        I can't help with precise times,
                                                        But if they take 10 mins to boil,
                                                        Take them out between 5-10 mins,
                                                        Go by the color of the lobster more so than time,
                                                        And in the oven only need another 10 mins or so, not too long where you risk drying it out.
                                                        Just to let that sauce get into the body and meat.

                                                        1. re: terasec
                                                          Tehama RE: terasec Feb 10, 2012 05:08 AM

                                                          Thanks!

                                                2. re: Tehama
                                                  hotoynoodle RE: Tehama Feb 9, 2012 11:31 AM

                                                  4-lb lobster tails? i seriously doubt those are from the north atlantic, which are usually called maine lobster anyway.

                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                    coll RE: hotoynoodle Feb 10, 2012 06:36 AM

                                                    I almost got tricked too, the ones I saw advertised said Atlantic lobster tails (did not say North but definitely misleading) they were rock lobsters. I didn't buy them. I guess they came from the South Atlantic and they thought it was OK to label them that way. If the ad said 4 lbs each I would have known something was wrong, it's hard to find a whole 4 lb lobster not to mention just the tail. Although maybe they meant a big package with a bunch of tails in it? Not even sure that rock lobsters come that big, not that I'm an expert. Just a Valentines deal I'm sure, they'll sell them to someone.

                                                3. j
                                                  jarona RE: woodburner Feb 9, 2012 07:25 AM

                                                  I have a big ol' gumbo pot. Huge. I fill it up 3/4 of the way with water. Lots of kosher salt.

                                                  When it boils, I throw the live lobster in. Leave them in for exactly 13 minutes. Take 'em out.

                                                  Melt some butter with Worstershire sauce. Serve. Yum. It doesn't need to get more complicated than that. Lobster is food of the gods.

                                                  1. Motosport RE: woodburner Feb 10, 2012 07:12 AM

                                                    I have a fairly large blue porcelain pot that I use for steaming lobster and crabs. The pot will easily hold a dozen 1 1/2 pounders. I put a small amount of water (1/2 inch) in the put. Get it to a boil and steam until the shells turn dark red.
                                                    If I am feeling creative I split the tails, stuff them with crabmeat or diced shrimp (small amount of breadcrumbs, lemon juice and spices) and broil or BBQ for just a few minutes to get the top layer crispy.

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