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Cooking temperature of lobster?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Sher.eats

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 03:58 AM

Hi all!

Does anybody know the cooking temperture(s) of lobster? Does lobster meat have "levels of doneness" like salmon (~43C = "mi cuit cooked" but raw looking, 48C = cooked and dark pink, >50C = firm "cooked" and pale pink).

Most interested in the "mi cuit" temp for lobster as i am having a sous vide lobster trial (argh can't wait for Under Pressure), but also want to know the temps for oven roasting etc...

thanks all!

P.S: lobsters arriving in < 24 hrs!
~ Sher * =]
. . . . .I HEART FOOD. . . . .
Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. - Anon

#2 KennethT

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 06:47 AM

Hi all!

Does anybody know the cooking temperture(s) of lobster? Does lobster meat have "levels of doneness" like salmon (~43C = "mi cuit cooked" but raw looking, 48C = cooked and dark pink, >50C = firm "cooked" and pale pink).

Most interested in the "mi cuit" temp for lobster as i am having a sous vide lobster trial (argh can't wait for Under Pressure), but also want to know the temps for oven roasting etc...

thanks all!

P.S: lobsters arriving in < 24 hrs!

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I've cooked lobster SV at 45degC according to NathanM on the Sous Vide post... but I always find it a little undercooked - each time, I find the claw meat has tons of jelly around it - and the tail meat is cooked, but still a little chewy - the raw kind of chewy, not the rubbery over-cooked chewy....

Also, it's best to first remove the shell, which is kind of a pain, prior to bagging... you can do the tail in the shell - but you have to put a folded aluminum foil "pad" over the spiny parts of the shell or they tend to pierce the bag.

One day I was going to try again but at about 46-47degC... but I haven't tried it yet...

#3 Sher.eats

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 07:22 AM

Hi KennethT!

How long did you SV the lobster @45C for (and how thick was the lobster meat?)

Still confused on the structure of lobster meat (muscle, fats, collagen?), the layout of the tail muscle(s?), and whether to portion it along or against the tail...

thanks!!
~ Sher * =]
. . . . .I HEART FOOD. . . . .
Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. - Anon

#4 KennethT

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 08:15 AM

The tail was about 1" thick at the thickest part... so according to the tables provided by NathanM in the sous vide post, it should take about 46 minutes - and I think I left it in for about an hour, just in case... it was one of my first sous vide experiments after I got my circulator...

I typically slice lobster depending on the presentation - I don't think the slicing direction affects tenderness like it would with meat - so sometimes I slice crosswise across the tail to make 3/8" thick medallions... and sometimes I'll slice it lengthwise through the middle (to cut it in half)... I usually try to remove the claw in one piece and present it whole...

#5 Mallet

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:32 AM

The FL cookbook would have you poach lobster meat in beurre monté for 5-6 min. At friend's house (no water bath available), I did basically the same thing by vacuum sealing lobster meat with butter and putting in a 180F water bath. It was awesome.
Martin Mallet
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#6 Sher.eats

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:00 AM

Hi Mallet,

Yup, just re-read FL, TK says to steep the (1.5lb) lobsters in hot water for 2 min then de-shell the tail, then to poach the (room temp) tails in beurre monte for 5-6 as you say...

For the lobster I just steeped (1.1Lb and the tail yielded a 5cm ball) the steeping heat only penetrated 1mm into the flesh, so the only cooking will be the poaching step.

Beurre monte splits at 86C so the lobster will poached at <86C for 5-6min, interestingly TK doesn't "rest" the lobster after poaching, unless the ideal cooking temp (internal) is at the 80ish zone, but will 5-6min allow 23C (room) -> 80C through 3cm (radius) ?hmm....

I SVed a knuckle and claw for 30min at 48C with a little butter, the "skin" was light orange and the flesh just-white, the texture I would describe as "al dente" like meat cooked at 50C...I personally loved it, but I like everything rare-raw and semi treated it like a sashimi, for a more "conventional" texture maybe a temp higher is needed?...

Does anyone know why lobster meat requires more heat than meats and fish?

Thanks!!!!!!
~ Sher * =]
. . . . .I HEART FOOD. . . . .
Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. - Anon

#7 Jonathan Kaplan

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:41 PM

Can't help w/ the "why" part but I agree that lobster does well w/ more heat than most fish.

I start w/ the "steeping" of the lobster a al FL, and shell it and then move on.

I played w/ 45-50C sous vide for a while, finishing it w/ a blowtorch, but I still found it a bit 'rare' for my tastes. After playing around w/ 60C sous vide, I eventually gave up on the water bath and went back to just buerre monte, which I keep on the stove at around 150-160F ( 65-70C). I leave in the buerre monte basically until I want to serve it -- up to an hour! I don't find it overcooked, but rather tender and very buttery...

Just my .02...

jk

#8 inductioncook

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:51 PM

Can't help w/ the "why" part but I agree that lobster does well w/ more heat than most fish.

I start w/ the "steeping" of the lobster a al FL, and shell it and then move on.

I played w/ 45-50C sous vide for a while, finishing it w/ a blowtorch, but I still found it a bit 'rare' for my tastes.  After playing around w/ 60C sous vide, I eventually gave up on the water bath and went back to just buerre monte, which I keep on the stove at around 150-160F ( 65-70C).  I leave in the buerre monte basically until I want to serve it -- up to an hour!  I don't find it overcooked, but rather tender and very buttery...

Just my .02...

jk

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That's a very interesting set of numbers because I had also found a range of 65-70C to be good in my cooking, and then when I was having lunch recently at a lobster pound in Maine I took the temperature of the steaming lobster I was served -- and the lovely tender nicely cooked claw was 66C and the tail, which I felt was slightly overcooked was 72C, just above the range mentioned.

#9 Kent Wang

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 11:16 PM

I've done two lobsters, par-boiled and shelled, 160F (71C) for 45 mins and thought the outside was slightly overcooked and the inside was a bit rare. I suppose I could've done it for longer but then the whole thing would've been overcooked.

I recently did two tails (they were frozen tails that I shelled without par-boiling) at 131F (55C) for 2.5 hours and thought it was very good, though maybe a bit too soft. I think this is a good temperature, just could do with some less time.

According to the confit myth theory, the beurre monte process is pointless. You could just as well sous vide it in a bag and then dip it in a beurre monte.

That's a very interesting set of numbers because I had also found a range of 65-70C to be good in my cooking, and then when I was having lunch recently at a lobster pound in Maine I took the temperature of the steaming lobster I was served -- and the lovely tender nicely cooked claw was 66C and the tail, which I felt was slightly overcooked was 72C, just above the range mentioned.

I'm impressed that you brought your thermometer to a restaurant.

#10 budrichard

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 04:01 PM

First, when you refer to 'loster' there is only one species, 'Homarus Americanus'. All the rest are crayfish. Anything frozen is not the same.
Second, attempting to remove the meat from a live/fresh lobster is difficult as it adheres to the shell. A brief sojurn in a boiling water bath followed by an immersion in an ice bath simplfies things.
Third, lobster only requires one of three simple preps, you can boil, steam or roast. As with any fish, you don't need to know or measure any temperature as it is cooked when it turns from translucent to opaque.
Fourth, I can't believe anyone would sous vide a lobster, there just is no reason.-Dick

#11 lesliec

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:51 PM

There is ALWAYS a reason to sous vide - anything! :raz:

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#12 ChrisZ

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:32 AM

I've just bought Blumenthal's 'Fat Duck Cookbook' and am happily working my way through it. He mentions langoustines several times, which are small Norwegian lobsters (I know them better as scampi). Probably a lot smaller than the lobsters you're dealing with, but the principle should be the same.

Blumethal initially blanches them for 10secs in boiling water with shell intact, then plunges them into an ice bath, before removing the shell and refrigerating them sous vide (with butter) until needed. They are then cooked sous vide at 60C for 6 minutes.

The interesting bit is the footnote which I'll paraphrase- 'the cooking time for langoustine is brief and exact. If cooked at too low a temperature the flesh becomes "pappy", this is because the usual temperature range for cooking seafood promotes the activity of enzymes which break down the flesh very quickly.'

Hope this helps,


-Chris