The delicious Maine lobster is known for rich large meat portions. A lot of that meat comes from the massive claws, and this lobster is found along the northern coast of the United States. Since these lobsters hang out in Maine’s cool waters, the meat is very tender and sweet, especially when you compare it to that of spiny lobsters.
You might be hesitant to try cooking a Maine lobster if you’ve never attempted it before, but I’m going to show you how to prepare Maine lobster beautifully every time. I will also share with you a few dishes you can make using lobster, like tasty lobster rolls.
How to Cook Maine Lobster
You can either steam lobster or boil it. I’ll show you both methods.
If you’re going to steam lobsters, you can take about 2 inches of water in a large pot on the stovetop. Heat the water until it starts to really boil, and then put your live lobsters in. Cover the pot and keep heating until the water starts boiling again. If you’re cooking about a pound of hard-shell lobsters, you want them to cook at that heat for about 18 minutes.
The method is slightly different for boiling, and you want to begin with a large pot filled about 1/4 of the way with water. Seawater works really well, but you can make a good substitute by adding about 2 tablespoons of salt for each quart you have of water. Generally, you want to give each of your lobsters you are boiling about 2 1/2 quarts of water in the pot. Heat up your water until it starts boiling. Place the lobsters in there while they’re still alive and continue heating until the water starts boiling once more. Then, put the cover on the pot and cook on low, simmering for 15 minutes. This cooking time assumes that you have about a pound to a pound and a quarter of hard-shell lobsters.
How to Cook Maine Lobster Tails
The best way to cook lobster tails is in the oven. Here are step-by-step instructions for doing just that:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut most of the meat out of the shell with a heavy, sharp knife. You want to pull last meet up and place it on the top of the shelf. Don’t cut it free from the rest of the meat. Don’t cut the entire shell either. This is how lobster tails are most often presented. If you’ve done it properly, all the meat should be out from the shell except for the part closest to the tail.
- Close the shell back down and season as you prefer. You can use dill (want to know how to use dill in cooking), lemon, olive oil, or butter for seasoning.
- You’re cooking based on how much meat you have. Cook the tails for a minute and a half for every ounce of meat.
How to Eat Maine Lobster
Now that you know how to cook Maine lobster, you may want to know how it’s traditionally presented, served, and eaten. How to eat a whole Maine lobster?
The lobster is usually seasoned with a garlic butter sauce. You can pour that over the lobster or leave the sauce in a bowl for people to dip their meat into.
Most people prefer the lobster to be served in the shell, and then they crack the shell open themselves with nutcrackers or seafood crackers. If you prefer to avoid any mess at the table, it may be best to cut the shell open but leave the meat sitting on top of the shell as much as possible.
This allows for a presentation of lobster with the shell at least partially intact but then saves a lot of mess and hassle when eating.
How to Make Maine Lobster Rolls
One of my favorite dishes to make with lobster is the lobster roll, and I’ll show you how to make a Maine lobster roll using the lobster meat you already cooked using the directions up above.
Start by taking any cartilage or shell pieces out of the lobster and then cut your lobster meat into chunks. You can make a salad of your lobster meat at this point, adding some celery powder and mayonnaise if you like. Make sure that the salad is not heavy, because you want the lobster meat to stand out.
Your lobster salad should chill for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving. To make the lobster rolls, you want to preheat a griddle or frying pan using medium heat to cook hot dog buns and cut them open, and then butter them on the flat side. Grill them for a minute or two on each side until they have a toasted appearance. Then, add your lobster salad and include lettuce, if you like.
How to Make Maine Lobster Stew
Let me share with you a quick and easy way to make Maine lobster stew. You want to start with lobster stock. If you’re making that from scratch, it can take a lot of time, but you can also find the stock in the grocery.
To season and fill out your stew, you’ll want to dice an onion and cook it on medium heat for about five minutes in a frying pan. Add in some apple cider vinegar or liquid of your choice for flavoring and extra liquid. Allow that to simmer for a couple minutes and then add in lobster meat cooked according to the directions from earlier in the article. You can add milk or heavy cream and then your seasonings to finish. You can use black pepper, chives, paprika, or other seasonings of your liking.
How to Freeze Maine Lobster
I’ve given you a few dishes you can make with lobster and showed you how to cook Maine lobster as well. Now, what about storing it? How do you keep Maine lobster safe in the freezer so that it’s ready to use when you need it?
Allow the lobster meat to cool before storing in the freezer. You can store just the meat or the shell lobster. It needs to be stored as zero degrees Fahrenheit in freezer safe bags, with as much air removed as possible.