When you buy live lobster from the market and come back home, you may store it before you cook, and thus the question of freezing a live lobster arises.
However, freezing is not the best way to store it, as freezing a live lobster can cause death.
Freezing a live lobster causes its organs and cells to form ice crystals which can damage them. The shock of going from water, or air temperatures, to sub-zero temperatures, also causes stress on the lobster’s body, leading to death.
In addition, freezing a live lobster can also affect the quality of the meat. When a lobster is frozen, the water inside its cells expands and can cause the cells to rupture, leading to a loss of flavor and texture in the meat.
And when lobsters die, they spoil too quickly and are not suitable to eat. Before you think of freezing, here is what you could do instead.
How to Handle Live Lobsters Without Freezing
Fishmongers keep lobsters alive for sale for a reason. Live lobsters are fresher and taste better, while when they die, bacteria grow quickly, and we cook them, it can lead to food poisoning.
So, the best way to store them when they still alive. You can put them in the fridge at around 40ºF, and they can live up to two days. Make sure you have a damp cloth on the bottom so the lobster can stay moist.
If you want to freeze them, cook them and then freeze them. By cooking the lobster first, you can kill bacteria that may have grown during storage. If done right, cooked lobsters can stay safe in your freezer for up to six months.
How to Cook Live Lobster for Freezing
The best method to cook for freezing is boiling. Boiling can help to seal in all the flavors and textures. Here’s how to do it:
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Place the live lobster in the pot and cover it with a lid.
- Cook the lobster for about 10-15 minutes until it turns bright red.
- Remove the lobster from the pot and let it cool.
- Remove the lobster meat from the shell. You can do this using a lobster cracker or carefully pulling the meat out with your hands.
- Cut the lobster meat into small pieces or slice it into thin strips. This will make it easier to thaw and will also help to preserve the quality of the meat.
- Place the lobster meat in a sealable plastic bag or container. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
Label the bag or container with the date and store it in the freezer. When you need to use the lobster, take it out and thaw it.
How to Thaw Frozen Lobster
When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen lobster, you can use a few methods to thaw it.
- Defrosting the lobster in your refrigerator is the perfect approach for thawing frozen crustaceans. Just take out the lobster from your freezer and leave it to unfreeze in your fridge overnight or over two days.
- If you’re short on time and need to thaw your lobster quickly, place it in a resealable plastic bag submerged in cold water. Be sure to change the bowl of cold water every 30 minutes until the lobster is fully defrosted – this should take roughly 2-3 hours.
- Time-crunched? No problem! With the microwave, you can quickly thaw that lobster. Place it in a dish suited for microwaves and set your appliance to its defrost setting. Keep an eye on the clock; only 2 or 3 minutes is all you need – be careful not to overdo it as this may lead to tough, rubbery meat.
Once cooked and cooled, the lobster can be enjoyed as-is or used in various dishes. Enjoy your delicious meal with friends and family!