Boiled Whole Lobsters? But wait, we’re the Grillin’ Fools, not the Boilin’ Fools. True, we are generally thought of as grillers and not guys who make stuff in the kitchen, but any great pit master can hold his, or her, own in the kitchen. And maybe, just maybe, the Grillin’ Fools, might be expanding our web presence beyond the grill and take it inside. Think of it this way. Tomorrow in St. Louis, we are expecting a foot of snow. And while I will definitely be grilling in the snow (my favorite time to grill), the next day the high is expected to be 2. Not 22. Not 20. Not 12. The high is expected to be TWO! Sometimes, the Grillin’ Fools like to cook inside where it’s warm.
Besides, it has become a something of a tradition to do an elaborate seafood meal on New Year’s Eve for this Grillin’ Fool. The last two years on New Year’s Eve we did king crab legs.
First, I have to give a big shout out to the Lobster Guy. I ordered these from his website, TheLobsterGuy.com. This is not the first time I’ve ordered from him and each time I have been really pleased with the quality of the lobster and the customer service. Particularly this time. See, I ordered six lobsters in the 1.75-2 lb range. I wasn’t sure that the lobsters that arrived were that big. So I weighed them on a kitchen scale:
They were all about the same size and the two I weighed came in at 1.14 and 1.15 lbs. I was not happy and sent them a not so nice email. Turns out that the number after the decimal point is actually ounces. These were 1 lb 14 ounces and 1 lb 15 ounces respectively. So they were absolutely the right size. Yeah, I’m an idiot. This is why you should not start drinking early on New Year’s Eve. They were very nice in responding to my somewhat nasty email. And for that I’m very appreciative. They could’ve just as easily called me a jackass, as that was exactly what I was.
Now let’s get to making boiled whole lobsters. Some are going to argue that steaming is the way to go. And originally I planned on going that route. But then I sent an email to my buddy Josh Galliano, Executive Chef at Libertine. He said he boils his so he can season the water. He also sent me a recipe to season the water. But then I got vetoed on by some of the others eating the lobsters, so I did a combination of what he sent me and what I normally do which is to throw in a couple bags of crab boil and some lemon quarters.
Boiled Whole Lobsters Ingredients:
6 lobsters (1.75-2 lbs each)
3/4 – 1 gallon of water per lobster
4 bags of crab boil
1 cup of wine per gallon of water
1/2 cup vinegar per 2.5 gallons of water
1 bay leaf per 2 gallons of water
1/4 cup of salt per 2.5 gallons of water
1 tsp of whole pepper corns per gallon of water
First off, you need a big ass pot. I bought a 40 quart pot for this. It’s soup kitchen big! Filling it takes quite a while:
This pot straddled two burners on my stove which allowed me double heat to get such a vast amount of water to boil. Time to add the seasoning. Pour in the vinegar, wine, salt, pepper corns, crab boil bags and bay leafs:
A lot of this stuff floats and the salt will not dissolve immediately, so get out the spoon and go to work getting the air out of the crab boil bags and the salt dissolved:
While it takes a while to fill the pot, it takes a lot longer to get the that much water to boil. So set the burners to high and place the top on the pot:
When the water is at a rolling boil it will look a lot like tea. Don’t sweat that.
Time to put the lobsters in:
Some are wondering if I killed them first. The argument for killing them first is two fold. The first is, if the lobster is stressed it will make the meat tough. That’s bull hockey. Go to any lobster boil in Maine and ask how many they kill before they go into the pot and you will be laughed at. The second is, it’s more humane to jam a knife between their eyes to puncture their brains than boiling them to death. Well, think of it this way, the closest relative to the lobster is the cockroach. Do you humanely squish a cockroach skittering across the kitchen floor? But, they scream in pain when you put them in the water, some will argue. They have no vocal chords, so that’s hard to do. That screaming sound is the steam emitting from their carapace. Not all lobsters, “scream.” These made no such noise. So stop stressing how you kill your briny cockroach.
OK, now that all that crap is out of the way about how to boil a lobster properly, let’s get to the actual boiling. The rule of thumb is boil for about 13 minutes for the first pound and three minutes for each additional pound. I boiled these for about 15 minutes.
Coming out they are bright red. The steam really wrecked my focus. That and I had little time to get shots as I had some people VERY eager to begin the New Year’s Eve feast:
And what a glorious New Year’s Eve feast indeed!
Here is my lobster plated, ready to be cracked open and dunked in some brown butter:
What can I tell you about how these were? They are boiled whole lobsters overnighted from Maine. What more do you need? I’ll tell you this. We made six lobsters (and two steaks for two people that don’t like lobster) and 8 potatoes. The two steak eaters had a potato each. Pretty sure there were four or five potatoes left over that the lobster eaters didn’t touch, including this guy. Sorry no pictures of the lobster meat. I ate it too fast to get any shot.
If you have any questions about boiled whole lobsters, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
- 6 lobsters (1.75-2 lbs each)
- ¾ - 1 gallon of water per lobster
- 4 bags of crab boil
- 1 cup of wine per gallon of water
- ½ cup vinegar per 2.5 gallons of water
- 1 bay leaf per 2 gallons of water
- ¼ cup of salt per 2.5 gallons of water
- 1 tsp of whole pepper corns per gallon of water
- Fill the lobster pot with ¾-1 gallon of water per lobster
- Then add the rest of the ingredients, minus the lobsters
- Turn the burner(s) to high and stir until the salt is dissolved
- Putting the lid on will make it boil more quickly
- When the water is at a rolling boil, place the lobsters in the pot and put the lid on
- Boil for 13 minutes for the first pound and 3 minutes for each additional pound
- Remove from the pot, serve and eat immediately with melted butter or brown butter