Kids In The Kitchen: Boiled Lobster

Last weekend was Brittany’s turn in the kitchen. Weeks ago, she had expressed interest in something chocolate (again). When the time came for her to decide, however, she threw a curveball. Lobster, she said. Just like a whole lobster, in the shell? I asked. Yup. I explained that we would be purchasing the lobsters live and cooking them, and while she hesitated, she agreed and we went forward with the plan. Everyone was excited – because hey, it’s not every day there is a lobster dinner at the Mantsch house!

Brittany and I went to the store to buy our lobsters and a few other items. Once the lobsters were in our cart, however, she was no longer interested in getting near the cart. Poor girl – she was worried the lobsters would somehow crawl out of their bag and pinch her. Explaining that their pinchers were secured by rubber bands was not enough to change her mind. I pushed the cart to the checkout, and I placed the lobsters in the car for the ride home, and I was the one that placed them in the refrigerator until it was time to cook.

Unfortunately for Brittany, the whole “mind over matter” thing didn’t work for her when it came to the lobsters. She couldn’t bring herself to place them into the boiling water. (I had to help, and we let Brandan drop one, as he was begging to do it) She was afraid of them. And when it came time to eat, and Brandan had devoured every minute piece of lobster, John and I had our fair share, and Matt had his obligatory “bite” (he said he didn’t like it – but he doesn’t like seafood too much), Brittany was still working through hers. She finally gave up – while she said she enjoyed the taste, she couldn’t get over that the claw meat looked like a claw. Honestly, I’m not a squeamish person when it comes to food, so it’s hard for me to totally empathize, but I felt for her. She was so excited about this meal, but her fears got the best of her. She did try throughout the process, though, and I commended her for that. (We also thanked her for a lobster dinner, because it was delicious!)

If you can handle cooking live lobsters, then this is a very easy, straightforward process. The ingredient list is short (lobster, water, maybe some clarified butter), so the hardest part will be getting to the meat! It’s well worth it though – especially with the claw meat, which is so sweet. Yum!

How to Boil a Lobster

First, make sure you choose live lobsters, and choose those that look lively and healthy in the tank. (You don’t want sluggish or sickly lobsters – so make sure they’re moving around a bit, and their eyes look good.) Buy them as close to when you expect to cook them as possible. They can stay for a while in the refrigerator (they’ll go to sleep, more or less), but it shouldn’t be for more than a few hours. When you’re ready to cook, boil a large pot of water. You can put some salt in the water if you choose.

Once the water comes to a boil, remove the rubber bands from the lobster claws and grasp them by their abdomen (they won’t be able to reach around and pinch you this way). Place them head-down into the water and bring the water back up to a boil. (I had a pot large enough to cook all of our lobsters at once this way) Boil until the lobsters are completely done – their shell should be bright red all over. The meat will no longer be translucent at all. Here are the times for various sizes of lobsters:

1 lb lobsters – 5-7 minutes

1 1/4 lb lobsters – 8-10 minutes

1 1/2 lb lobsters – 10-12 minutes

2 lb lobsters  – 12-14 minutes

3 lb lobsters – 15-18 minutes

I cooked ours for about 10 minutes (each was about 1 1/4 lbs) and they were perfect.

Need help eating the lobster? Here’s a tutorial. I have found that a pair of kitchen shears makes getting through the shell quite easy as well. Enjoy lobster meat unadorned, dipped in clarified butter or ghee, or incorporate the meat into delicious recipes like lobster risotto, lobster bisque, or a salad.


Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Seafood

10 responses to “Kids In The Kitchen: Boiled Lobster

  1. My mouth is watering. Next time you all have lobster for dinner, I’ll help Brittany with her share, poor thing. And actually, this dish has few enough ingredients that I may have to try it myself, for a special occasion.

  2. I think it is so great that Brittany wanted to try lobster. It is intimidating to go through the process of selecting and boiling a creature alive – most adults won’t do it, so I can empathize. Perhaps one day Brittany will come around, the claw meat can be quite good.

  3. I also want to try lobster! I saw some at the store the other day and almost brought them home. Now that I’ve read this, I think I will go back and get them. I love your adventurous kids! And you for being adventurous with them!!!!

  4. I’ve never made or eaten lobster. Truth be told… I’M SCARED OF THOSE BEADY LITTLE EYES!!!!

  5. id definitely have to have you cook it for me cuz im too squeamish altho im sure if i got used to it i wouldnt be over time. haha i like the above comment ” im scared of those beady little eyes!!” ❤

  6. Pingback: Day 51 – Lobster Thermidor « Life with Lizzi

  7. Poor Brittany! One time we took a trip to main and one of my kids was sure he wanted to order a whole lobster at the restaurant. I ordered one too, but no one else in the family was interested. When it arrived, he ended up not eating much–having the whole lobster to deal with was just too much. I ate the tail meat from his, but some went to waste unfortunately. Sometimes they just have to try things like that though.

  8. We love lobster at our house. Son has loved them from a very early age. Hubby bought one of those freezer package deals and it included lobster tails. Well, Son was hooked and that’s been one of his very favorite meals to order out or make ever since. I agree that it’s easier to eat them than prepare them though. 😉 Maybe next time Brandan can cook them and Brittany can just eat them. 🙂


  9. They are soooo worth the trouble!! Yummmmmm

  10. Pingback: Kids In The Kitchen: Blue Crab Boil | Tasty Eats At Home

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