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Is a basic steamed lobster really that hard? or that different?

Maybe its just because I grew up in New England but I am always surprised by all the posts asking where to get the "best" lobster. Not the best lobster roll, the best lobster pie, etc but the best steamed/boiled lobster. Around here your average 8 year old can put together a lobster boil.

In my town the best/high end restaurant's steamed lobster was no different than the one you could get steamed to go at the A&P or from the one from clam shacks at the pier. They all come with basically the same things-granted the nicer places had fancier trappings. Heck the only thing that made my dad's better was that he steamed up linguica and chicken along with the lobsters, potatoes and clams.

So in your mind what constitutes the "best" steamed/boiled lobster? How does it differ in flavor, texture, etc than any where else?

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  1. Hard shell, feisty without the rubber bands, lots of melted butter. Repeat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      To me thats a given, If I gave said lobsters to the local A&P, the clam shack or the hign end place for steaming or brought it home and did it myself I can't imagine an noticeable difference other than the trappings-bibs, silverware, etc and of course the price.

      1. re: foodieX2

        I like to put mine in a mix of white wine and sea water until they stop being feisty. Then boil in the same.

    2. There's only one best lobster, IMO. It has to be boiled in Maine sea water and eaten roadside. Hard shell, preferably.

      1. What a lot of restaurants not in the New England coastal area get wrong is that they cut the lobster shell for the diner, they cook it too long (or even steam it in advance and resteam to order-ghastly), and/or serve it with something other than true drawn butter. Recently I had a lobster special that was served with some sort of butter-flavored oil. When I asked for real butter, the owner said the chef was impressed because very few diners discerned they were serving butter-flavored oil.

        I suppose certain diners prefer their lobsters with cut shells - perhaps they believe it is par for the course when given a bib to eat - but I want to do my own cracking, and it keeps the meat hot and moist longer.

        2 Replies
        1. re: janniecooks

          Ok so thats valid. If one place is known for cooking and then reheating? That is deal breaker.

          1. re: foodieX2

            I agree, it's a deal breaker. I don't know if a place would be known for cooking and then reheating, but I have had a few lobsters in my time that seemed that was how they were handled. Now, I've learned to question the establishment before ordering, if not dining at a place known for its lobster. With the low lobster prices this year, lots of places in Florida were offering lobster dinner specials.

          1. Funny. Being in Maine I always thought the same thing - how can someone mess up a boiled/steamed lobster? Well I guess you could overcook the thing but with very little effort, anyone should be able to get it right. Now if you're on the beach on the Maine coast and you've dug your hole and the kids have collected seaweed and you arrange the lobsters, steamers, corn and potatoes just right... well it really doesn't actually taste better but sure seems to.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bobbert

              Everything tastes better on the beach or a campground, especially coffee, IMO. :-)