keithjennison April 9, 2009

Preparing a lobster dinner may seem like a formidable task for those who are unsure of the steps in the process. After all, it must be purchased within just a few hours of being eaten and must be alive immediately before it is cooked. A short guide on choosing, handling and eating delicious lobsters is as follows:

As with a seafood restaurant, a seafood market will usually have a salt water tank of live crabs lobsters from which to choose. As you are gazing into the tank trying to decide which live rock lobster you will take home, remind yourself that the freshest lobster is the one that is alive and kicking.

rock lobster
To maintain that freshness, you must cook it the same day you purchase it. Size matters as well in your choice. To keep your lobster alive and strong, make sure you take him home immediately and cook him the same day. As portions go, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds is considered a single serving.

Once you have chosen your fresh lobster dinner from the seafood market, make sure to get it into the refrigerator and cover it with a damp cloth as soon as possible. Do not let it sit out at room temperature for more than half an hour and never put a live specimen in fresh water for storage purposes.

live lobster
There are four basic ways to cook lobster – boiling, steaming, grilling or broiling. By far the easiest method is boiling. You simply fill a large lobster pot (stock pot) with water and add a quarter of a cup of salt and bring to a boil. Once the water has been brought to a rolling boil, gently place the crustacean(s) in the water.

Let it boil five minutes for the first pound, and an additional 3 minutes for each additional pound. It will turn a characteristic bright red color well before the meat is thoroughly cooked inside, so follow these easy tips to ensure that it is cooked: Tug on an antennae or pull off one of the small walking legs. They both will come off easily when it is done. The meat inside will be firm and white.

It’s time to eat! Don’t be intimidated. Grasp the lobster by the back and pull off the legs with a twisting motion. There are small morsels of goodness inside them. Next, break off a lobster claw at the first joint. With a nutcracker or a similar device, crack open the tip of the claw to expose the meat inside. The lobster tail holds a great portion of the meat. To get to it, grasp the tail with one hand and the back with your other hand and twist.

lobsters crabs
Live lobsters are easy to cook, and now you know how simple the boiling method is. While they may be broiled or grilled, they are also delicious when just boiled or steamed. Boiling is probably the simplest method. To enjoy your lobster dinner, you need only melted butter as an accompaniment.