How to Boil & Break Down Lobster


  • Chef Mark Goldberg demonstrates his technique for two 1½ lb lobsters
  • large pot of boiling water
  • large container of ice water


Boil & Cool Lobsters

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop lobsters head-first into the pot
  2. Simmer 7 minutes for 1½ lb lobsters. (Add 3 minutes cooking time for each additional pound)
  3. Remove from pot and plunge into ice water bath to stop cooking. Let cool thoroughly for a few minutes to cool before the next step

Break Down the Lobsters

  1. Remove from ice water bath and lay lobsters on a cutting board; have a towel handy as removing shells will release a lot of water!
  2. Separate claws and tail; discard head or use for stock
  3. With a good chef's knife, slice the tail lengthwise down the middle and split in half; meat will come out of the shell easily
  4. Claws consist of the knuckle and the claw itself.  Pull the claw finger straight back and it will snap off to remove the tendon. With a large knife, crack the claw open to remove meat
  5. Break the knuckle into 2 pieces and use the back side of a spoon handle or small fork to remove the meat
  6. Easy when you know how!