Freezing and Thawing Whole Lobster

June 3, 2015 | By: The Culinary Institute of America

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Freezing lobster is a good option for helping to manage inventory, as long as it is done correctly. You can also use our thawing and preparation methods for lobster that is purchased frozen. The University of Maine Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition and the Lobster Institute provided the below freezing and thawing instructions.

How to Prepare and Freeze Whole In-shell Lobster:

Properly prepared whole or “in the shell” lobster has a good quality shelf-life of 9 to 12 months.

  1. Lobsters should be chilled and live.
  2. Blanch at 212° for 60 seconds in a 2% salt brine (1.5 ounces, or roughly 1/2 cup, of non-iodized salt or sea salt to 2 quarts of water).
  3. Chill after blanching in cold running water or in a tub with a mixture of 50% water to 50% ice.
  4. Following a 15-20 minute chill, remove excess surface water.
  5. Place lobsters in commercial freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. New Ziploc vacuum bag systems available at supermarkets work well.
  6. Place in second freezer bag or over-wrap with a laminated freezer wrap.
  7. Freeze at -18° C (0° F) or lower — standard for freezer units.
  8. Store frozen at -18° C (0° F) or lower. The lower the storage temperature, the better the lobster meat quality will be maintained.

How to Thaw and Prepare Frozen Whole Lobster:

  1. Lobsters should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Thawed lobsters should be boiled in a 2% salt brine for 12-15 minutes.

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