Anyone can throw burgers on the grill and consider their day duly barbecued. Why not class up the backyard this summer and try your hand at lobster instead?
The king of crustaceans might seem intimidating to the home chef—those claws are nothing to joke about—but you can follow a few simple steps to make the perfect grilled lobster.
1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If it’s a charcoal grill, your coals should turn gray.
2. Chill live lobsters in the freezer for 20 minutes to sedate. Bring a pot of well salted water (2.5 quarts of water and 1/4 cup of salt per lobster) to a rolling boil. Remove rubber bands from claws and add lobsters to pot, parboiling for 5 minutes.
3. Remove lobsters from boil and place into an ice bath to stop cooking.
4. Halve the lobsters, lengthwise: Lay the lobster on your cutting board, and place the point of the knife in the middle of the carapace. Insert the knife with enough pressure to cut all the way through, then slice quickly down the middle of the body, through the head. Turn the lobster and cut down the same line through the tail. Now remove the black vein (the lobster’s intestinal tract) from the tail and rinse the tomalley and grain sac from the body and head.
5. It’s time for butter or olive oil and seasonings! Place your lobster halves on the grill with the shells facing down, then baste liberally with seasoned butter or olive oil. Flip those lobsters flesh side down and grill for 5-6 minutes.
6. Flip lobsters so the shell side is down and baste again with seasoned butter or olive oil. Grill 4-5 minutes. When your lobsters are ready, the meat will be an opaque white color.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to branch out—try this delicious, Indian-spiced barbecued lobster recipe from Ben Pollinger’s School of Fish.
Now serve to your favorite people, and accept your crown as the reigning royalty of this season’s backyard barbecue.