There’s more to hosting a great lobster boil than the lobster. Be sure to have all the trappings so you can enjoy the bounty of our sea in comfort and style.

A Big Pot – In this case, bigger is better, especially if cooking for a crowd. If planning on cooking six or more at a time, consider an 18- to 20-quart stock pot. Raise the game by buying a lobster pot with a steamer basket so you can remove the lobster easily.

Tongs – For those of us that aren’t investing in the grand deluxe lobster pot, we have to rely on kitchen tongs. Look for 12-inch long scalloped tongs. While there are numerous fancy versions out there, the classic aluminum variety are the most functional.

Bowl of Ice – Some argue the virtues of killing the lobster is to pre-boil with a chef’s knife, but others suggest this will render the meat tough. If you want to reduce the squirm/twitch factor, a good tip is to place the lobsters on ice, or in the freezer, for 15 minutes prior to boiling.

Lobster Crackers – Old-style lobster crackers, reminiscent of nut crackers, will do in a pinch, but we suggest the Nantucket Red Lobster Cracker. These well-constructed crackers built in the shape of lobster claws are amazingly sturdy. If you have a good chef’s knife you can use that instead of crackers.

Kitchen Shears – There is nothing faster for dismantling a lobster than using a good pair of kitchen shears. First, you can remove the rubber bands from the claws before boiling with your shears and use them again when the lobsters are cooked. Good shears will help you make quick work of removing the tail’s shell.

Towels, Napkins and Bibs – Miss Manners says it’s OK to wear a bib when eating lobster, but it’s equally important to have towels on hand to mop up all the juice and when serving lobster; there’s never enough towels and napkins. Keep plenty on hand.

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