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How to Cook Live Lobster and Tails

whole lobster
The secret to cooking lobster isn't hard to crack!

Cooking Live Lobster

You can store live lobsters 24-36 hours in your refrigerator before cooking. Remove from its store packaging, set in a large container and completely cover with a damp cloth(s). Ensure that the cloth stays damp the entire time the lobsters are stored. Never store live lobster on ice or in fresh water.

To grill a live lobster, use a long, sharp knife to split the lobster in half lengthwise. Scoop out the innards. Brush lobster with garlic-and lemon-flavoured melted butter; season with salt and pepper. Grill, flesh side down, over medium-high heat, 3 minutes. Turn over and brush with a little more flavoured butter. Cook 4 to 5 minutes more, or until cooked through.

3 Ways to Cook Lobster Tails

For best results, thaw lobster before cooking. To do so, set in a dish and refrigerate overnight, or submerge in cold water 30 minutes.
  1. Broiled: Set an oven rack 6" beneath the broiler, then preheat. Cut lobster tail in half lengthwise and pat dry. Set flesh-side-up in a baking dish. Brush with a little melted butter and lemon juice; sprinkle with seasonings, if desired. Broil for 3 minutes, or until just cooked. 
  2. Roasted: With kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, make a shallow, lengthwise cut through the top shell of the lobster tail. Carefully spread the shell open and pull out the meat. Close the shell and set in a roasting pan. Set the lobster meat on top of the shell. Brush with melted butter, lemon juice and, if desired, sprinkle with seasonings. Roast at 425˚F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  3. Grilled: Preheat grill to medium-high. Cut lobster tail in half lengthwise and pat dry. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings, if desired. Lightly oil the grill. Set the tail cut side down and grill 2 minutes. Turn cut side up and grill 2 more minutes, or until just cooked. 

How to check for doneness:

When cooked, the lobster meat will lose its translucency and feel slightly firm, not hard (rubbery), a sign it’s overcooked, and not soft, a sign it’s not cooked through yet.

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