How to Cook and Crack Open a Lobster


Lobster Roll

Throw the lobsters into a large pot of rapidly boiling water and boil for 7-10 minutes for each 1-1 ½ pounds. When done, put the lobsters in a large amount of ice water for 10 minutes to stop the cooking and cool thoroughly. Remove them and drain.

Lightly crush the tail with the heel of your hand to crack the shell. Bend the sides of the shell back and remove the tail in one piece. Separate the claw from the knuckle. Next, hold the claw in one hand and whack the top with the back of a chef’s knife, giving the blade a little twist at the end. If you do this right, it will separate the shell into 2 pieces. Wiggle the thumb part back and forth and pull it off. If you’re lucky and careful, the thumb meat will remain attached. Pull the claw meat out. With the small end of a fork or spoon, pry the meat out of the upper portion of the knuckle. Put the spoon end in again and break off that piece of empty shell. Pry the meat out of the remaining piece of shell. Cut the tail meat in half lengthwise and then into ¾-inch chunks. Pull the claw meat apart with your fingers because there is cartilage in the claws that needs to be removed.

Click here to see the Pearl Oyster Bar's Lobster Roll recipe.


Adapted from "The Big New York Sandwich Book" by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang (Running Press, 2011).