A pre-cooked frozen lobster takes minutes to prepare if you remember to thaw it first. The easiest way to cook frozen lobster is to boil it, but there are other methods, like steaming or grilling.
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Lobster tastes great on its own, so any pre-cooked lobster recipe served with a little butter and some lemon juice will be just enough to please the seafood lovers in your life.
When you're ready to prepare the frozen pre-cooked lobster, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight beforehand.
How to Pre-Cook Lobster and Freeze It
You'll want to pre-cook lobster before freezing it because doing so preserves the freshness and flavor. Blanching, or submerging it in boiling water for about 2 minutes followed by cold water, is the best way to pre-cook lobster.
You can enjoy lobster all year round by freezing it — just pre-cook lobster before popping it into your freezer. Here's how to do it, according to the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.
- Buy a live lobster from your grocery store or seafood market.
- Blanch the lobster in salted, boiling water for 2 minutes.
- Place the lobster in an ice bath for 20 minutes.
- Use a towel to dry off the lobster.
- Put the lobster in a freezer zip bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Wrap the bagged lobster in freezer wrap or double bag it.
- Put the lobster in the freezer. It should keep for up to 12 months.
When you're ready to prepare frozen pre-cooked lobster, make sure to thaw it first. The easiest way to thaw lobster is to put the lobster in the refrigerator overnight.
If you're in a hurry, you can also use a microwave at low heat — however, this method is not ideal. Thawing lobster under running water is a preferred alternative method when in a time crunch.
If you don't thaw the lobster before cooking it, the meat will stick to the shell, and it will also cause the meat to be tough instead of tender.
How to Prepare Frozen Pre-Cooked Lobster (Boiling Method)
Now that you've pre-cooked the lobster by blanching, freezing and thawing it, you're ready to prepare it. Considering lobster is so good by itself, a classic recipe is to simply boil it and serve it with herb butter and a drizzle of freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
Things You'll Need
2 to 3 tablespoons of salt
1 stick of butter, melted (add herbs to taste)
1. Boil the Lobsters
Fill a large pot about halfway with water and salt. Bring it to a rolling boil, and then use tongs to grab the lobsters, plunging each one headfirst into the water.
Cover and allow the water to return to a boil. Once it is boiling again, reduce the heat to medium, and allow to cook for 7 minutes for a 1-pound lobster. Add 3 minutes per additional pound.
When ready, the shells will turn a bright red color, and the meat opaque and firm.
Nearly all seafood should be cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the FDA.
Instead of opening up a lobster to see if the meat is opaque and firm, you can pull a lobster up with tongs and stick a thermometer inside to check the temperature.
2. Melt the Butter
Warm a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the stick of butter, and cook until completely melted. Remove from the hot burner and carefully pour into a serving dish.
3. Prep the Lobsters for Serving
Use tongs to remove the lobsters and place them in a colander so they can drain any excess water. If everyone is cracking open their own lobsters, you can just plate them and serve with melted butter and lemon wedges.
Other Methods for Preparing Frozen Cooked Lobster
Boiling isn't the only way to prepare lobster that's been pre-cooked and frozen. Just as with fresh lobster, you can steam, grill and even bake pre-cooked lobster in the oven. The difference is that the cooking times will be shorter.
Steam pre-cooked frozen lobster after thawing it in a large pot over boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes. To bake pre-cooked frozen lobsters, heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and wrap each lobster in foil with some butter and bake for about 10 minutes.
And while it's most common to grill lobster tails, you can grill whole lobster, too. Simply cut the lobster lengthwise all the way through into two halves and cut small slits in the claws. Brush the meat with some melted butter and lemon juice, then grill over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the lobsters are done cooking (here's how to tell.)
No matter which way you prepare frozen lobster, make sure you thaw it first.
How to Crack Open a Lobster
Things You'll Need
Lobster shell cracker or nutcracker
Large bowl or trash can
It's a messy job, so grab an apron or a bib to protect your clothing.
If your guests will be cracking their own lobsters, add a large waste bowl to the table, so everyone can discard the shells. If you're doing the cracking for them, you can just use your trash can.
But, you can also save the shells for soup. If you can't use them immediately, put them into a large freezer bag, squeeze out the air and close them. Freeze until you're ready to use them.
Bend the tail backward and twist to remove it. Using the kitchen scissors, starting at the open end (holding in one hand with the bottom side up), cut down the tail to the bottom. Open each side, and remove the tail meat, which should come out in one piece.
If there is any green pasty stuff, gently wipe it away with a paper towel, and throw it out.
The green pasty stuff is known as tomalley and is the lobster's liver and pancreas. The Maine Division of Environmental and Community Health recommends not eating any tomalley.
Tests have shown that it can have contaminants found in the environment.
Twist the front legs off the lobster. If you're having difficulties getting the legs off, snip them off using your kitchen scissors. Bend the small pincer back and forth until it snaps off. Pull the shell off and discard.
Next, use the lobster crackers, or nutcracker, at the base of the claw. You'll hear the shell break. Open up the shell, and remove the claw meat, which should come out in one piece. Use the crackers on the knuckle part of the leg, breaking the shell on each section. Open up the shell and remove the meat. Push a skewer into the knuckle to get all of the meat out.
The Little Legs
There is a tiny bit of meat in the legs. Twist them off of the body and push a skewer through them to get the meat out.
- FDA: "Selecting and Serving Fresh and Frozen Seafood Safely"
- Maine Division of Environmental and Community Health: "Saltwater Fish and Lobster Safe Eating Guidelines"
- Atlantic Canada Lobster: "Handling and Eating Lobster"
- Northeast Fisheries Science Center: "Frequently Asked Questions About Lobsters"