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How Long to Boil Soft Shell Maine Lobster

cooked soft shell whole maine lobster

How Long to Boil Soft Shell Maine Lobster

It’s Now the Season to Take Advantage of the Lowest Prices of the Year on Sweet, Succulent Whole Maine Lobster

Come this time of year in late summer and early fall in New England, you will find that the locals will be out enjoying the lowest prices of the year on Maine lobster.  It’s not unusual at all for a lobster lover to get the urge to stop by the local fish market and select a few pounds of new shell lobsters just on the spur of the moment.  When you can buy a  live, ocean fresh, whole-Maine lobster at $6.99 a pound at the Market Basket ,there is no reason to say no.

New shell lobsters – sometimes called soft shell lobsters – are lobsters that have recently shed their old hard shell in order to grow.  When a lobster molts, the new shell grows underneath the old one.  When cooked,  the new shell is very soft and can usually be twisted off and crushed by bare fingers.

Cheap Lobster – $6.99 a Pound

Some people say the meat in the soft shell lobster is sweeter and more tender than lobster meat from a hard shell lobster.   The lobster meat is easier to remove and even cooks faster. And the price is so low, its easy to add an extra lobster or two.

Experienced eaters will tell you there is more meat in a hard shell lobster pound for pound, and the hard shell lobster will live longer out of water and can travel further and be more easily shipped.

But at the lowest price of the year, buy three or four for two people. We recently picked up three 1.5 lbs  new shell lobsters and a couple of pounds of steamers from our local  market. We got out the kettle and made short work of adding the salt and water to put together a sunny Sunday afternoon lobster and clam feast.  Preparation took about 30 minutes.

Boiled Soft Shell Lobster RecipeMaine New Shell Lobster Sale

  • Three whole Maine lobsters about 1.5 lbs. each
  • In a large kettle add six to seven quarts water
  • Add 1/4 cup sea salt
  • Bring water to roiling boil
  • Remove rubber bands (optional) and add each lobster one at a time to pot (head first).
  • Cover kettle and immediately start timing
  • Halfway through cooking, remove the top and stir the lobsters (about six minutes)
  • When done, lobsters will turn bright red.
  • Remove one lobster and pierce the tail.  If fully cooked, the meat will have turned from translucent to white.
  • Take the lobsters out of the kettle and let drain three to four minutes.
  • Serve with lemon and melted butter.

Cook Times – Do Not Overcook

More good lobster has been ruined by the chef leaving them in the pot too long. Do not overcooked a lobster as the meat will turn mushy and flavorless quickly

 

Lobster Boil Recipe – New Shell Cook Faster

Size Boil Time
One Pound 8 Minutes
One 1/4 Pound 9 to 10 Minutes
One 1/2 Pound 10 to 12 Minutes
One 3/4 Pound 12 to 13 Minutes
Two Pound 15 Minutes
Two 1/2 Pound 20 Minutes
Three Pound 25 Minutes
Five Pound 35 to 40 Minutes
© Wayne Howe 2019

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