A Simple Guide for Buying the Best Live Lobsters

Summer is a great time to try something new. And what better way to celebrate the end of pandemic restrictions than by cooking up a magnificent seafood feast with a bright-red lobster as the centerpiece? 

Lobster is a wonderful food to try cooking on your own, but picking out the best lobsters can be a little intimidating if you’ve never shopped for them before. This simple guide will help you know what to look for, and will give you some ideas for how you can get fresh, delicious lobsters anywhere in the United States. 

1. Only Buy Hard Shell Lobster

If you’ve ever shopped for lobster before, you’ve probably come across the distinction between soft shell and hard shell lobster. Though it might sound like these are different species of lobster, they are actually the same type of lobster (Homarus americanus) harvested at different stages in the life cycle. 

Lobsters grow by molting, which is to say that they break out of their old shell when they have become too big for it. When it is time to molt, they grow a second shell underneath the existing shell so as not to emerge from the molting process completely unprotected. Over time, this shell will harden, but in the initial period following molting it remains soft enough to break open by hand. 

While both hard and soft shell lobsters are harvested, a soft shell lobster contains a lot of water, meaning there is about 30% less meat per pound than hard shell lobster. If you want your money’s worth, buy hard shell. 

2. Buy as Fresh as Possible

If you’ve ever seen lobsters in a tank at a supermarket, you may have wondered what they eat. And the answer is that they eat themselves: the moment a lobster is taken out of their ocean habitat, they will start burning their stored fat and nutrients to stay alive. The longer a lobster has been out of the ocean, the less meat it will contain. 

This means that if you want Maine lobster outside New England, don’t buy it from a supermarket — lobsters in supermarket tanks may have been out of the ocean for more than a week. Instead, order the finest live Maine lobsters through a delivery service like Lobster Anywhere that delivers ocean-fresh lobster to your door within a day of the catch.   

3. Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Lobsters can live a long time — more than forty years, in some cases — and unlike humans they grow steadily throughout their lives, meaning that some lobsters can weigh in at more than twenty pounds. But buying a heavier lobster doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll get a more flavorful lobster. In fact, many cooks argue that larger lobsters are harder to cook evenly. 

A two, three, or four pound lobster will provide plenty of meat without being too difficult to broil, bake, or boil, so if you want to spend a little more money for more meat, it makes sense to go for multiple lobsters rather than a single huge one. Also, you don’t always have to buy the whole lobster. You can just choose to purchase lobster tails for example from Get Maine Lobster tails delivery.

Cooking lobster is an adventure, and it’s essential to start with fresh Maine hard shell lobsters. No matter how you prepare them, when you crack open those shells and dig into the beautiful, sweet white meat, you’ll be in for the biggest treat of your life.