If you’ve just bought a lobster and plan to cook it sometime soon, don’t make the mistake of putting it in an aquarium, a bucket of ice, or in a basin with some water; it’s not the proper way to store a lobster. If left in the aquarium, you can count your fish goodbye (and the lobster will no longer be healthy because it’s used to salt water). If you keep it in a basin with ice, it’ll shock the animal, and if you leave it in a shallow basin, it may very well escape.
You need that lobster alive, but you need to keep it happy and satisfied until it’s time to cook it. So what’s the best way to do this? Here’s the best way to store your lobsters before consumption.
Handling a lobster should not be done by an amateur – the creatures are not the most beautiful on earth, and those claws can easily nip away at a finger (and yes, amputate it). It may be tempting to see how resilient they are, but you do so at your own risk; don’t remove the rubber bands around those claws until after you’ve cooked them, and keep those rubber gloves on until you’re sure there’s no more sign of life. It’s an important warning, really.
Wet and cold
Keep them in a secure place where they can’t crawl out (a large basin with a cover will do), and pack them in a cold, wet, ‘salted’ towel. A wet lobster is a happy one. Keep an ice pack or frozen gel package on top, as this will cool the lobster, slowing it down and making it less active.
To be sure
It’s possible to store them at the bottom shelf of the fridge for a while (provided it’s in a secure container) – a lobster can stay alive for 24 to 48 hours this way.
There’s a time limit
There’s a time limit to keeping the lobster – 48 hours is actually pushing it. Preferably, it’s best to cook it the same day; if necessary, the next day. Don’t keep it for more than 48 hours (even if it’s still alive and kicking). To be sure about freshness, buy lobster online from actual fishing companies in Maine – yes, this is possible, and it comes with fast delivery, too.
If the lobster dies before you are ready to cook it, consider it a shame and move on – sad to say, the lobster just won’t be good to eat anymore. Not only does a dead lobster become a gooey substance that has lost flavour, it’s also more likely that the meat could have some negative health consequences. If you’re sure the lobster is still alive, drop it in a pot of boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes and secure the lid. Enjoy your tasty and healthy meal!