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How to Prepare a Lobster

So, you have yourself a fresh, whole lobster, but now you're faced with preparing it for use in your cullinary creations. Well, Ellis Barrie has provided this fantastic and easy to follow guide, in association with Food & Drink Wales.


1 Whole Lobster


1. Place the live lobster in a freezer for about 2hrs

2. Fill a large pan with water and bring to a rolling boil and
add a pinch of salt

3. On the back of the lobster you will find a cross. Place
your knife on the cross and drive down your knife down
towards the head, this will stun the lobster

4. Place the lobster into the boiling water, placing the lid
on the pan, and set a timer for 4 mins

5. While it is cooking get an ice bath ready with plenty of
ice or cold water in a sink or large container so that you
can run cold water over it if required

6. After 4 minutes, take the lid off the pan and take out the
lobster and place into the ice bath

7. Chill for 2 minutes in water or ice bath

8. Take out of ice bath and place on a large board

9. Whip the claws off and lay parts out on a clean board.
Give them a little wiggle and a twist and a pop and they
will come off, you will get all this off in one piece

10. For the legs, follow the same method, go right up to the
body where they attach and give them a little twist

11. For the body we are going to manipulate and move it
and with a twist, this should come away quite easy.

12. When taking the meat out of the head, remember to
remove and throw away the dead man’s fingers. Do not
eat these.

13. With the large claw, using the blade of the knife, drive
into the shell, give it a shake and the meat should fall
out in one piece. For the knuckles get some tweezers
and some scissors and extract the meat. Snip inside the
shell on both sides of the shell to make room for the
meat to fall out, rather than pull it out. This keeps the
meat nice and whole. Use the tweezers to pull out the

14. For the body and tail, press together and crack the
segments of the shell and pull away the shell (you can
keep the shell to make tasty stock or soup). Then cut
the body only half way through to straighten the lobster

15. For the legs you will need scissors and a plastic rolling
pin. Snip both the ends to release the meat. With the
rolling pin, push down to squeeze the meat out, you may
need to use tweezers to help with this task

16. Shells are for the wonderful stock or soup or bisque
intense flavours. You can freeze the shells in a bag or box
if you’re not going to use straight away