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Frequently Asked Questions

With more than 70 years in the business, it's safe to say we know a thing or two about lobster and all things seafood. Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:

How should live lobsters, crabs, and other shellfish be stored at home?
Do not attempt to store live shellfish in fresh water. Do not coverthem with ice directly or store them in seawater with no aeration. Live lobster may be stored in the shipping carton. If there is not enough room in your fridge for the carton, the contents may be put into a different container and covered with the 'saltwater' dampened cloth that was packed in your carton.  

They may be stored for as long as they remain alive. Check them twice a day. Under prime conditions live seafood may be stored in a properly working refrigerated environment of 32°F (O"Q for 24 hours, or even longer.

How should I cook lobster in the Fisherman’s Market tradition?
Add 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of fresh water, ensuring enough water to cover the lobster when they are placed in the pot. Bring the water to a rapid boil and put the lobsters (large first) in the pot, head first, without delay. Be careful not to get splashed with the boiling water! With the lobsters in the water, return to a rapid boil, and start your timer as follows:

Canners 11 – 12 minutes
1 lb. 15 – 16 minutes
1 ¼ lbs. 16 – 18 minutes
1 ½ lbs. 18 – 20 minutes
2 lbs. 22 – 24 minutes
4 lbs. 24 – 28 minutes
8 lbs. 28 – 32 minutes

Please note: Female lobster roe (eggs) will look like a black jelly-like substance if the lobster is not cooked enough. The roe will turn red when cooked; however, the roe can be a little harder to cook the closer the lobster is to its seeding time.

What’s the best way to steam lobsters?
Steamed lobster generally require more cooking time. Add 5 minutes to the cooking time. Steamed lobsters on the top of the pot may cook more slowly than those on the bottom and may not be as salty. If steaming is your
preference, put the larger lobsters and females on the bottom of the pot (as they require slightly more cooking time).

Once lobsters are cooked, how do I remove the meat?
Twist off the claws where they join the body. Break claws and knuckles with nutcracker. Dig the meat out with a small fork or pick. Twist off the tail, and then twist off the flippers. Remove meat from the tail by pushing a fork into meat of the tail where the flippers were, through to the other end of the tail. The cavity of the body now has the green tamale exposed. Scoop it out and enjoy. If you're lucky you may have some red roe, which is considered a delicacy by many! Remove legs and extract meat using a skewer or pick.

Note: The small, dark stomach sack of the lobster should not be eaten. Known as 'The Lady', it is found near the head of the lobster, inside the body cavity under the eyes.

Another Note: If you don’t cool the lobster properly after cooking, shelf life will reduce drastically, to less than 24 hours.

How should I cool the lobsters?
If lobsters are not going to be eaten right away they should be cooled immediately to stop the cooking process. A lobster allowed to sit with steam pouring out will continue to cook inside and therefore lose some of its wonderful texture and shorten its shelf life. While the lobsters are cooking make a container(s) of salt water by adding 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of fresh water (Container must be large enough to hold all the lobsters to be cooled at one time). Add lots of ice to the cooling water. The surface temperature of a cooked lobster is not a good indication of the internal temperature, which can only be monitored with a thermometer probe. The lobster must be cooled inside as well as outside to 0-2°C (32-33°F}. It may take up to an hour to cool your lobster.

What’s the best way to reheat cold lobsters?

Wrap lobsters tightly in tin foil and place in a preheated oven (or on the barbecue) on their backs at 350°F (175°Q for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the lobster. The tin foil will keep in moisture and the lobster's full flavor. A pad of butter will help maintain moistness.

What’s the best way to freeze lobsters?
The preferred way to freeze lobster is to take the meat out of the shell. Place the meat in a plastic container or plastic bag, preferably 12 oz. or smaller in size so it will freeze quickly. Cover the meat with a light salt brine (1/8 cup of salt per litre of tap water). Leave 3/4" of space at the top of the container for expansion. Store for up to three months at -10°F (-5°C).

What’s the difference between soft-shelled and hard-shelled Lobsters?
Lobsters normally molt (change their shell) once, and up to three times each year, depending on a number of environmental factors.

 Soft-Shelled (New-Shelled) 
Lobsters purchased from August to October are mainly new-shelled lobster. Many fishing communities from the coast of Atlantic Canada to Maine prefer new-shelled lobster as the meat is particularly sweet and tasty during this season, and easily comes out of the shell. If you happen to find a 'thin skin' under the shell of a lobster, it is a new shell forming, which doesn't affect the lobster, but remove it before eating. These lobsters should not be considered for long flights.
Hard Shelled (Premium Grade)
The best time to find these is from mid-December to the end of January, and from late April to late July. They are also available at other times from pound stock. These travel well and are worth the price for longer flights.

What’s the best way to store fresh fish?
Fresh fish should be stored at a temperature of 32°F (O°C) in a refrigerated environment and used within 1 to 2 days of purchase. Fresh fish should feel firm and smell fresh, like the ocean water it came from, with a translucent, fresh appearance.

How should I cook fresh fish?
Fresh fish should be cooked approximately 7-10min per inch (2.5cm) of thickness of the fish, at a temperature of 375°F (190°C) (thicker the steak the better). How do you order your steak? Do the same for seafood steaks, medium rare leaves more moisture and flavor in the fish. Bake with your favorite stuffing, sauces or spices. Other methods include pan-fried, BBQ or poached.

Can I order lobsters from another province?
We ship across Canada and charge for the shipping container(s), refrigerant(s), and the cost of a courier express service. There are no additional surcharges at Fisherman’s Market.

The Cost: The price of the seafood purchased, the shipping container(s) and refrigerant(s), and the cost of Courier Express Service.
Shipping Boxes: Fisherman's Market uses specially designed 15 and 30 lb. cartons for seafood shipments. These cartons are recommended for all 'long haul' or pickup orders and shipments. The smaller ones may be carried aboard the aircraft and the larger ones would have to be checked into cargo, as they are too large to fit under the seat or overhead.
Refrigerant Packs: Fisherman's Market uses only the very best quality 'non toxic' refrigerant packs available, which will keep your lobster and seafood purchase cold while in transit. For extended travel time, and during warm weather, you may need more than a single refrigerant pack. Ask our salesperson, or replenish during your trip.