How to Extract Meat from a Lobster

Eating lobster can be a messy endeavor—but, one that is well-worth the effort.

Extracting Lobster Technique

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

The Best Way to Extract Meat from a Lobster

Lobster tastes delicious, but eating it can be messy. If there were a tidy way to do it, restaurants wouldn’t supply their customers with a bib, but the succulent meat makes all the effort worthwhile. Although techniques can vary depending on local tradition and personal preference, here’s a general guide that will help you get the most out of your next lobster dinner.

View Recipe: Steamed Lobster

Extracting Lobster Meat: Separate the Tail

Step 1

Separate the tail from the rest of the body by bending the lobster backward.

Extracting Lobster Meat: Snap Off Flippers

Step 2

Snap off the flippers, and push the meat out of the shell using a fork at the flipper end of the tail.

Extracting Lobster Meat: Twist Off Claws

Step 3

Twist off the claws, and gently move the pincher from side to side until you feel it snap. Gently pull it away.

Extracting Lobster Meat: Crack Claws Open

Step 4

Gently crack the claws open with a nutcracker to release the meat.

Extracting Lobster Meat: Pluck Off Legs

Step 5

Pluck off the legs. If you’d like, use a small fork to break the shell.

Extracting Lobster Meat: Crack Body Open

Step 6

Crack the body of the lobster open to remove the meat.

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