How to Cut a Cooked Lobster

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Lobsters are a gourmet seafood treat, with succulent meat. There's just one problem for the home cook---how do you cut the lobster meat out of the lobster once you've finished cooking it? Cutting a cooked lobster open and removing the meat isn't complicated, if you've got a few common kitchen tools and patience. Specialized tools like a lobster cracker or a lobster pick can make the cutting task easier.

Things You'll Need

  • Cooked lobster
  • Large knife
  • Lobster cracker (optional)
  • Lobster pick (optional)
  • Pull the claws and legs off the body of the lobster.

  • Remove the meat from the claws. First take the knuckle off the base of the claw and set aside. You should also remove the lower half of the claw, keeping the upper, larger half. Hit the upper claw with the butt of your knife to loosen the shell. Break off enough shell so you can grasp the meat at the bottom of the claw. The meat should easily slide out of the claw. You can also use a lobster cracker---a specialized tool that resembles a nutcracker---to get the meat out of the claw.

  • Remove the meat from the knuckles. Cut open the bottom of the knuckle, then slice open the side of the knuckle. Peel the knuckle open and remove the meat.

  • Holding the lobster top side up, insert your knife at the top of the lobster (where the lobster's head meets the body). Cut the lobster lengthwise in half along the spine. Pull the shell off the tail and remove the tail meat.

  • Turn the lobster over and cut lengthwise again, so that the lobster is cut fully in half.

  • Remove the lobster's stomach and digestive tract (a dark line that runs along the lobster's tail). You may also find red or green deposits. The green stuff is the "tomalley" or lobster liver, which you probably should remove as it's where toxins end up. The red stuff is lobster roe, which is like caviar.

  • Remove the tail meat by pulling it out of the shell.

  • If you have a lobster pick or a lot of patience, you can also remove small amounts of meat from the lobster legs and the smaller half of the claw.

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