Lobster and butter – what a delectable combination! When perfectly cooked, lobster becomes tender, succulent and sweet. Butter enhances these delightful flavors and adds a rich, indulgent element. If you want to learn how to cook lobster with butter for amazing results, you’ve come to the right place.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn foolproof techniques for boiling, grilling, baking and more. With a bit of patience and the right skills, you can create restaurant-quality lobster at home. Let’s get started!
Choosing Your Lobster
The first step is selecting high-quality lobsters. Here are a few tips:
- Live lobsters are ideal. Choose specimens that are lively and energetic when handled. Avoid any with dull, faded shells.
- Opt for lobsters that are 1.25 to 1.5 pounds in size. This ensures tender, succulent meat.
- The shell should appear shiny and firm, not cracked or damaged.
- Female lobsters tend to have sweeter meat and coral roe, which is a delicacy.
- Check that the tail muscles are flexible but not too limp.
With prime lobsters, you’re ready to move onto preparation and cooking.
Preparing and Storing Lobster
Before cooking your lobster, you’ll need to prep and store it properly:
- Keep live lobsters chilled in a damp towel in the refrigerator until ready to cook. This prevents them from becoming too energetic.
- Twist off the claws and separate the tails from the bodies.
- Split the tails in half lengthwise with kitchen shears. This allows heat to penetrate and cook the meat evenly.
- Remove the intestinal vein that runs along the tail in one swift motion to prevent contamination. Rinse the meat.
- Wrap prepared tails in plastic and store in the fridge if cooking later. Use within two days.
Now it’s time for the fun part – picking a cooking method and making magic happen!
Boiling is a quick, simple way to cook lobster. Follow these steps:
- Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Gently add live lobsters and cover. Return to a boil.
- Cook for 7 minutes for the first pound then 3 minutes for each additional pound.
- Drain and cool briefly before cracking shells. Serve with melted butter.
- Add lemon slices or fresh herbs to the pot for flavor.
- Cook clawed lobsters 2-3 minutes longer since the claws are thicker.
- Don’t overcook! Lobster can become rubbery.
Grilling Lobster Tails
For incredible char and smoky depth, grilled lobster tails are unbeatable. Try this:
- Coat tails with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Grill flesh-side down over direct medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Flip tails and grill 2 more minutes until opaque.
- Brush with garlic-herb butter and grill 1 minute just to melt butter.
- Use a grill basket to easily flip and contain tails.
- Add cayenne pepper or chili powder to the seasoning for a kick.
- Serve with grilled lemon halves.
Baking Lobster Tails
For oven-baked lobster tails with browned butter, follow these instructions:
- Split tails lengthwise and brush with olive oil. Season.
- Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes flesh-side down.
- Flip over and bake 4-6 more minutes until opaque.
- While tails bake, melt butter in a skillet until golden brown.
- Remove tails, brush with brown butter and serve.
- Add garlic, rosemary or thyme to the melted brown butter.
- Use a meat thermometer to check doneness – aim for 140°F.
- Broiling is a quick alternative to baking.
Sautéing Lobster Meat
You can also sauté lobster meat removed from the shells for easy weeknight meals:
- In a pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat.
- Add chopped lobster meat and sauté 2 minutes until heated through.
- Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Stir in chopped parsley or chives before serving.
- Substitute clarified butter or ghee for added richness.
- Mix in flour while sautéing to make a quick lobster pan sauce.
- Serve sautéed lobster meat over pasta or on rolls for lobster rolls.
Making Lobster Risotto
Risotto is a creamy rice dish that pairs fabulously with lobster. To make it:
- Heat broth and keep warm. Sauté onions and arborio rice.
- Gradually add broth, stirring constantly until rice is al dente.
- Stir in Parmesan. Fold in lobster meat and heat through.
- Top with extra cheese, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
The decadent, cheesy rice complements the sweet lobster beautifully.
Steaming is a healthy cooking method that keeps the lobster deliciously moist.
- Fill a pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
- Place lobster tails shell-side down in a steaming basket. Cover and steam 8 minutes.
- Serve tails with lemon wedges and melted butter for dipping.
- Add herbs, garlic or citrus to the steaming water.
- Brush steamed tails with compound butter for extra flavor.
- Steam clawed lobsters for 10-11 minutes.
Pro Tips for Perfection
Use these expert tips for tender, juicy lobster cooked to perfection every time:
- Store lobster tails in the shell until ready to cook for maximum freshness.
- Use a thermometer to accurately gauge doneness – 145°F is ideal.
- Prevent overcooking by baking, grilling or steaming larger tails in stages.
- Pat lobster tails dry before sautéing to help them brown beautifully.
- Let lobster rest for 5 minutes after cooking before eating for the juiciest meat.
- Enhance flavor with compound butters, not heavy sauces, to let the lobster shine.
With the right techniques, you can impress your guests and enjoy restaurant-quality lobster from your own kitchen. Now get out there are start cooking up some lobster magic!