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Time and temperature to roast lobster in an oven


Josh71
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Hi,

 

I am going to cook roasted lobster with garlic butter in an oven, but I have some doubts about the best time (how long) and temperature.

 

I tried in the past, and It was not satisfactory (a bit though, probably overcooked, and forgot the exact time/temp I used).

 

Here are the details about my plan:

 

1 fresh (alive) lobster about 600 - 700 gram in weight (so, not too big I guess)

 

First, I will boil the lobster in rolling boiling water for about 7 minutes (I am not brave enough to cut it open while it is still alive).

From the past few retries, this will not cook the lobster completely, it will be half-cooked or so, the meat is still quite translucent.

 

Then I wait until it's cold to handle (room temperature), and cut it open, length wise.

 

Put both parts in oven tray skin side down, pour some garlic butter mixture on top of the lobster meat.

 

Then roast (bake) in the oven ............... until done, ready to serve.

 

Any fool proof advice? :)

 

I know that not all oven are the same, but at least I have something to try this weekend!

 

Thanks :)

Edited by Josh71 (log)
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This is not exactly what you have in mind, but it might be a good guide :

 

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11611-jasper-whites-pan-roasted-lobster

 

Ive had this dish in JW's BOS restaurant twice, and it was superb.

 

he showed how to do this on a PBS cooking show  , which I can't remember and its in his book just as posted by the NYTimes

 

Bon Appetite !  

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Josh71,

 

I would just boil the lobster to doneness, unless I was going to stuff it after with a nice crab (crab is already cooked under US law unless they are bought live), tomalley or roe stuffing or something. Boiled lobster really can't be improved by "roasting" IMO. It just dries it out and toughens it. If you want to hollow out the throrax and stuff if with something lovely, yes, undercook as you have said, but IMO 7 minutes is most of the way to cooked. I only cook them 10 or 11 min. depending on size, unless they are truly outliers.

 

Then, I would also paint the exposed surfaces of the lobster with melted butter after stuffing it to keep the drying to a minimum, and put them under a strong broiler, not a roast technique.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Thanks for the guide.

 

It looks like I have to kill it with the knife in the head method, because boiling will take out the flavor. No doubt from all the past years, I got not so tasty lobster compared to when I eat in the restaurant.

 

But ...

 

I have to be brave to do that ... Ugh ...

 

UPDATE: I read that we can put it in a freezer to make them sleep before splitting the head! I think I am going to do this :)

Edited by Josh71 (log)
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Thanks for the guide.

 

It looks like I have to kill it with the knife in the head method, because boiling will take out the flavor. No doubt from all the past years, I got not so tasty lobster compared to when I eat in the restaurant.

 

But ...

 

I have to be brave to do that ... Ugh ...

 

UPDATE: I read that we can put it in a freezer to make them sleep before splitting the head! I think I am going to do this :)

 

Cooking Issues addressed the question of killing lobsters humanely and to optimize their flavour, in 'How to become a Seafood Anesthesiologist and Kill your 4th of July Lobster'.

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Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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You can put the lobster in the freezer for awhile so that it won't move so much. Supposedly this freezing will also dull their nervous system. I was taught to put the lobster in the freezer for 2 hrs, but I've heard of lesser times that are effective.

 

The lobster makes it easy to off it by cutting through the head. There's a cross mark shaped like a "T" on the carapace.

 

See?

 

lobster-plain.jpg

 

Put the point of your chef's knife at the intersection of the "T" and bring the blade down in one quick motion along the stem of the "T".

 

lobster-marked.jpg

Intersection marked by "x", cutting line marked in red (your knife will make a straight line, of course).

 

These photos are from http://www.cookingissues.com/2012/07/04/how-to-become-a-seafood-anesthesiologist-and-kill-your-4th-of-july-lobster/ and adjusted to illustrate what I'm saying.

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this is what I used to do to 'dispatch' the lobster

 

you need from 20 to 30 minutes   you will know when you bring them out they do not move

 

that's the point you look for.

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I know the purists like boiling/steaming

 

I find it boring, and inevitably a bit bland.

If you like them boiled, great, for you, but "you can't improve upon that" is just wrong, for ME.

I can, and do.

 

 

 

I think 7 minutes in boiling water is a good ballpark time, and then split them

 

I then rub  mix of melted butter and bread crumbs into the (cleaned first*) cavity, and another 5 minutes or so under the broiler works for me.

 

I also usually flavour the water with some peppercorns and salt

 

 

* the CDC recommends against eating lobster liver at this point. 

So, again, I know the purists hate this, but, given the state of the oceans, cleaning out the carapace cavity is the way to go.

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Josh71,

 

I just reread your original post and picked up on something else that would lead to your overcooked lobster results. Don't let it get "cold, room temp" if you intend to cook it further. Let it cool off just until you can handle it without scalding yourself, do what you want to do (split, empty the thorax), stuff it quickly or whatever with your already prepared stuffing, paint it with butter, and immediately throw under a preheated very hot broiler. Keeping it as hot as possible before it goes under your scorching broiler will help it brown quickly and keep it from toughening on you.

 

Use paper towels or a clean cloth towel to protect your holding hand while you work with your knife with the other. I think you'll get better results.

 

Lobster is a lovely and expensive protein, and it's always a crying shame to me when it's overcooked.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Thanks for all the feedback. I think I am going to do the "30 minutes freeze" then "cut the head" way.

 

To anyone that has done this, is it going to be "easy cutting" or I must cut through some "hard bones"? :)

 

After that, I will separate the tail.

 

I will cut open the top shell of the tail and "release" (using finger) the meat so it won't stick, something like this:

 

lobster-5.jpg

 

 

Then baste with garlic butter and put it in the oven super hot oven (mine can go as high as 240C) for few minutes.

 

And I will weigh the tail to get the idea of the timing (1 oz per minute? as a lot of articles mentioned).

 

Just to get the meat cooked. If I need to charred it, to get nice finish, I am going to use a blow-torch :)

Edited by Josh71 (log)
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Josh71,

 

Lobsters have no "hard bones", just an external carapace that can be quite daunting with bare hands, but it cannot stand up to any decent sharp knife.

 

I still stand by my advice to use the broiler to get your desired Maillard reaction. But good luck to you!

Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Josh71,

 

Lobsters have no "hard bones", just an external carapace that can be quite daunting with bare hands, but it cannot stand up to any decent sharp knife.

 

I still stand by my advice to use the broiler to get your desired Maillard reaction. But good luck to you!

 

If I broil it under very hot temperature like 240C, do you think that all part of the meat will be cooked?

 

As I understood, broiling = using the top heat of the oven.

 

I am afraid that if I must wait the bottom part of the meat cooked, it would be too long and dried out (or burnt) the top part of the meat?

 

That's why I said using roasting (top + bottom heat of the oven + blowing fan), to get just the meat cooked. Then use blow-torch for the Maillard reaction :)

Edited by Josh71 (log)
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Josh71,

 

This is how I do it:

 

Boil the 1-1/2 pound lobsters I can usually get for six minutes, meanwhile they will cook more. Grab them with BBQ tongs out of the seasoned boiling liquid, and let them cool off a bit, but not too much. Grab them again with paper towels and do the surgery with the other hand. Clean out the thorax with a spoon, and I have always saved the tomalley and the roe from females for stuffing, although weedy's recent post about lobster liver has taken me back a bit and making me wonder about even the best roe I have ever had?

 

But anyway, you scoop and clean out the thorax, the section between the head and the tail, and fill it with your already prepared stuffing, stirring in roe or tomalley or not as we learn about recent health hazards.

 

Take your knife, and split your lobters' tails down the center. Paint everything with butter, or the garlic butter you mentioned. Then pop them under the broiler which has been heated to screaming hot, as hot as you can get it.

 

Watch it closely, as with anything under the broiler. I think you can have good results with this technique. You won't need a torch.

Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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One thing I like to do with mine..is put two wooden skewers in the tail to keep the tail straight..

 

I steam  mine first.. about a minute--this helps set the protein  and makes removal easier fro the shell

 

Then broil

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Its good to have Morels

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To anyone that has done this, is it going to be "easy cutting" or I must cut through some "hard bones"? :)

 

 

Use a sturdy chef's knife. Bring the blade down in one firm blow to cut through the shell. You should have no problems.

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the result was not quite satisfying.

Here what I did...

I boiled the lobster for 3 minutes and then immediately put it under cold water tap until it's cooled. Apparently 3 minutes was enough to kill it, 700g in weight.

Then I separated the tail, cut the top part of the shell, brushed some garlic butter and put it under super hot oven at 250C, broiled for 5 minutes.

Took it out, the garlic butter was nicely charred, shell was a bit charred as well, pretty nice looking and appetizing.

Check the thickest part of the meat with digital thermometer, and it was registered 52C. Then I put it back because I want to reach the core temperature of 55C. After 1 additional a minute broil, checked again and it reached 55,4C.

So, I served it and ate...

The texture was a bit chewy, not really rubbery though. But you will notice the chewiness. My gf even asked "was it overcooked?".

Still we finished the meal though

There you go...

I don't think it's overcooked, but rather, it's undercooked, no?

I selected 55C core temperature with broiling because I have no idea what would be the best temperature...

Read the sous vide index, there were few variations, 45C, 60C, 59.5C.

Was it the broiling time was too short?

Any opinion on this?

I am thinking to do this next time :

- boil lobster for 3 minutes

- take out the tail meat

- put in vacuum bag with some butter

- sous vide for 20 minutes at 58C

- put it back to the shell, brush lightly with garlic butter

- blowtorch a bit to get charred (for nice presentation)

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