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  • Jason Bolton: Hello. My name is Jason Bolton. I'm the University of Maine Cooperative Extension

  • Food Safety Specialist. Today I have with me Bob Bayer.

  • Bob Bayer: I'm Bob Bayer, Executive Director of the Lobster Institute at the University

  • of Maine, and also Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences.

  • Jason: Today Bob and I are going to be talking about the proper ways to cook and prep lobsters.

  • Bob: A Maine lobster's probably the icon for Maine. It's our most famous seafood. Probably

  • internationally, it is the most famous seafood, perhaps, in the world. It's well known for

  • its flavor. It's the prized seafood.

  • It's not only good, but it's good for you. It has less total fat and cholesterol than

  • lean beef, poached eggs, even roasted, skinless chicken breast. It's high in iron, zinc, potassium,

  • magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin A, B12, B6, B3, and B2, so it's good and good

  • for you.

  • When we buy lobsters in Maine or anywhere else, depending on the time of the year, we

  • may be buying hard-shell lobsters, shedder lobsters or soft-shell, or new-shell lobsters.

  • The new-shell lobster tends to have a lesser meat yield. Some people think the flavor is

  • better. The hard-shell has more meat, but it's certainly harder to get into. Usually

  • you need a nutcracker, or sometimes a hammer.

  • The lobsters we're using today are new-shell lobsters. One of the ways you can tell...just

  • by looking at them. You can touch them. The shell has some give to it. If you turn the

  • lobster over, if this were a hard-shell lobster, it would be black. There would be bits of

  • black, it would be very dark, and the lobster would obviously be very hard.

  • Some people prefer one sex lobster over the other. This is a male. The reason we know

  • is...We look at the structure right here. In the male, it's armor-plated with shell

  • material, hard and bony. In the female, the same organ is soft and feathery.

  • Many people prefer a female. In this female, when it's cooked, there is what's called the

  • "coral" by the consumer. It's actually the ovary. It's bright red. It's waxy in consistency.

  • Many people do like to eat that, so they'll ask for a female lobster.

  • Jason: Let's talk about the most common ways to cook live lobsters. Three most common ways

  • are boiling, steaming, or grilling them.

  • Bob: It's best to take the rubber bands off. It's just a good idea to take them off if

  • you have the time and are not doing mass quantity. A knife works well.

  • Jason: The first procedure we're going to talk about is boiling. In order to start this

  • process, you want to get a large stock pot, fill it about three-quarters of the way full

  • with either sea water, or you could even add salt to tap water. We're going to do that.

  • It's about a tablespoon of salt per quart of water.

  • Get this to a rolling boil, and then you want to add your lobsters. Bob has already removed

  • the rubber bands from these ones. You drop them in, and you bring it back to kind of

  • a simmer.

  • The timing for this, how does this work? About 18 minutes for a pound to a quarter-pound

  • lobster. For anything larger, about one-and-a-half pounds, it's about 20 minutes. If you're using

  • soft-shells, you want to make sure you reduce this time by approximately three minutes.

  • Steaming is very similar to boiling. Obviously, you use less water. When you start the actual

  • steaming process, you're going to use about two inches of water at the bottom of a large

  • stock pot. You can use sea water or, once again, you can use salted water. Same ratios

  • apply as boiling.

  • We want to remove the rubber bands, which has already been done, and you're going to

  • drop the lobsters in. The cook time is also pretty much the same. For a pound to a pound-and-a-quarter

  • lobster, you're going to do about 18 minutes. The cook time for over a pound-and-a-half

  • or about a pound-and-a-half is 20 minutes. You're going to reduce this time by three

  • minutes if you're talking or using soft-shell lobsters.

  • If you decide to grill the lobsters, the first thing you want to do is parboil them. Same

  • procedure as boiling, except you're only going to boil them for about five minutes. Once

  • the lobsters come to a rolling boil -- you've set them for five minutes -- you want to remove

  • the lobsters and put them in cold water.

  • You're going to remove the lobsters and put them in an ice bath. This stops the cooking

  • process. About 50 percent ice, 50 percent cold water.

  • After they've cooled down, you're going to remove them from the ice water. Try to remove

  • as much of the water as possible. After they've been removed from the cold water, they can

  • be either put into a plastic bag for storage in the refrigerator, or frozen. Or we go onto

  • the next step, which is grilling.

  • Bob: This process involves taking our knife and... [sounds of cutting] ...as long as you're

  • on the center...you open it up. There are a couple things that we will remove. First

  • is the tomalley, which is right here. The sand sack, but it's actually the stomach. We'll also remove the intestine,

  • which is in the tail. [crunching sound] Oops.

  • Sometimes the intestine is hard to see. If it's not full, it's not pigmented. Oh, here

  • it is. There's the intestine. Often it's full and pigmented, and it's a lot easier to see.

  • This one is relatively empty. There it is. We'll remove the intestine because sometimes

  • that can impart a flavor.

  • Jason: You want to add some kind of butter or olive oil to the lobster before you grill

  • it. This helps with the sticking and also helps with flavor.

  • Once you've done the parboiling and you've done all the prep work by splitting the lobster,

  • you can now put them on the grill. You want to put them on the grill flesh-side down,

  • making sure to spread the lobster's cavity here as you place it down, and also open up

  • the tail a little bit. Make sure the tail is folded out like that with the cavity open.

  • You're going to cook them flesh-side down for five to six minutes. You're going to want

  • to make sure also that the lid of the grill is put down during this whole process. Then

  • you're going to flip them and cook them another four to five minutes. You'll want to do it

  • on relatively low heat because the lobster shell and the meat can burn pretty easily.

  • One anatomical fact about the lobsters. They have very distinct claws. There's one claw

  • that's the ripping claw, the ripper claw. It's got serrated edges on the inside here.

  • It's literally for ripping things or tearing things apart. It's usually smaller than the

  • other claw, which is the crushing claw, a lot larger. It's used for grasping things

  • and breaking things. These can switch. They're not always on necessarily the left side or

  • the right side, they can switch back and forth.

  • For more information on cooking and preparing lobsters, you can visit the University of

  • Maine Cooperative Extension website or...

  • Bob: ...the Lobster Institute website at the University of Maine.

Jason Bolton: Hello. My name is Jason Bolton. I'm the University of Maine Cooperative Extension

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Lobster Cooking and Eating

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    rachel6433 posted on 2015/04/09
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