Big lobster, or several little guys?

It’s lobster season.

T&T Supermarket has a place within biking distance of home (I can put the food in my backpack and carry it home).

Last week, I bought some canners. Canners are small lobsters — they’re of legal size, but once-upon-a-time, they were considered too small for export to the American markets, and were therefore relegated to being either canned, or sold locally. Last week I biked out and bought a trio, on sale for $4.99 each.



While they were tasty, they were a lot of work. Plus, some areas are just not worth the effort to extract any meat: the body is probably more an expenditure of calories than those gained by gleaning the meat in them. Same for the extra little legs on these decapods (new word!)

Today I  went back. T&T was advertising that they had large lobsters for $5.99 a pound. Indeed they did. The large ones at that price were all over 6 lbs, which is probably larger than my stock pot can accommodate.

They did have some nice big lobsters — between two and three pounds — for $7.99 a pound. So I bought one (almost) three-pounder.

Treated it the way a lobster should be treated (and how I treated the canners). Put them in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes, and then put them head-first into boiling water.

For the three-pounder, when the water starts boiling again, 10 minutes for the first pound, and 3 minutes per pound after that. If you don’t overcook them, they’re not tough. Really. And I find there is more of a difference in flavour between the claws and the tail and the body, the larger the beast.




It was delicious. I have to say, comparing the amount of work and the amount of meat and flavour, that there is much more to be had from a larger lobster than a bunch of smaller ones. Each of those cracking or splitting or slicing operations has to happen on a per-lobster basis.

And on the canners, the body doesn’t really yield any meat, nor do the smaller legs. These all have meat on the larger lobsters, and there is a good amount of body meat, once you get past the gills.

Gotta say, given my druthers, I’ll take one three-pounder over three one-pounders! What do you have to say?

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About pat

Visual thinker, first got interested in digital imagery in the early days of Omni magazine, back when it used to review what had happened at SIGGraph. I worked in the 3D software field for 23 years. Lifelong enjoyment of gardening grew over time; I was a Master Gardener (briefly) and had a vegetable and herb allotment garden in Toronto to grow vegetables, as well as perennial gardens at home. Gardening and enjoying fresh produce also raised my interest in cooking with really good local food. As more restaurants in Toronto are offering local fare, I enjoy dining out and sampling the visions the different chefs have.

2 thoughts on “Big lobster, or several little guys?

  1. Pat – interesting. My recent experience – inspired by you – of trying the T&T canners – was great. I used kitchen scissors to ‘unzip’ the flesh on the legs. All was delicious and very very reasonable. The size was also easier to handle. I once got a huge lobster and the killing process was grotesque for it didn’t fit the pot and I had to pour pots of boiling water over it …in the sink. Then the claws were like concrete to break open

  2. I confess, I’ve got a big lobster pot, and some lobster shears I bought years ago from Lee Valley — I’m sure that these made it much easier for me to boil a large lobster. Kim, sounds like your experience with a big one was traumatic!

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