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.
- Lobsters should be chilled and live.
- 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).
- Chill after blanching in cold running water or in a tub with a mixture of 50% water to 50% ice.
- Following a 15-20 minute chill, remove excess surface water.
- Place lobsters in commercial freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. (New Ziploc vacuum bag systems available at supermarkets work well.)
- Place in second freezer bag or over-wrap with a laminated freezer wrap.
- Freeze at -18° C (0° F) or lower -- standard for home refrigerator/freezer units.
- 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:
- Lobsters should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
- Thawed lobsters should be boiled in a 2% salt brine for 12-15 minutes.
How to Freeze Tails and Claws "in the shell":
- Follow steps 1 through 4 above.
- Remove claws and tails from blanched lobsters.
- 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.
- Follow steps 1 through 4 for freezing whole lobster.
- Remove tail and clase meat from the shell.
- Place in commercial freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. (New Ziploc vacuum bag systems available at supermarkets work well.)
- Continue with steps 7 through 8 for freezing whole lobster.
How to Thaw and Prepare Picked Tail and Claw Meat:
- Thaw meat in refrigerator over night.
- Prepare meat by steaming for 8 to 10 minutes in a colander above a steaming pot of water.