Cooking Tips

How to Remove the Meat from a Cooked Lobster

Whether you’re making lobster salad, lobster rolls, or lobster mac and cheese, you need to know how to get the meat out of the shell. 

Published Apr. 28, 2023.

Is New England lobster the best in the world? I think so, but I live in that region, so I’m biased. 

When the warm weather hits these parts, attacking a steamed lobster at a coastal seafood shack is a seasonal rite of passage. The experience of donning a flimsy plastic bib and getting your hands slippery with butter and lobster juice is time-honored. But perhaps even more appealing than tangling with a whole lobster is enjoying a comparatively tidy lobster roll. 

There’s lots of debate in New England about which style of lobster roll is superior: the hot buttered style or the cold version with mayo. I come down firmly in the middle on this particular argument—one of each, please, thankyouverymuch. 

If you’re making lobster rolls at home, it’s helpful to have a solid shelling technique to make that task easier and more efficient. The video below shows our Ashley Moore making Hot Buttered Lobster Rolls, including step-by-step instructions for removing cooked lobster meat from the shells. 


The short version is this: First, break the lobster down by twisting off the tail to remove it and then similarly twisting each of the two big claws off. From there you systematically crack and extract the meat from each part—the video shows you exactly what to do. 

Some people like to use special lobster cracking tools and forks, but you can get the job done easily enough with kitchen shears, a chef’s knife, and a butter knife. Once the meat is cooked and shelled, how you enjoy it is up to you . . . but if you haven’t tried our lobster rolls, they’re worth the splurge. 

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