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Lobster Rolls - help please

NDGNDG Posts: 1,990
Decided to make Lobster Rolls on the 4th as my parents, sister & husband and his family will be over to visit. Now the problem . . I’ve never done this before & I live in Ohio. I guess my biggest question is . . frozen meat or boil live lobster?  I found an old cooks illustrated mag that has a technique for doing live lobster for lobster rolls (freeze live for a bit, then boil in salt water) But after reading some stuff online . . . I am concerned that the lobsters sitting In a tank here in central Ohio might be lower quality meat (that enzyme starts to mush meat even tho it’s still “alive”) and it sounds like frozen lobster can be pretty damn good.  Thoughts / Suggestions ???  Thank you in advance !!!  
Columbus, Ohio
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Comments

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 21,605
    Since the text is a bit different with the same title:
    Paging @fishlessman.
    Hold tight as he generally doesn't surface til after the weekend.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here; L&S BGE's, PBC, Lang 36; burnin wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 3,130
    @CTMike offered to take me out for lobsta rolls so he might be able to offer some insight
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,990
    edited June 29
    Thanks - still very open to ideas but think I got the lobster meat source locked up.

    My home town of Dayton OHIO is home to the worlds best luxury grocery called DOROTHY LANE MARKET (dont believe me read this) . . and they currently sell 2# packages of cooked lobster meat for $80.  NOT TERRIBLE RIGHT ?!?!?!   This lobster product is they same they use on their lobster rolls they make in house.

    Im still VERY open to ideas about how to pull this off . . share if you got something for me . . otherwise I will loosely follow this B.A. video on how to dress the lobster . . and we can all let this post drift off into the sunset. 

    PS so embarrassed I posted this twice again, I have trouble with creating new posts when using my phone.  Sorry.
    Columbus, Ohio
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    if i were in ohio i would probably buy frozen shipped though ive never had frozen. avoid tank lobsters at all cost. theres two breads that work as a roll with lobster. a butter fried newengland split top and a soft french croissant slightly toasted. theres only one way to serve it, cold with a tiny amount of mayo. some places add too much stuff like extra mayo, bay seasoning, celery salt, celery etc, this is a simple sandwich
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    and dont chill a live lobster, put the tip of a chef knife an inch behind the eyes and smash it down thru
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    edited June 29
    if you order live lobsters look for them to be 2 pounds plus minus,  bigger lobsters are more difficult to cook, smaller and theres not much meat in the legs. hard shells are what you want and most shipped are hardshells for their hardiness


  • dannysdannys Posts: 97
    Coincidentally, I made lobster rolls over the weekend. I had purchased some frozen lobster meat a week or so before. I defrosted it and it was the wettest/soggiest lobster I've ever seen. I don't think I will ever buy frozen lobster meat again.

    Ages ago, my wife sent a "clam and lobster bake" to her sister on the west coast. Live lobsters and clams, and all the trimmings. It was shipped overnight and everything was still alive. If I didn't live on the east coast, I'd probably do that.

    Around here, most supermarkets and fish mongers will steam the lobsters while you wait.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,543
    @fishlessman, just curious, what's wrong with lobster from a tank?

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    @fishlessman, just curious, what's wrong with lobster from a tank?

    the texture goes down hill but more importantly its the sea flavor that disappears. used to have a guy mostly fill a trashbarrel of 1.25 pounders for a hundred bucks and actually drop it off at the beach house. the flavor is just so much better. we would steam about half for that day and parcook the rest and get the meat out and freeze for bisque and chowders later on. parcooking those is key so they dont get overcooked later in the chowder, cooked lobster meat in the markets is always over cooked. i dont have that contact anymore but theres so many pounds around that the prices are staying fairly low, with the talk of tariffs and closed restaurants on lobster i dont see how the big co-ops are surviving. once those lobsters are in tanks they stress and stop eating
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 20,593
    @fishlessman, just curious, what's wrong with lobster from a tank?

    the texture goes down hill but more importantly its the sea flavor that disappears. used to have a guy mostly fill a trashbarrel of 1.25 pounders for a hundred bucks and actually drop it off at the beach house. the flavor is just so much better. we would steam about half for that day and parcook the rest and get the meat out and freeze for bisque and chowders later on. parcooking those is key so they dont get overcooked later in the chowder, cooked lobster meat in the markets is always over cooked. i dont have that contact anymore but theres so many pounds around that the prices are staying fairly low, with the talk of tariffs and closed restaurants on lobster i dont see how the big co-ops are surviving. once those lobsters are in tanks they stress and stop eating
    I learned something today. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,543
    Thanks, fish. I had no idea. Now, I also have no idea where to buy good lobster. 

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 3,130
    I stumbled into Dorothy Lane once, I have always wanted to go back and explore more.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    Thanks, fish. I had no idea. Now, I also have no idea where to buy good lobster. 

    FOR A CHAIN PLACE THAT MARKET BASKET NEARER TO YOU WOULD PROBABLY BE THE BEST BET BUT I KNOW MY MARKET BASKET WAS PRACTICALLY BEGGING CUSTOMERS TO BUY LOBSTER.  for a chain they probably move more lobster than the others.  july 4th sells more so they may be fresher then.  places to lobster are quickly moving north and further out to see making it more difficult to survive, these low prices arent helping the industry either. looks like china is not getting them and now the uk
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,990
    edited June 29
    @fishlessman great stuff, I really appreciate it.  Sooo many different East Coast companies that will "ship live" and pricing is not terrible ( EXAMPLE HERE ) but it is soooo hard to tell if the company is legit or not. 

    If anyone has had a good experience with a specific company . . let me know, otherwise I am going to stick to my plan and buy the cooked frozen meat from Dorothy Lane Market . . a store that knows quality and a store I trust.  In fact, they are doing a huge Lobster Fest in a few weeks, so they have some pride in lobster.

    EDIT:  few more Qs for Fishlessman . . 
    1) thoughts on lining your bun/roll with lettuce?
    2) how much meat do you think a rookie could pull from a 2# live lobster?
    3) you agree about 1/4 lb of meat per lobster roll ?
    4) this Q probably impossible to answer since you never mess around with frozen lobster . . but since it is "cooked frozen" think I should SKIP the "toss in warm pan with some butter" before dressing / chilling / serving on roll ?
    Columbus, Ohio
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    edited June 29
    maybe the lettuce on the croissant, but i stop breathing if i eat lettuce nowadays.  less than a half pound meat in a 2 pounder unless it has popeye claws and is at peak hard shell stage. traditionally served in a lightly buttered fried split top like this, notice how you dont see much mayo

    Best Maine Lobster Roll - cook like james

    no clue about warming in butter, i think they do that a few states south of me but.... ask the store how they do it, its probably good to go if its thawed out. go to kenniebunkport in maine, get a lobster roll at the clamshack over looking the river, then go to federal jacks for a shipyard ipa and a fried clam plate B) if you get them live, look at the steaming charts, not the boil charts, i only throw the huge lobsters in a semi boil trying to keep the claws up in the steam, the claws cook quicker with the really big ones, some cut them off and take them out part way thru the cook but trying to get a big claw off a big 212 degree lobster is not my thing.

  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,990
    @fishlessman last last Q . . Might ship live lobsters from Maine in on Friday, kill & steam Immediately . . Then keep meat in fridge until Saturday afternoon when I plant to dress lobster meat, toast buns & serve.  No problem keeping meat in fridge overnight, correct ?
    Columbus, Ohio
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    no problems there, you want the meat chilled for the sandwich anyways.  take the rubber bands off before cooking
  • dannysdannys Posts: 97
    NDG said:
    @fishlessman last last Q . . Might ship live lobsters from Maine in on Friday, kill & steam Immediately . . Then keep meat in fridge until Saturday afternoon when I plant to dress lobster meat, toast buns & serve.  No problem keeping meat in fridge overnight, correct ?
    I'm not sure this will work. Independence Day is celebrated on Friday so you probably won't get it shipped.
  • carrda04carrda04 Posts: 52
    NDG said:
    @fishlessman last last Q . . Might ship live lobsters from Maine in on Friday, kill & steam Immediately . . Then keep meat in fridge until Saturday afternoon when I plant to dress lobster meat, toast buns & serve.  No problem keeping meat in fridge overnight, correct ?
    Haven't lived in Maine since I was 10, so I'm not nearly the pro fishless is, but that plan sounds great. As he previously mentioned, just don't overdress your lobster--would be a shame. If you can get the correct New England bun, do it. Can't generally find them in the midwest, and my lobster rolls and hot dogs suffer terribly. 

    My only point of departure would be the claw bands. I've never found it matters at all. Some people think it affects flavor. One of my earliest memories is reaching into the lobster bag and getting snapped by a guy whose band broke. I haven't messed with them ever since!
    LG BGE
    Camp Chef 2xburner

    Twin Cities, MN
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    carrda04 said:
    NDG said:
    @fishlessman last last Q . . Might ship live lobsters from Maine in on Friday, kill & steam Immediately . . Then keep meat in fridge until Saturday afternoon when I plant to dress lobster meat, toast buns & serve.  No problem keeping meat in fridge overnight, correct ?
    Haven't lived in Maine since I was 10, so I'm not nearly the pro fishless is, but that plan sounds great. As he previously mentioned, just don't overdress your lobster--would be a shame. If you can get the correct New England bun, do it. Can't generally find them in the midwest, and my lobster rolls and hot dogs suffer terribly. 

    My only point of departure would be the claw bands. I've never found it matters at all. Some people think it affects flavor. One of my earliest memories is reaching into the lobster bag and getting snapped by a guy whose band broke. I haven't messed with them ever since!

    i dont think it affects flavor either but when doing 20 or so theres always someone in the crowd that busts on you for leaving those bands on
  • AcnAcn Posts: 3,287
    NDG said:
    @fishlessman great stuff, I really appreciate it.  Sooo many different East Coast companies that will "ship live" and pricing is not terrible ( EXAMPLE HERE ) but it is soooo hard to tell if the company is legit or not. 

    If anyone has had a good experience with a specific company . . let me know, otherwise I am going to stick to my plan and buy the cooked frozen meat from Dorothy Lane Market . . a store that knows quality and a store I trust.  In fact, they are doing a huge Lobster Fest in a few weeks, so they have some pride in lobster.

    EDIT:  few more Qs for Fishlessman . . 
    1) thoughts on lining your bun/roll with lettuce?
    2) how much meat do you think a rookie could pull from a 2# live lobster?
    3) you agree about 1/4 lb of meat per lobster roll ?
    4) this Q probably impossible to answer since you never mess around with frozen lobster . . but since it is "cooked frozen" think I should SKIP the "toss in warm pan with some butter" before dressing / chilling / serving on roll ?
    Try https://www.mclaughlinseafood.com/

    Full disclosure, I haven't had live lobster shipped from them, but I grew up going there for our seafood and received an excellent birthday shipment from there via my parents (my wife and I have a birthday 5 days apart), featuring scallops, salmon, haddock, lobster stew, and clam chowder.

    LBGE

    Pikesville, MD

  • dmchicagodmchicago Posts: 2,319
    As far as "tank" lobster is concerned, I'll conceed that nothing beats fresh from the sea lobster.
    However, if you have a source that turns a lot of live lobster (ask), you can make a mighty fine lobster roll hundreds of miles from the east coast. 
    Philly - Kansas City - Houston - Cincinnati - Dallas - Houston - Memphis - Austin - Chicago - Austin

    Large BGE.

    "I'm a complete moron when it comes to Egg/Dome assembly!"
    Dennis - Austin,TX
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,073
    dmchicago said:
    As far as "tank" lobster is concerned, I'll conceed that nothing beats fresh from the sea lobster.
    However, if you have a source that turns a lot of live lobster (ask), you can make a mighty fine lobster roll hundreds of miles from the east coast. 

    ive never had frozen lobster meat in a roll but the online prices for the meat look comparable to the purchase prices here. i would be hard pressed to buy live lobsters and ship them inland at those prices, here its 5.99 market basket to 6.99 local pound and the local supermarket was pushing live and or cooked at 3.99 per pound last friday. 50 bucks for a 1.5 pounder is crazy stuff
  • dmchicagodmchicago Posts: 2,319
    dmchicago said:
    As far as "tank" lobster is concerned, I'll conceed that nothing beats fresh from the sea lobster.
    However, if you have a source that turns a lot of live lobster (ask), you can make a mighty fine lobster roll hundreds of miles from the east coast. 

    ive never had frozen lobster meat in a roll but the online prices for the meat look comparable to the purchase prices here. i would be hard pressed to buy live lobsters and ship them inland at those prices, here its 5.99 market basket to 6.99 local pound and the local supermarket was pushing live and or cooked at 3.99 per pound last friday. 50 bucks for a 1.5 pounder is crazy stuff
    I'd never use frozen lobster meat nor would I have live lobster shipped.

    I think I pay $14.99/lb for live here. So for a 1.5 lb lobster, around 22 bucks.

    I can live with that. Also, I might add, whenever we have lobster, it's at the request of SWMBO. I am not the biggest lobster fan, tbh.
    Philly - Kansas City - Houston - Cincinnati - Dallas - Houston - Memphis - Austin - Chicago - Austin

    Large BGE.

    "I'm a complete moron when it comes to Egg/Dome assembly!"
    Dennis - Austin,TX
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,990
    Thanks everyone!  
    Columbus, Ohio
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,990
    Acn said:
    NDG said:
    @fishlessman great stuff, I really appreciate it.  Sooo many different East Coast companies that will "ship live" and pricing is not terrible ( EXAMPLE HERE ) but it is soooo hard to tell if the company is legit or not. 

    If anyone has had a good experience with a specific company . . let me know, otherwise I am going to stick to my plan and buy the cooked frozen meat from Dorothy Lane Market . . a store that knows quality and a store I trust.  In fact, they are doing a huge Lobster Fest in a few weeks, so they have some pride in lobster.

    Try https://www.mclaughlinseafood.com/

    Full disclosure, I haven't had live lobster shipped from them, but I grew up going there for our seafood and received an excellent birthday shipment from there via my parents (my wife and I have a birthday 5 days apart), featuring scallops, salmon, haddock, lobster stew, and clam chowder.
    @ACN thanks for the referral to Mclaughlin Seafood.  Prices seem good and just had nice convo with them . . picked up after one ring!  I am going to order 7 lobsters (1.5 lbs) on thurs so they arrive on Friday.  I love trying new things, this will be an experience - I am excited !!
    Columbus, Ohio
  • AcnAcn Posts: 3,287
    @ndg - awesome!  My family has been going there for 35+ years and has always had excellent product and service.  Hope the rolls work out well.

    LBGE

    Pikesville, MD

  • DaddyshackDaddyshack Posts: 159
    FWIW -eventide restaurant in Portland ME has one of the best I’ve had (good reviews on Eater as well). Here’s their alleged recipe-https://newengland.com/today/food/main-dishes/lobster/eventide-oysters-brown-butter-lobster-roll/
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,990
    @Daddyshack thanks - I just read the comments in your recipe link - hilarious bc everyone gets so fired up about the “right” way to make a lobster roll.  This recipe seems interesting for sure, similar to the version found in my MATTY MATHESON “cookbook” that I forgot I had until last night.  These recipes have me leaning towards going brown butter & herbs ( NO mayo NO lettuce )
    Columbus, Ohio
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