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How to Use All the Parts of a Lobster

Lobster is too good -- and too expensive -- to waste. Learn how to eat up every part of it for a satisfying meal.


  • Step 1: Eat the claws Break off the two big claws at the point where they connect to the legs. There is a joint between the pincers in each claw where you can bend the smaller pincer back and break it away from the other half.
  • TIP: A cocktail fork is useful to pick the meat out of the claws.
  • Step 2: Break the shell Use a heavy knife or a nutcracker to break apart the shell. Then remove the cartilage from inside and pick out the meat.
  • Step 3: Eat the legs Break off the front legs and use the nutcracker to break them open so you can get at the meat. Twist off the small back legs and suck the meat out as if they were straws.
  • Step 4: Eat the tail Get to the meat in the tail by breaking the tail away from the body. Then bend the tail back and forth at the point where it meets the body. When it's separated from the body, hold it with the curved backside against your palm. Then squeeze the sides together until they break.
  • TIP: Once the tail is open, it's easy to get to the meat.
  • Step 5: Eat the body Get to the meat inside the lobster's body by gripping it at the hole where the tail was. With your other hand, peel away the softer underside of the shell. From inside the body, you can eat the roe and the green tomalley (the liver), as well as the last sections of meat between the legs.
  • Step 6: Make stock Don't eat the shell, the head, the black vein in the tail, or the cartilage. Instead, throw it all into a stock pot and add herbs, vegetables, and white wine to make your own lobster stock.
  • FACT: Rockland, Maine, which hosts the Maine Lobster Festival every August, is known as the lobster capital of the world.

You Will Need

  • Lobster
  • Knife or nutcracker
  • A stock pot
  • Herbs
  • Vegetables
  • White wine
  • Cocktail fork (optional)

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