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Is it okay to eat a lobster claw that fell off?

greenjenkins Oct 13, 2013 02:26 AM

I ordered six live lobsters by mail, which arrived on Saturday. I'm planning to eat them tomorrow (with friends), so I wrapped them in newspaper and put them in the fridge.

One is particularly feisty, and as I was repositioning him in the fridge, he lost a claw.

Is it safe to eat a claw that has fallen off? If so, is there a time limit by which it should be eaten (after the time it fell off)?

  1. MGZ Oct 13, 2013 04:05 AM

    It should be fine, but if you're worried, just throw the jettisoned claw into a frying pan with a little water and kinda steam it for 6 to 12 minutes, depending upon it's size. Look upon it as a "Gift to the Hostess" or a "Taste Test", whichever you prefer. Even if you don't eat it right away, it'll stay tasty longer once cooked.

    It's not uncommon for fish mongers here at the Shore to sell claws. In fact, they are a favorite tailgait treat for us in the Meadowlands parking lot. Just crack the big shell, let it rest over a bed of coals, and watch the drunks looking for the Port-a-Potties stare at 'em as they pass by.

    Lobster has an easy "sniff test" for pieces or dead, whole bugs. Once they're past, they will give off an ammonia aroma. You pick that up, bury the claw under the part of the garden where you'll plant next year's tomatoes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MGZ
      greenjenkins Oct 13, 2013 10:17 AM

      Thanks so much! Exactly what I needed to know.

      1. re: MGZ
        alkapal Oct 14, 2013 05:57 AM

        i love the part about the tomatoes!

        you've got a great way of storytelling, MGZ.

      2. coll Oct 13, 2013 04:19 AM

        As MGZ says, my fish store sells loose claws at a nice discount. They have a special name for them which escapes me at the moment. Oh, culls, although that usually refers the the lobster itself that is missing the one claw! But obviously it's a stock item. They are sold cooked, but I'm sure it's not immediately following detachment.

        1. j
          josephlapusata Oct 13, 2013 04:44 AM

          Yes, they are fine. Try and cook it soon. The meat will start to get a bit soft if it hangs around too long.

          1 Reply
          1. re: josephlapusata
            greenjenkins Oct 13, 2013 10:18 AM

            Thank you -- I don't have a great sense of smell (although ammonia is pretty distinctive), so it helps to have a visual test too.

          2. k
            kseiverd Oct 13, 2013 06:26 AM

            I'd say it'll be just fine. You KNOW it just fell off and hadn't be just tossed in before shipping to make sure each lobster had a pair.

            1. Tripeler Oct 13, 2013 06:41 AM

              I'd be suspicious buying it from a guy who only has claws for sale and says "Yeah, this just fell off the lobster."

              2 Replies
              1. re: Tripeler
                little big al Oct 13, 2013 01:11 PM

                My Dad , Big Big Al used to buy culls (one clawed lobsters) cause they were cheap. So was he in a big hearted way, and used to say he got them for their fighting spirit. My smart assed brother said "Dad, next time you pick a fightah, pick a winnah!"

                1. re: little big al
                  alkapal Oct 14, 2013 05:59 AM

                  love it!

              2. greenjenkins Oct 14, 2013 02:25 AM

                Update: it was totally fine. NOM! Thanks for all the advice!

                1 Reply
                1. re: greenjenkins
                  coll Oct 14, 2013 05:24 AM

                  It would have been a shame to throw away, glad we were able to rescue it!

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