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How to prepare lobster claws

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to prepare lobster claws

When buying a lobster ideally choose a live one to ensure it is as fresh as can be. To humanely kill a lobster you will need to drive a knife quickly and smoothly between the eyes, splitting the head in half. This will instantly kill the it. For more information about killing shellfish humanely, visit

Removing the meat form the claw takes a little effort but it's worth it as the meat is sweeter and more tender than the tail meat. Cracking the claws can also be done with a lobster cracker but try not to crush the claw completely as this will damage the chances of the claw meat coming out whole.

Place the lobster on a chopping board. Take a large, sharp knife and place the point on to the head, blade facing towards the eyes
Twist off the claws and the tail from the main body, add to a sealable bag and partially cook in a water bath or large saucepan at 50°C for 20–25 minutes
When cooked and cool enough to handle, gently bend the lower pincer backwards from the shell. The cartilage should pop out
Stand the main part of the claw on its edge on the board. Crack the shell with your knife, then turn over and repeat
The shell should come off with a twist of the knife, leaving you with the intact claw
The claws are ready for cooking


Don't discard the shells from the claws as these can be used to make a shellfish stock.

Serving suggestions

Have a go practicing this technique for Shaun Hill's Lobster with chickpea and coriander sauce or Andrew Mackenzie's stunning Squid ink risotto.

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