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Tips for Grilled and Broiled Maine Lobster

Although it's hard to improve on a plain boiled lobster, many recipes call for the dry heat of a broiler, grill  or oven. For these dishes, the lobster must be killed first, swiftly and humanely, with a knife. For the broiler or grill, the lobster is usually halved lengthwise so it cooks evenly. For sautees and stir-fries, the lobster may be sectioned even further.

Moist-heat cooking virtually guarantees that the lobster meat will be moist. For dry-heat cooking in the shell, it takes attention and careful timing to be sure that all parts cook evenly and don’t dry out. One way to insure success is to parboil the lobster briefly, remove the claw and tail meat, and then finish the cooking by dry heat. Without the shell, the meat cooks quickly and evenly, and it’s easier to verify doneness.

Dry-Heat Cooking Tips from the Chefs at The Culinary Institute of America:

Grilling: Parboiling helps here. It’s easier to halve a dead lobster than a live one, and the meat cuts more cleanly. Parboiled chilled lobsters will keep longer than live ones, and you cut them and grill them as needed. Remove the coral (if present) and tomalley before grilling and use, if desired, in mayonnaise for the lobster. Crack the claws. Slather the cut surface with flavored butter or olive oil. Place meat side down on the grill to char, then turn cut side up to finish cooking.

Broiling: Halve lobsters as for grilling (parboiling first if desired). You may remove the coral (if present) and tomalley before broiling, or leave in place. Crack the claws. Slather meat generously with flavored butter and broil meat side up the whole time, basting frequently. The challenge with broiling is to keep the meat from drying out on the surface before it cooks through. Especially with large lobsters, you may want to start the lobster cut side up in a heavy skillet on top of the stove before transferring to the broiler.
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