Reheating Lobster

I purchased some steamed frozen whole lobsters. I want to take the meat out of the shell and heat it in the sous vide with butter. Any tips on reheating it gently so it will come out delicate and buttery?

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I’d just reheat by dropping it into a water bath at 130F for 30-40 minutes.

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I am from Nova Scotia, Canada and did not know that you could purchase frozen steamed lobster.
When I cook them fresh off the boat, I boil the 2 pounders for about 12-15 minutes or the time it takes to throw back a pint of beer, which ever comes first. We are very particular in our timing!
Of course this applies to Nova Scotia Eastern Shore lobster.
I would think that you would want to make sure you salt the water.
I hope this helps and do not forget the beer timing it is critical.


Why would you want to salt the water when you sous vide? :confused:

Shirley, it’s so good to see you use the word, “gently” with lobster. It doesn’t happen often.

First, i’d thaw the lobsters in your refrigerator. Remove them from any packaging and place them on a wire rack set over a rimmed pan to catch any juices. Now you can crack the shells and remove the meat from the lobster. The trick to get the sweet meat from all those little legs is to snap them off and use a rolling pin on them from the tip in.

Next, place frozen or deeply chilled butter with the lobster to make vacuum packaging a breeze. Use the best cultured butter you can buy, it doesn’t take much.

I’d reserve the shells to make a richly flavoured stock with them. It makes an excellent start for your next Bouillabaisse.

Alyssa’s timing is about right for two-pounders and up. Remember, they are already very well cooked, usually too much for my taste. Any smaller and i’d likely do them for half that time to just get them warm and heat some extra butter for dipping.

Of course Riprad refers to cooking fresh lobsters.
We Cape Coders prefer to steam our fresh lobsters so not to leach out their sweet flavour. Too often having lobster just becomes a reason to eat butter.

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Thanks for the good information. I saw Alton Brown use the rolling pin trick for the small legs. I bought these frozen lobsters after a failed attempt to get some live ones at a local seafood market’s annual “Lobsterama” where they have 9000 1-1 1/2 pound lobsters available at east coast prices. They were gone in two hours. I noticed the frozen ones so I thought I would give them a try. We usually only have access to frozen raw tails. On the other hand, I can buy freshly caught gulf shrimp right off the boat. New Englanders have fresh lobster, we have shrimp! I lived in New England for a little less than two years so I have had your fresh delicious lobster.

And I always buy Kerrygold butter!

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I should have said that i’m a recovering Cape Coder and that i’d love to be able to buy Gulf Shrimp at something less than $25 a pound if they are available.
And if they are available, they are frozen.


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Never knew how good I had it. I live in fla and it’s not uncommon to see a guy in the bed of a pick-up truck at a rural 60mph intersection holding up a couple 6" shrimp while pointing at his cooler. I thought they grew there in a field !?$%&#}


Yeah, buying fresh caught jumbo shrimp off the boat for $6 a pound is a privilege and I never take it for granted, I just enjoy it.

txsquirrelfish - I moved from the Boston area to Central Texas, and can buy live lobsters at one of the newer, fancier HEB supermarkets. The fellow at the seafood counter even knew how to tell a male from female lobster without me showing him. (I only buy females, because the claw meat is sweeter.)

I inquired at the website to find a location near me that stocked live lobsters. I imagine other chain stores would be able to provide similar info.

Thanks for the reply. I can buy live lobsters at the larger H-E-B stores as well. I was trying to get some sous vide direction since I am new to using it. The frozen ones really didn’t turn out well at all.

I have the same question. I purchased a two pack of frozen whole steamed lobsters from Lidl yesterday and want to take each one out, vac them individually and Sous Vide them just the way they are to reheat them. I usually add 1 hour to anything I SV directly from the freezer, so at what temp and time should I cook these?

Hey OldGymnast, you should learn from Txsquirrelfish’s post above.
Don’t do it if you expect an enjoyable result.

Frozen whole steamed lobsters are already completely cooked, - sometimes even overcooked. All you might want to do is gently thaw and heat them just before serving.

I know it’s heresy here, but have you considered a quick steaming? It’s your gentlest option, 6 to 8 minutes for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounders.

You don’t say if you are serving them whole or in a recipe, nor are there any details about size, I’ll guess whole and the above size.

Please move lobster, and most other seafood, out of the anything food category in your culinary repertoire. Adding an hour of heat to thaw anything might be alright for an inch thick piece of meat or poultry, but it disrespects lobster’s tenderness. An extra hour of heat is a terrible idea. Another challenge with whole lobster is their shape leaves a lot of air pockets when you vac them and maybe even punctures the plastic. As you know for effective SV use you need water contact with all surfaces for even heat transfer. It isn’t going to happen unless the bags leak.

Just in case you are determined to proceed with your SV technique please first thaw the lobsters in your refrigerator for 24 hours. Then SV at 122F / 50C for 20 to 30 minutes, or at 140F / 60C for the same time to have a less tender outcome.
And enjoy.