Cracking Lobsters

Posted on August 10, 2012
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The best things in life often require a bit of blood, sweat and tears. Lobsters, those tender little crustaceans, are surely one of those things for which hard work totally pays off. They can seem daunting when they show up on your plate, complete with exoskeletons and those beady little eyes with a look that says, “Go ahead, just try to get in.” How do you get out all of that sweet, sweet juicy meat? Luckily, it isn’t as difficult as those beady eyes would have you believe.

First, let’s take a look at the tools you’ll need:

Lobster Cracker



Lobster crackers are essential for breaking the hard shell of the lobster.

Lobster Pick

Lobster picks are handy for getting out the hard-to-reach meat in the legs and claws.

You also will want to keep an empty bowl nearby, to discard of the shell as you go.

Step One: Claws. Start by holding the body and twisting the claws off from where they are attached to the body. Separate at the joints so that you have four pieces, and using the lobster cracker open them up and get the goods!

Step 2: Tail. Roll your friend onto its back and unfold the tail. Separate from the body by twisting and pulling it away. You can get the meat out by sticking your finger into the smallest opening at the base of the tail and pushing it out. Often when you twist off the tail you will reveal the tomalley, which is the lobster’s liver and is perhaps better known as “that green lobster stuff my dad loves.” This is edible, though often has a high concentration of mercury and is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.

Step 3: Body. Pull the top shell away from the body and set it aside. Pick out the thin shells that separate the pieces of rib meat.

Step 4: Legs. Pull the legs away from the body and either suck the meat out or use the lobster pick to remove and enjoy.

There you have it! You have now successfully dismembered and gutted your beady-eyed friend and enjoyed his deliciously salty insides. Enjoy!

photo credit: Lars Plougmann via photopin cc

Sara Henderson (17 Posts)

1 Reply to "Cracking Lobsters"

  • Restaurant Supplier
    August 13, 2012 (5:40 pm)

    Everyone loves the lobster shelling adventure. Nice advice. It has been my experience that a chefs knife works well for claws too! Preferably one you aren’t worried about scratching. Flip the knife over and use the top edge (not the sharp edge) in a hammer like action. 1st stand the claw up on is thin side, not the larger flat side. Aim for the middle of the claw, and with some power Whammo. This should make an indention. Flip claw over on 2nd thin side and repeat. Now we have 2 small cracks at 12 oclock and 6 oclock. Lay the claw flat and with less power begin tapping on the flat side of the claw. This will finalize a uniform break. Flip and repeat and what do you know…..Claw is broken perfectly and what you have left is that monster meat on the inside. Enjoy….I’m going to have to have some lobster sometime soon. Thanks

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