People have a lot of opinions about lobster rolls. Many are passionate about what ingredients are included: mayonnaise, butter, celery, onion, gourmet rolls vs. hot dog rolls and more. For me, I'm all about simple buttery lobster rolls. Lobster meat, butter, lemon, hot dog rolls, and a light sprinkling of chopped chives. I love truly appreciating the luxury of eating lobster meat and the perfect complement to that, to me, is butter. However, you can't make a lobster roll without knowing how to crack open a lobster to get.that.meat. Don't be intimidated - it's a lot easier than it looks. This is Part 1, cracking open the lobster. Part 2 will show you How to Make Awesome Buttery Lobster Rolls.
Steps to Cracking Open a Lobster and Pulling Out the Meat
So now you know how to crack open a lobster and get that meat out. I cannot underscore enough to be careful as you go about this process. Lobster shells are very sharp and it's easy to cut yourself. Work slowly and cautiously as you crack and retrieve the meat. If you need to make more cracks in the shell so it's easier, do it.
Lobster Rolls Are Too Expensive to Buy - Getting Lobsters on Sale is the Key
I live in Massachusetts, so I am very lucky to have access to lobsters that are locally caught. Most grocery stores have a seafood counter that includes a tank with live lobsters. A few times per summer, there will be a crazy lobster sale. And when I say crazy, I mean $6.99/pound. This is extremely cheap for lobster.
The going rate for buying a lobster roll at a take-out seafood shack or at a restaurant can vary and cost as much as $20-40 for ONE lobster roll. When lobsters go on sale for $6.99/pound, you can buy four lobsters for about $40 and make FOUR lobster rolls with them. This is what I did.
When I got to the seafood counter, they only had "chick" lobsters left. This means the weight is about 1-1 ¼ pounds per lobster. I wasn't sure there would be enough meat in one lobster to make a lobster roll. But there was! Yay! And bonus: they will steam the lobsters for you at my grocery store! If you have this option in your area: go for it!
I used plain old hot dog rolls, and they were overflowing with lobster meat. Remember, lobster with butter is rich and filling and you'll likely be serving these with chips, fries or a side salad so it's more than enough for a meal.
How to Cook Lobster at Home:
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil on high heat (pot needs to be big enough to fit four lobsters).
- Carefully place lobsters in the pot using kitchen tongs.
- Put the lid on the pot and let it come back up to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.
- Let the lobsters cook for about 15 minutes.
- After cooked, transfer lobsters to a colander in your sink and let them cool a few minutes.
- Be careful when you start cracking them open because hot liquid will come out.
Still Got Seafood on Your Brain? I Understand:
- How to Make Awesome Buttery Lobster Rolls
- Honey Butter Bourbon Shrimp
- Warm Shrimp & Gorgonzola Dip on Herbed Crostini
- Baked Dover Sole w/Lemon & Onions
- Garlic Shrimp Crostini w/Romesco Sauce and Shaved Parm