Live Lobster Care
All live lobsters are carefully selected so that you receive only the finest quality lobsters available. Here at the National Distribution Center, we've packed your lobsters so they will arrive alive — guaranteed. They have been hand-picked so you receive only the freshest and most succulent lobsters available to anyone, anywhere in the world! Your lobsters may appear sluggish or motionless after their journey from Maine — after all, it's been a long trip for them. If there is any problem with your lobster package, call 1-866-460-MEAL. Ejoy!
How To Baby-Sit Your Live Lobsters Before Dinner
PLEASE... Leave the lobsters in the packaging they arrived in until dinner — as long as the box and cooler arrive intact and as long as the package is not placed next to a heat source. It's okay to open up the box and cooler to have a look at the contents inside, but replace the cooler lid tightly and close up the box when you are done. DO NOT FREEZE THE LIVE LOBSTERS PRIOR TO COOKING!
PLEASE... DON'T PUT YOUR LIVE LOBSTERS IN TAP WATER PRIOR TO COOKING. This will literally drown them and make them very unhappy and dead.
PLEASE... cook your live lobsters the day you receive them. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!
We have packed your seafood so that it arrives in perfect condition. If your package contains fresh clams and mussels they must be cooked today and some may have cracked shells as a result of shipping. We do add a few extra to compensate for this possibility. Helpful cooking tips are included in the complete, printed Cooking Manual that comes with every order.
PLEASE... refrigerate your seafood as soon as possible, or freeze it (except live seafood such as lobsters, fresh clams and mussels) if you are going to enjoy it at a later date.
What To Do If You Can't Enjoy Your Live Lobsters Tonight
COOK... your lobsters according to the directions in Steps 4 - 10.
What To Do If Your Lobster Did Not Arrive Alive
It can be difficult to tell sometimes if a lobster is actually DOA (Dead On Arrival), or just sluggish after the long trip from Boston. One good test is to touch the lobster’s eye and watch for movement (gross, but true). If there are no signs of life, don’t give up yet! You may have heard otherwise, but we know that a lobster does not have to be alive at the moment you are cooking it in order to still be good. It is more a matter of the temperature at which the lobster has been kept, and the length of time that has passed, that determines whether it is still good. So how are you to know what to do?
COOK IT! Remove the rubber bands from the claws of the dead (or suspected dead) lobster to keep track of it, if any others are alive. It is completely safe to cook all the lobsters together. Fully cook the lobster according to the instructions provided in your cooking manual or on this website. When done, check the consistency of the tail meat. If the meat appears firm and fleshy then it is fine to go ahead and enjoy! If the meat has more of a cottage cheese texture - very watery, loose and mushy, then it obviously should be discarded.
Live Lobster Preparation & Cooking
Congratulations! You are the proud recipient of a lobster meal! To ensure your ultimate gratification, please follow each step carefully. If you have steamed lobsters or other seafood, please follow the recipes on pages 8-13 of your Owner's Manual (not included on this web page.)
STEP 1 Beverage Selection. We recommend that any quality beverage will complement your lobster beautifully.
STEP 2 Choice Of Companion. This is the perfect opportunity to invite that special person to share your lobster with you.
STEP 3 Getting Down To Business. Secure the bib around your clavicle region. Fortify yourself with a swig of your chosen beverage. You are now about to become an expert lobster cooker!
STEP 4 Setting Up. Fill a stock pot with enough water to cover the lobsters (about 4"-5"), but don't put them in yet! Bring water to a strong boil. TIP: Don't add salt to accelerate the boiling — it will only cause an overboil all over your stove. Several clients have recommended massaging the backs of the lobsters to put them in a trance. This will relax their muscles and make them play possum. Try it, if you like.
STEP 5 Accompaniments. While waiting for the water to boil, cut up some fresh vegetables and make your favorite dip. Wild rice makes an elegant side dish, or try red potatoes for a traditional one. If your package includes other seafood or some chowder, it is a good time to start cooking it. Refer to the seafood recipe section (in the printed Owner's Manual) for cooking suggestions.
STEP 6 Taking The Plunge. Firmly grasp the lobsters behind their arms and quickly plunge them head-first into the boiling water. Cover the pot with a lid. Don't worry about them screaming. This is an old husband's tale — they really whistle! However, be careful of their tails splashing water and of overboils.
STEP 7 Setting the Timer. When the water returns to a soft boil, start timing your lobsters. If an overboil occurs, take off the lid.
STEP 8 Final Preparations. While munching on veggies, slice a lemon into quarters. Melt some butter over very low heat (add some minced garlic, if you like). Set the table with a tablecloth, napkins and candle. Last, but not least, for that ultimate elegant touch, light the candle and take a swig of your beverage.
STEP 9 BZZZZ. Hold everything! Stop whatever you're doing! Your lobsters are done cooking and you're ready for — you guessed it — STEP 10!
STEP 10 Lobster Removal. Fish your lobsters from the pot with any handy utensil and place them on a plate. They should be red to pink in color. Be careful — those crustaceans are hot! You may want to use some rubber kitchen gloves at first to handle them. NOTE: don't dump your water or shut off your heat until you're sure your lobsters are done!
STEP 11 Not For The Faint Of Heart. Lobster lovers, this is where it gets a little brutal. Twist off the entire arm from the body and remove the rubber bands from the claws.
STEP 12 It's Cracker Time. With your official shell cracker (or if you did not receive that type of package, any good nutcracker or pliers will do), crack open the claws and joints, and push out the meat with your fork. Careful! Hot water may spill out of the shell when you crack it.
STEP 13 Getting To The Meat Of The Matter. Break off the tail section from the body at the mid-section. You may wish to rinse off the innards — however, many lobster lovers consider the greenish substance you see, called the "tomalley" or liver, a delicacy. Now is also the perfect opportunity to Check for Doneness. All the tail meat should appear firm and completely white. If there is any sign of translucent grayish color, it is not done. Throw your tail back in boiling water for one-minute intervals until done.
STEP 14 Don't Quit Yet. Next, crack off the flippers from the tail. If you see red in the tail section, this is the "roe" or lobster caviar, which, obviously, only the females have. It is quite tasty and sells for hundreds of dollars per pound!
STEP 15 A Fork In The Road. Using your official fork, push out the meat from the tail. At last! You are ready to eat!
STEP 16 Seasonings. Splash some lemon on a chunk of lobster and plunge it into the warm butter. Yummmm!! You may be surprised by the difference in texture the Maine lobster has, from a warm water lobster tail, (which is what many people are more familiar eating). Maine lobster is slightly chewier, but more than makes up for it in the sweet flavor! We think you'll agree!
STEP 17 The Final Frontier. As with all great things, your lobster meal will eventually come to an end. If you're looking for one last morsel, break off the legs and suck out the meat. After this, sadly, there is no more lobster. Remember, someone thought enough of you to send you a Send a Meal Lobster Dinner. Why not be a lobster giver next time? Or better yet, order one for yourself!!
Helpful Tip: Keep in mind that when you need a place to toss your lobster shells and any other kind of seafood remnant, your cooler makes a convenient place to "neatly re-pack" them for disposal. Unless of course, you were planning to use the cooler for your next summer-time picnic. Either way, don't forget to recycle your cooler and box!