Lobsters are widely known as the king of crustaceans and should be treated accordingly. To successfully buy or fish a lobster and keep it of the highest quality until it reaches the table, we must treat it with respect. Since lobsters tend to be more expensive than other crustaceans, it is not a good economy to throw a lobster in the trash due to poor care, so let’s take a look at the best ways to handle and store our lobster.
Lobsters breathe through their gills and the gills must be kept moist to remain alive. You really want to keep your live lobster cool out of the sunlight or general heat and keep the moisture around it.
Transport the lobsters in a container such as a sturdy cardboard box or foam box for cooling, but ideally without a lid. Keep some wet straw or damp newspaper at the bottom of the box and cover the lobster with a damp cloth, as they will easily diffuse moisture from the air and absorb oxygen through their gills.
Do not immerse live lobsters in salt water or ice which could melt and submerge them as they will suffocate in a very short period of time. When in saltwater tanks in seafood stores, keep in mind that the tanks are filtered and the lobster receives fresh oxygen frequently. If it is immersed in a small container in water, its oxygen will be depleted quickly.
Make sure the lobster claws are tied with a rope or rubber band to prevent pinching. You should handle lobsters with care and the less frequent the better. Lobsters can be easily stressed and weakened from all the jostling, remember that they are really at home when in the sea.
You can expect the lobster to stay in good condition out of the sea or your saltwater tank for a day or two. Sometimes in the wild they get stuck at low tides and get stuck in open rocks and have to wait again for tidal changes to have naturally adapted but they are still in a weakened state so please treat them with care .
Lobsters come in soft or hard shell versions; it just depends on where the lobster is in the molting stage. If you’ve done your checks and squeezed the lobsters’ side and concluded you have a hard shell version, well, they will travel a lot better than a soft shell version.
Once they are home, make some room in the refrigerator and store them covered with a damp cloth that will still allow them to breathe. Stored this way, they will have a realistic shelf life of one to two days. However, you should consider cooking them faster than this for the ultimate in freshness.