Why Butter Poaching Is A Superior Lobster Cooking Method, According To A Chef

Close up of lobster tail
Close up of lobster tail - RFondren Photography/Shutterstock

There are many techniques to cook lobster — perhaps you appreciate broiled buttery lobster tails, prefer to boil and serve them whole, or incorporate its sweet meat into luxe mashed potatoes. Even if you don't typically cook the shellfish at home, it's still essential to know the best cooking method, especially considering how pricey fresh lobster tends to be. For some expertise, Tasting Table turned to Chef Franklin Becker from Point Seven, a seafood restaurant in New York City, who says butter poaching is his favorite way to cook lobster.

"In general, cooking lobster delicately is the best way to prepare lobster," Becker says. "Butter poaching helps to flavor and enrich the lobster, making it melt in your mouth." You'll have to keep your eye on the lobster during the cooking process because the technique of butter poaching requires time and temperature control according to Becker's guidance. This is a crucial point considering the lobster can turn dry or rubbery if it's overcooked.

Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish

Have Patience With Butter-Poached Lobster

Hand holding live lobster
Hand holding live lobster - ismishko/Shutterstock

The first step to prepare the lobster is to sever its spine, twist off the claws and tails, then skewer the tails to keep them straight according to Becker. For his method, water, white wine, and mirepoix are brought to a boil before it is poured over the tails and claws and then covered. Becker says this method allows for the lobster to cook at 180 degrees Fahrenheit, which takes about seven minutes for tails and 10 minutes for claws. You should then place the lobster parts in an ice bath to stop cooking and remove the shells.

You might assume the next step is to pull out your finest butter and simply put it in a pan — but think again. Instead, Becker makes beurre fondue, which translates to "melted butter." It's basically an emulsion of butter and boiling water that is used as the butter bath for the lobster. "This butter bath should be kept [between] 170 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This will prevent the meat from seizing up," Becker explains. The lobster should be ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit per guidance from the Food and Drug Administration. "The lobster tail is how the animal swims and therefore, very muscular. The best way to cook a muscle is slow," he says.

And if you're inexperienced with the decadent shellfish, check out our tips on how to buy and cook lobster before you try this method.

Read the original article on Tasting Table