Lobsters have become a gourmet delicacy over the world. They are known for their sweet and tender meat. Like most other kinds of seafood, lobsters tend to go bad quickly when they die. Therefore, lobsters should be cooked right away when you get home. If you need to store them in the fridge, it will yield just a couple of days before it goes bad. What if you need to store them longer? Will the freezer keep the lobsters fresh?
So, can you freeze lobsters? Yes, you can freeze lobsters and it’s a great way to preserve them for months. However, to ensure that they remain fresh for a long time, it’s important to prep them correctly first and properly store them.
In this short guide, we’ll through the proper way to freeze lobsters, how to prepare them for the freezer, and how to tell when they are bad. If these are the information you’re looking for, keep reading.
Does Lobster Freeze Well?
Due to their texture and high moisture content in the meat, lobsters freeze very well. Prepping them correctly and properly storing them will keep them fresh for 3 months or a little longer.
Each part of the lobster requires different ways of prepping. For whole lobsters, you can simply wrap them with a cling wrapper and place it into the freezer. Freezing just the lobster meat will require you to cover them with milk first before freezing it.
It’s always a good idea to freeze lobsters with their shell intact whenever possible. The shell actually helps maintain the meat freshness by preventing freezer burn.
After 3 months, lobsters are still safe to eat. The only problem you may encounter is the taste and texture. The longer it stays in the freezer, the quality will start to diminish.
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No, you cannot store uncooked lobster in the freezer. This applies to the whole lobster, lobster meat, and the lobster tail.
Uncooked lobsters will freeze well in the freezer. The problem starts when the lobster begins to thaw. As the uncooked lobster starts to freeze, the meat will begin to expand and is tightly compressed in the shell.
As it thaws, the meat will stick to the inside of the shell. When this happens, it will almost be impossible to separate the meat from the shell.
By cooking the lobster first, it will shrink the meat and separate it from the shell. As it begins to thaw, since the meat is already shrunk and disconnected from the shell, it will not stick.
Once the lobster is thawed, simply put them in boiling water for 15 minutes and you’ll have a delicious lobster to eat.
Can You Freeze Leftover Lobster?
Cooked lobsters can be frozen in the freezer. The only downside to freezing cooked lobster is a loss in flavor. As the lobster is being cooked in boiled water, it will begin to lose their flavor.
When freezing cooked lobsters, always keep their shell intact. The shell will help keep the meat from falling apart and holding its texture. Also, the shell act as a barrier to prevent freezer burn, which will help retain moisture and prevent damage when the lobster is frozen.
Can You Freeze Dead Lobster?
Freezing dead lobster is fine if it’s been dead for no longer than 2 hours. After this time, it will likely start having bacterial growth on it and toxins may start to spread through the body.
Lobsters that are left at room temperature will most likely start having bacteria growing on them when it dies.
If the lobsters are dead and it’s been in the fridge for no longer than several hours, you can boil them and store them in the freezer.
To prevent food poisoning, you should always boil the lobster before freezing it. When the lobster dies, toxins will start to spread throughout their body. This toxin can cause serious health problems.
Therefore, it’s always a good practice to cook the lobsters before freezing it. This way, it will kill any bacteria and toxins in the lobsters.
How Long Can You Freeze Lobster?
Whole lobster will stay fresh in the freezer for a 9 to 12 month period. This is only if it’s prepped correctly first and stored in a freezer bag.
While it remains fresh within 1 year, it’s still safe to eat the lobster after a year. However, the quality of the meat will diminish. This is due to the lobster getting freezer burn, which is naturally occurring for foods that are stored for a prolonged time in the freezer.
As for lobster meat and lobster tail, both will last between 3-6 months in the freezer. After 6 months, they are still safe to eat, but the taste and texture will change. Its meat may become more rubbery and it will lose its flavor.
Even though it won’t taste good fresh, they make an excellent addition to soups, stews, and other food that requires the meat of the lobster to be mixed.
How to Freeze Lobster
Lobster can be frozen once it’s cooked. Never freeze uncooked lobster or you’ll be spending all your time trying to pick the meat from the shell when it thaw.
Below are instructions on how to freeze fresh lobster and lobster you have leftover from a meal. Both will need to be prepped first before they are stored in the freezer.
Freezing Fresh Live Lobster
When it comes to freezing fresh lobster, always make sure they are alive first. Lobster and other seafood are highly perishable and go bad very quickly.
Here’s how to freeze fresh lobster:
- Lobster should be alive and chilled.
- In a pot, add water and 2% salt brine (1/2 cup of non-iodized salt)
- Heat the water until it boils around 212°.
- Gently place the lobsters into the boiling water.
- Blanch it for about 1 minute.
- In a tub of water, fill the water halfway and add ice cube until it’s full.
- Place the lobsters into the ice water for about 15-30 minutes.
- Once the lobsters are cooled, place them into a resealable freezer bag.
- Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag.
- Seal the bag tightly.
- Take another freezer bag and place the lobsters into the second freezer bag.
- Squeeze out the air in the second freezer bag and seal it tightly.
- Label the bag with a date and place it into the freezer.
Freezing Leftover Lobster Meat
You may have lobster leftover and want to store the meat for eating later. The lobster meat can be frozen, but you’ll need to prep them first in order to keep them fresh for a long time in the freezer.
- Ziplock Freezer Bag
- Fresh Milk
Here is how to freeze leftover lobster meat:
- Allow the lobster to cool down first
- Gently remove the meat from the lobster and place them into a bowl
- Pour milk over the lobster meat. Make sure to cover the entire meat
- In a freezer bag, transfer the lobster meat to the bag
- Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag and seal it tightly
- Label the freezer bag with a date
- Lay a sheet of newspaper on the countertop
- Place the freezer bag of the lobster meat onto the center of the newspaper
- Wrap the newspaper around the entire freezer bag. Make sure no part of the bag is exposed
- Use tape and securely wrap it around the newspaper. Wrap it just enough so that the newspaper does not come undone
They will remain fresh for up to 3 months.
How Do You Defrost Lobster?
Thawing lobsters is simply transferring them from the freezer to the fridge. Make sure to place the freezer bag of lobsters on a plate or container. If not, you’ll be looking at a mess when it thaws.
Let the frozen lobsters sit in the fridge overnight.
In the morning or when you’re ready to use the lobsters, make sure to boil them in a 2% salt brine for about 15 minutes.
Once the lobster has thawed, make sure to never freeze them again. Doing so will cause the lobster meat to lose their texture and taste.
Using Frozen Lobster
When it comes to lobster, most people will boil the lobster and eat them fresh. This is the most popular way to cook lobster. Besides eating them fresh, lobster are versatile and can be used as part of many other different entrees.
Here are some of the delicious entree you can use frozen lobster with:
- Lobster Newberg
- Lobster stew
- Lobster Bisque
- Lobster Thermidor
- Lobster Roll
- Lobster Salad
- Lobster BLTs
- Lobster Diavolo
- Blue Cheese Lobster Beignets With Spicy Avocado Cream
- New England Lobster Rolls
- Lobster Polenta Pizza
- Lobster Mac And Cheese
- Lobster Pot Pies
- Cajun Lobster Pasta
- Lobster Grilled Cheese
- Seared Lobster Tails With A Garden Vegetable Sauté
- Lobster Burgers
- Lobster Hash
- Maine Lobster Roll
- Creamy Lobster Risotto
As you can see, there are many entrees you can make with frozen lobster. There are many other meals in which frozen lobster meat can be added to for added flavoring and taste.
How Long Does Lobster Last?
At room temperature, the live lobsters will live out of the water for up to 36 hours. Make sure they are still alive when you cook them. Otherwise, you may get sick from the toxins released by the lobsters when they die.
For cooked lobsters, they should not be left out longer than 3 hours at room temperature. If it’s really hot, their shelf life will be even shorter.
In the fridge, live lobsters will last for 3-4 hours. Make sure to put them in a large container covered with damp seaweed, newspapers, or paper towels.
Cooked lobster stored in the fridge will last for 2-3 days. Keep them sealed tightly in a freezer bag or a container.
Can Frozen Lobster Go Bad?
As long as the lobster remains frozen, it will usually not go bad. It can actually remain safe to eat well over a year, but the quality of it will diminish.
The longer it stays in the freezer, the higher the chance for it getting freezer burn. Freezer burn will cause the lobster to lose their taste and textures. If it’s been in the freezer for a very long time, it will taste bland and become somewhat rubbery when you eat it.
Frozen lobster will start to go bad when it starts to thaw. If you are thawing the lobster at room temperature, make sure to use it within 2-3 hours after it completely thaws. If not, the lobster will start to quickly spoil.
If it’s being thawed in the fridge, it will last about 3-4 days before it starts to go bad.
What happens if you eat a bad lobster?
Eating bad lobster will result in nausea, stomach ache, fever, and vomiting. These are all symptoms of food poisoning.
Luckily, lobsters are easy to tell when they go bad. If they are bad, the smell of the ammonia will be present. This happens when the lobster starts to decompose.
Is it safe to eat the green stuff in lobster?
The green substance is known as the tomalley. It’s advised to not eat it due to the possibility of toxins being present in the organs.