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Freezing Lobster

Information provided by the University of Maine Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition and the Lobster Institute

How to Prepare and Freeze Whole
"in the 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 home refrigerator/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.

How to Freeze Tails and Claws "in the shell":

  1. Follow steps 1 through 4 above.
  2. Remove claws and tails from blanched lobsters.
  3. Continue with steps 5 through 8 above.

How to Prepare and Freeze Picked Tail and Claw Meat:

Lobster meat that has been picked and frozen will have an acceptable shelf life of 3-6 months if stored at temperatures of 0° F (-18° C) or lower.
  1. Follow steps 1 through 4 for freezing whole lobster.
  2. Remove tail and clase meat from the shell.
  3. Place in commercial freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. (New Ziploc vacuum bag systems available at supermarkets work well.)
  4. Continue with steps 7 through 8 for freezing whole lobster.

How to Thaw and Prepare Picked Tail and Claw Meat:

  1. Thaw meat in refrigerator over night.
  2. Prepare meat by steaming for 8 to 10 minutes in a colander above a steaming pot of water.
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