“It’s all about where your mind’s at.”
If you have not had a real lobster bake you are missing out. Described by some as the barbeque of lobster, a bake allows for a slightly smoky taste and brings out much more flavor than a simple steaming of these crustaceans. The result is super soft meat and an addiction to lobster bakes. (If you live in Maine this is an easy habit to maintain. If you live elsewhere, sorry.)
You will need a few fresh lobsters in the 1.25-1.75 lb range. The best place to do a bake is at the beach since building a fire with a stone or sand base helps hold in the heat and cooks the lobsters evenly. The beach also gives plentiful access to kelp and fire safety is easy. When necessary, use the nearby ocean.
Start by building a pit of stone about 3’ wide and one foot deep, (size will depend on how many lobsters you are cooking) for a cooking fire. I won’t go into the proper way of building a fire since that is a skill everyone should have but the goal is a nice bed of coal not a good looking flame. Once you have a solid bed of coals you think could last for about an hour with no more fuel, layer on a good six inches of kelp then pop those rubber bands off the claws and lay the lobster down on the kelp. Cover with another few inches of kelp and set your timer. Since you are cooking in a fire it’s up to you to make the judgment call on how much heat is getting to your lobsters. I typically cook for 30 minutes before uncovering the lobsters, flipping them over, and letting them cook for another 15-20 minutes. Unlike steaming, a little overcooking doesn’t ruin them.
During cooking time you can make some melted butter if you want or if you want to spice it up infuse the butter with your favorite seasoning. I love doing jerk or curry but everyone has their own preference. Just keep an eye on the lower layer of kelp to make sure it doesn’t burn all the way through. Once the lobsters are cooked pull them off and let cool for 5-10 minutes and then start cracking. Enjoy with a cold beverage. We suggest a can of Bissell Brothers or bottle of Oxbow.
– Nick Aleandro