OK so I actually really don’t like doing this. I have cooked lobster many times in the past by boiling it first. Over the summer though I decided that I wanted to stuff a lobster which required me to butcher a live lobster instead of boiling it. It was truly one of the worse experiences in my life. I was so nervous and upset when I did it. I had a very hard time killing it and was not sure if I was doing it right. I had to call the Chef (yes he is a real Chef) of the family Billy. Who first calmed me down, ensured me that the lobster could not feel anything because it does not have a central nervous system, told me how to correctly do it, and informed me that I had actually done it right, despite it still moving even though it was in two pieces. YES, BE FOREWARNED THE LOBSTER WILL STILL MOVE EVEN THOUGH IT IS CUT IN HALF. Nothing I read prepared me for that so I hope the forewarning will allow you to be a little calmer than I was.
This time around I wanted to grill lobster which once again required me to butcher a live lobster (which I had sworn I would never do again). Now that I knew what I was doing and knew that it was still going to move, it went a lot smoother. This even though the lobsters were still moving almost 20 minutes later, when I went to put them on the grill. The lobsters came from Red Hook Lobster Pound in Brooklyn. They were fantastic and well worth having to butcher the lobsters live. Tomorrow I will share with you that very easy recipe and more good words about the Red Hook Lobster Pound.
Below are step by step instructions with pictures and a video (courtesy of Tom Harrison who took these live shots). Good Luck on your future endeavors of butchering a live lobster.
I like to butcher a lobster on a cutting board that has ridges to catch any water that comes off the lobster. You will also need a sharp knife.
First turn the lobster towards you. Find the cross on the top of the lobsters head. This is where you need to make you first knife mark.
Then pull the knife towards you slicing down the lobster’s head until you reach the cutting board.
Now turn the lobster so the tail is facing you.