PDA

View Full Version : I'm planning a lobster execution tonight. Any advice?


teela brown
12-30-2004, 12:08 PM
Okay, there's a first time for everything. Our local Asian markets are selling live Maine lobsters at an excellent price this week, so it's time to take the plunge. I've never cooked lobsters before, and while I know the basics, does anybody have any advice for a nervous first-time executioner?

MikeG
12-30-2004, 12:25 PM
The best method for the nervous executioner that I have found comes from, who else, Alton Brown.

The tools:

Big pot

small rocks or a steaming insert (AB used river rocks ~1-2" diameter)

Water

Get the water up and steaming strongly and place the lobster in the bottom of the pot on the rocks. Place the lid on, count to ten and the lobster will have shuffeld of his mortal coil. Easy peasy, no?

You donb't want the lobster in contact with the bottom of the pot or immersed in the boiling water. Afterwards you can do with it as you will but do it quickly, lobster goes bad pretty darn fast.

Ike Witt
12-30-2004, 12:31 PM
A blindfold, a cigarette and a quick shot to the back of the head.

ouryL
12-30-2004, 12:43 PM
Ooo!

Might I suggest a hatpin through the brain?!

:rolleyes:

Exgineer
12-30-2004, 12:47 PM
MikeG's method is pretty much the way my grandfather taught me to do it, except gramps also used seaweed.

A ten count doesn't seem long enough. Sure, they'll be dead, but they'll also be raw. If you want steamed lobster (the only way to go, in my opinion) leave them in there for 20 minutes or so, depending on their size.

Neurotik
12-30-2004, 12:50 PM
Depends on how you're planning on cooking it, but there are three ways to do this:

1) Take a chef's knife and place the tip (with the blade facing forward) in the little head groove a bit behind the eyes. There's a crease in the shell. Punch straight down, quickly, and then chop forward with the knife. The bug's head will be split in half and he'll be dead. Then you can turn the knife around and cut the whole thing completely in half if you want to cook it that way.

2) Dunk the little sucker head first into a big pot of boiling water.

3) Steam him as per Mike's instructions.

If you're squeamish, chill the lobster in the freezer for a while before you off him. His nervous system, such as it is, will basically shut down. It's like cheap bug anesthesia.

Telemark
12-30-2004, 01:01 PM
Steaming is better, but boiling works just fine too. DO NOT place a live lobster in a pot on water that hasn't yet boiled. Trust me.

Make sure you get steamers (steamed clams) and have plenty of drawn butter. You should have a few nutcrackers and sturdy forks to remove the shells. Lots of paper towels, it should be a messy affair.

Neurotik
12-30-2004, 01:15 PM
Steaming is better, but boiling works just fine too. DO NOT place a live lobster in a pot on water that hasn't yet boiled. Trust me.
You've piqued my curiosity. I think it's story time.

Ass For A Hat
12-30-2004, 01:51 PM
Another tip from Mr. Brown that works well...stick your lobsters in the freezer for 15 minutes or so before you're ready to end them. The cold will really slow them down. That way you won't get any thrashing around as you lower the lobsters into the steaming pot of death.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
12-30-2004, 02:08 PM
J'accuse!


There is only one way to execute the aristo lobster...ze guillotine!!

Lobsang
12-30-2004, 02:34 PM
If it sings, would you still execute it?

Uvula Donor
12-30-2004, 02:34 PM
As much as I like Alton Brown, that ain't no way to cook a lobster. "Count to ten"??

You don't really need rocks. Just get a big pot and put three or four inches of water on the bottom. Throw in some salt. Bring the water to a full, vigorous boil. When the water is boiling, put in the bugs in upside down, head first. Replace the lid and cook for about 20 minutes. When they're done, they'll be bright red, the tail will be tightly curled, and when you flex the tail outward the meat you see from the underside will be milky white.

Putting the lobsters in the freezer first is up to you. I don't do it and never have.

cckerberos
12-30-2004, 02:46 PM
Steaming is better, but boiling works just fine too. DO NOT place a live lobster in a pot on water that hasn't yet boiled. Trust me.

Really? I'm pretty sure that's the way my mother's always cooked them.

smoke
12-30-2004, 02:47 PM
I think a few people are misunderstand the significance of the Great Alton Brown's (may He entertain us always) "count to ten" line- it's not "count to ten and Voila! It's cooked!". It's "count to ten and it's already dead", and was a response to the imagined squeamishness of the viewer to killing lobsters.

He's just saying that they don't suffer for long. (Whether they suffer at all is a matter for another debate.)

Ass For A Hat
12-30-2004, 02:48 PM
As much as I like Alton Brown, that ain't no way to cook a lobster. "Count to ten"??

AB was only counting to ten to allay the fears of those who felt that killing lobsters this way is cruel. He was stating that by the time you count to ten, the lobsters will be dead...not fully cooked.

Uvula Donor
12-30-2004, 02:51 PM
AB was only counting to ten to allay the fears of those who felt that killing lobsters this way is cruel. He was stating that by the time you count to ten, the lobsters will be dead...not fully cooked.

Ah! I misunderstood. Thanks for the clarification.

smoke
12-30-2004, 03:06 PM
Invisible guy
Invisible guy
Friendly neighborhood
Invisible guy...

Telemark
12-30-2004, 03:56 PM
Really? I'm pretty sure that's the way my mother's always cooked them.
Dropping live lobsters in not yet boiling water?! That's a recipe for disaster, IMO. Granted, if the water is at 200 F it's going to kill them just as fast as boiling, but if the water is at 100 F they're going to kick and trash and try to escape, possibly knocking the lid off the pot and waving their claws and little antenae around before succumbing to the inevitable in a pathetic death scene reminiscent of bad 1950's melodrama.

Or so I've been told. Never seen it myself, naturally. Please, move along. Stop looking at me like that.

:smack:

ivylass
12-30-2004, 03:59 PM
Why do you keep calling them bugs? They're crustaceans, no? Calling them bugs makes me think of roaches and beetles.

That's not how I want to think of my lobsters.

Loopydude
12-30-2004, 04:08 PM
Try not to succumb to the temptation to giving them names, or letting them race across the kitchen floor a few times before you do them in (placing wagers on the winner may also be illegal, depending on your jurisdiction). Getting so attached just makes it that much harder when you have to shove poor "Flippy's" head into a pot of boiling water; and then the tail just kinds flails all around, and in the back of your mind, you think you can hear that high-pitched little squeal "Aieeeeee! Dooooon't killll pooor Flippy! Nooooooo!".

Neurotik
12-30-2004, 04:15 PM
Why do you keep calling them bugs? They're crustaceans, no? Calling them bugs makes me think of roaches and beetles.

That's not how I want to think of my lobsters.
They're crustaceans, but that's only a little bit removed from spiders and insects. They're all arthropods.

ivylass
12-30-2004, 04:20 PM
How far removed from spiders and insects? :eek:

I'm not sure I needed to know that little tidbit.

Ferret Herder
12-30-2004, 04:25 PM
I thought they tended to hang around sewage processing plants and that kind of thing, plus they're at least partially scavengers, eating decaying flesh and whatever else they can find. Anyway, with that in mind I just call them "cockroaches of the sea" without much of a thought.

Loopydude
12-30-2004, 04:35 PM
I thought they tended to hang around sewage processing plants and that kind of thing, plus they're at least partially scavengers, eating decaying flesh and whatever else they can find. Anyway, with that in mind I just call them "cockroaches of the sea" without much of a thought.

That's pretty accurate. It's odd to think that Maine lobsters are considered such a delicacy. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, lobstah was plentiful in the waters off the coast of Maine, so plentiful in fact that it was the staple of the poor Down Easter who could not afford "better" sources of protein to supplement their diets. Lobster was served to prisoners in such quantities the Govt. of Massachusetts (back when Maine was still its province) declaired it was "cruel and unusual punishment" to feed them such vile fare more than twice a week.

Ukulele Ike
12-30-2004, 04:44 PM
Try not to succumb to the temptation to giving them names....
Every lobster I've ever butchered has answered to the name of "Sparky," for some reason.

screech-owl
12-30-2004, 06:00 PM
Make sure Mary Tyler Moore is not on the guest list.

The Devil's Grandmother
12-30-2004, 06:20 PM
How far removed from spiders and insects?
Far enough that they are tasty treats. Don't think about it anymore (http://krysstal.com/animals.html).

Uvula Donor
12-30-2004, 07:08 PM
Why do you keep calling them bugs? They're crustaceans, no?

I worked on a lobster boat in Maine when I was a teenager. All the fishermen called them "bugs", so I picked up the habit too.

Uvula Donor
12-30-2004, 07:16 PM
I thought they tended to hang around sewage processing plants and that kind of thing, plus they're at least partially scavengers, eating decaying flesh and whatever else they can find.

They eat some pretty nasty stuff. The first time I ever had to ladle lobster bait I almost puked.

There's an old joke about the lobster fisherman whose partner went overboard in a squall. They never found his body. A few weeks later, the fisherman was out on the water with someone else and they pulled into the area where his partner had drowned.

"Isn't this where Amos drowned?"

"Yup."

"Did we come out here to lay a wreath?"

"Nope. Uncommon good lobsterin' heah lately."

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
12-30-2004, 08:14 PM
Invisible guy
Invisible guy
Friendly neighborhood
Invisible guy...


Cheesy Stunt,
Cheesy Stunt,
Wish I'd thought of it,
Wish I'd thought of it.

:)

jweb
12-30-2004, 08:38 PM
Obligaory Simpsons (http://snpp.com/episodes/AABF03) Quote:

Lisa: That's one grade I truly earned.
Marge: Mmmm ... who left these muddy claw prints on my clean floor?
Homer: Sorry, Marge. Pinchy got all dirty in the yard chasing birds. But don't worry! I put him in a nice, hot bath.
Bart: [sniffs the air] Hey, what smells so good?
Homer: Yeah ... Pinchy? Pinchy!?! Oh ... =Pinchy=!!!!!
[he runs out of the room worried]




Homer: [eating, crying] Oh, man, that's good. [sob] Pass the butter.
Bart: Are you gonna eat that all by yourself?
Homer: Uh-huh. Pinchy would've wanted it this way. My dear, sweet Pinchy. [takes a bite] No more pain where you are now, boy. [rips him in half and sucks out the meat inside] Oh, God, that's tasty! I wish Pinchy were here to enjoy this. [takes more bites] Oh, Pinchy ...

teela brown
01-01-2005, 04:30 PM
Score: Lobsters 0, pugluvr family 2

I picked out two three-pounders and kept them under a damp towel in the fridge all day. It was kind of freaky to reach into the fridge for a beer and hear them clicking and bubbling in there, and knowing that their hours were numbered.

At T-minus 60 minutes to dinner, I put on my two biggest stockpots full of salted water and let them come to a rolling boil. I enlisted the aid of Mr. Pug to fetch out the victims and carry them to the pots; they made things difficult by spreading their clawed "arms" wide so that they wouldn't fit into the pots. How smart are these things, anyway?

Well, with a lot of poking and prodding, we got them beneath the water and clapped on the pot lids. Note: the Calphalon brand pot came back to a boil very quickly, and the cheaper other pot took a good ten minutes to do so. Each lobster was cooked exactly 20 minutes, drained, tail removed, and claws cracked.

They were served simply, with melted butter, lemon wedges, cole slaw and cold Sam Adams beer. That was the best New Year's eve feast I ever had. For some reason, I've never eaten much lobster. Perhaps its expense, or the fact that I'm a Dungeness crab freak has something to do with it. Well, the fact I can get it at a good price now and I've learned how to get them into the boiling pot will change all that. Thanks for your advice, Dopers.

screech-owl
01-01-2005, 04:37 PM
...It was kind of freaky to reach into the fridge for a beer and hear them clicking and bubbling in there, and knowing that their hours were numbered.....

Huh? Lobsters bubble?

(Forgive my ignorance, but I have never cooked lobster at home or anywhere else. I've only seen them prodding each other in the tanks at the grocery store. What do they do, froth at the mouth and exoskeleton?)

teela brown
01-01-2005, 04:44 PM
Well, yes, one was actually yarking up bubbles and foam by the time she was ready to take the plunge. I rinsed her off a bit, because it was gross. I say "her" because she was loaded with coral-colored roe, as we found during dismemberment.

Best Topics: doctor girlfriend drummer singers eskimo sex bernadette's tits mervyn s clothing subaru visor connecticut pronounce leg dent lentils taste phenylephrine methamphetamine ayds weight loss cross product inverse chemistry gre percentiles swallowing a marble work for hermes dutch the shield quinceanera gifts money sas shoe sale 200 proof vodka laydown freezer scar over tattoo overloaded moving truck classic stripping song jaguar pronunciation stoma fuck suicide noose lr44 ag13 papi in spanish chicken breast weight fedex pilot schedule securing landscape timbers funny heart puns i want to apologize to my ex parking in front of a mailbox does fuel injector cleaner go bad blue flags in my yard pixels in a 8.5 x 11 page cell phone clock wrong how to get back into piano firsthand or first-hand car engine temperature goes up and down oh we re going to the hukilau can you die from holding your breath too long 0.0 bumper sticker meaning colorado 5 cylinder engine 6.75 hp to cc than carter has liver pills dry well for water softener good examples of common sense broiling in an electric oven how to put on license plate gone off the reservation do i have to show my receipt at walmart my car air conditioner smells suspend water without a cup mythbusters is cheese cake a pie cook where's my hasenpfeffer total recall eyes popping ethyl alcohol vs isopropyl alcohol for cleaning how to buy cyanide pills media mail how long how to remove burnt sugar from pan mute button on blackberry