If you’ve just cooked some delicious lobster and want to keep it warm before serving, you’ve come to the right place. Allowing your boiled lobster to cool down can lead to a disappointing meal, with rubbery, flavorless meat.
The good news is that keeping lobster warm after cooking is easy to do with the right techniques. In this article, you’ll learn foolproof methods for maintaining your lobster’s ideal temperature and texture until it’s time to enjoy.
Use Aluminum Foil to Lock In Heat
One of the easiest ways to keep lobster warm is to wrap it in aluminum foil after cooking. Foil acts as an insulator, trapping the heat from the cooking process and preventing it from escaping into the air.
Here’s how to do it:
- After boiling or steaming, remove lobsters from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon. Allow excess water to drip off.
- Place lobsters on a rimmed baking sheet or large plate. Make sure not to overcrowd.
- Wrap the entire lobster, including claws, tail, and any cracked shells, in aluminum foil. Wrap tightly so no steam can escape.
- Keep the foil-wrapped lobsters in a warm oven (at around 175°F to 200°F) or simply leave on the countertop until ready to serve.
This technique can keep lobster piping hot for 15 to 20 minutes. Just be careful not to leave wrapped too long, as the shells can overcook the meat.
Use the Oven’s Low Setting
Another option for maintaining warmth is to place lobsters in a low oven:
- Preheat your oven to around 175°F to 200°F. This keeps the oven warmer than room temperature but won’t overcook the lobster.
- Arrange lobsters on a rimmed baking sheet or oven-safe plate. Don’t overcrowd.
- Heat lobsters in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until warmed through. Check temperature with a food thermometer, making sure meat reaches 140°F.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately for the best texture.
The gentle, ambient heat of the oven helps retain warmth without continuing to cook the lobster. Just monitor closely and remove once heated through.
Simmer in Broth
For especially juicy, flavorful meat, try simmering lobsters in broth:
- In a large skillet, heat 2 cups vegetable, chicken or seafood broth over medium heat.
- Once simmering, add lobster bodies, claws, and tails. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes to heat lobsters through.
- Use tongs to transfer lobsters to a serving plate or platter. Spoon some broth over top.
- Garnish with lemon wedges, fresh parsley, or other herbs. Serve immediately.
The hot broth infuses incredible flavor while gently reheating. This is a terrific way to reheat leftover lobster too.
Use a Sternos Fuel Canister
Sternos fuel canisters are designed to keep foods hot at the table, making them ideal for maintaining lobster temperature:
- Place a metal chafing dish rack over the lit Sternos canister.
- Arrange cooked lobsters on a heat-safe platter or pan and place on top of rack. Cover with a lid.
- The fuel’s steady flame will keep lobsters toasty for 30 minutes or more, allowing you time to get everything else to the table.
- Top off canister fuel as needed to maintain consistent warmth.
With this method, your lobsters will stay piping hot and ready to enjoy. Just make sure to keep the chafing dish covered when not serving.
Microwave with Wet Paper Towels
A quick microwave method involves wet paper towels:
- Wet a few paper towels with tap water and wring out any excess moisture.
- Wrap the towels around lobster tails or whole lobsters.
- Place on a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high in 30-second increments.
- Check temperature after each 30 seconds. Stop when lobster meat reaches 140°F.
The damp towels create steam to gently reheat the lobster without overcooking. This easy technique is perfect in a pinch!
Pick the Right Plate Temperature
Believe it or not, the temperature of the plate itself can make a difference:
- Right before serving, warm your plates in the oven at around 175°F, or run under hot water.
- Avoid cold plates straight from the refrigerator, as these will cool lobsters down quickly.
- For fancy dinner parties, consider keeping plates in the oven on a very low warm setting to maintain the perfect temperature.
Warm plates retain heat beautifully to keep those buttery, juicy lobsters steaming hot from kitchen to table.
Time It Right
When keeping lobster warm, timing is key:
- Only hold for 10 to 20 minutes maximum to prevent overcooking. Much longer, and you risk drying out the meat.
- Don’t hold in a hot oven or other heat source for too long, as the shells can toughen up the delicate meat.
- If holding for longer periods before eating, it’s better to reheat the lobsters when ready using steaming, simmering, or other gentle methods.
- Serve as soon as possible for the best flavor, texture, and temperature.
With good timing, you can keep lobster warm and luscious. But don’t push your luck – lobster waits for no one!
Extra Tips and Tricks
- Add a pat of butter on top of each lobster before serving to create delicious drizzles of buttery goodness.
- Serve with lobster bibs, claw crackers, and picks to make eating easier. Provide small dipping bowls for drawn lemon butter.
- Accompany with crusty bread, potatoes, corn on the cob, or creamy coleslaw to round out the meal.
- Garnish your lobsters with fresh dill, parsley, chives, or other fresh herbs to add a pop of color and flavor.
- Brush on a bit of melted, herbed butter after cooking for extra tenderness and taste.
With the proper techniques, keeping lobster warm after cooking is simple. Follow these tips, and your lobster will be succulent, flavorful and ready to savor. From foil wraps to simmering and steaming, now you have all the tricks you need for serving incredible lobster every time.