How to Shell a Lobster

Learn how to shell a lobster in 4 easy steps.

Whether you order lobsters already cooked from your fish market or cook them at home, a lobster party is fun way to entertain at home. If you or your guests have never enjoyed a whole lobster before, figuring out how to get the meat from the shell can be a little tricky. This step-by-step guide will show you how. Before you start, cover your table with brown paper bags or newspaper to help contain the mess, set out lobster crackers (or kitchen shears), lemon-butter for dipping, corn on the cob and plenty of napkins.


How to Shell a Lobster

Step 1

Grasp a claw near the body. With a firm twist, remove from the body.


How to Shell a Lobster

Step 2

Crack through the claw shell using a pair of kitchen shears or a lobster cracker. Remove the meat with a small fork.


How to Shell a Lobster

Step 3

Hold the body in one hand and firmly grasp the tail in the other; twist and gently pull the tail from the body. (Discard the body.) The greenish “goop” on the tail meat is called tomalley. It’s edible, but functions as a filter and accumulates contaminates from the ocean so it’s best to skip eating it. The bright red roe is the unfertilized eggs of female lobsters. It’s edible.


How to Shell a Lobster

Step 4

Cut through the underside of the tail shell with kitchen shears or use lobster crackers to crack the shell. Remove the meat with a fork.