A whole lobster, crawling in a tank, being cooked in a pot or carefully dissembled …
How to Breakdown a Maine Lobster
Nothing can get between a hungry seafood fan and the lobster of his dreams—except, possibly, the fear of public embarrassment. Cracking a lobster isn’t the sort of skill you can fake, and for those without the knack, the process might seem daunting. But before you deny yourself the lobster you’re craving, check out these easy instructions—you’ll look like a lobster cracking pro in no time.
That bib the restaurant gave you? Use it. There’s a lot of water inside a lobster—especially those delicious summer New Shells—and it can squirt out unexpectedly.
- Twist off the claws.
- Crack each claw and knuckle with a lobster or nut cracker (although you can also do this by hand). Remove the meat with that tiny fork or with your fingers.
- Separate the tail from the body and break off the tail flippers. Extract the meat from each flipper.
- Insert a fork and push the tail meat out in one piece.
- Remove and discard the black vein that runs the entire length of the tail meat.
- Separate the shell of the body from the underside by pulling them apart. Discard the green substance called the tomalley.
- Open the underside of the body by cracking it apart in the middle, with the small walking legs on either side. Extract the meat from the leg joints and the legs themselves by biting down on the leg and squeezing the meat out with your teeth.
- Wash those briny hands, enjoy the feeling of pride… and get another lobster. You deserve it.