How to Prepare and Serve a Lobsterfeed at Home
If you are looking for a unique and memorable meal to serve, look no further. Last Christmas Eve, our family prepared a lobsterfeed and it was an absolute success. It was 100% kid friendly, fun to prepare and eat. Enjoyed by all ages, it is sure to turn into a new family favorite holiday tradition in our home.
Special Tools Needed to Cook & Enjoy a Lobsterfeed
Think casual and messy. A lobsterfeed is a meal best enjoyed with your hands and getting dirty is a part of the fun. You can skip the china and fancy silverware and leave your crystal in the cabinet. All you need are the special items listed below and everyday glassware for water, beer and/or wine.
- Boiling cooker: such as those made by King Kooker; complete with burner, pot and steam basket
- Hot pads: used while cooking and to serve the lobsterfeed
- Extra large wooded spoon: to stir the lobsterfeed while cooking
- Propane gas tank: make sure you have plenty to get you through the meal
- Watch: to help keep track of the cooking times for each ingredient
- Lobster crackers and picks: to crack and empty the shells of your lobster
- Small ramekins for melted butter: ceramic ones are nice but plastic will do too
- Plastic liner and butcher block paper roll: to double as the tablecloth
- Tape: to fix 'tablecloth' to the table
- Disposable lobster bibs: to tie around your neck and protect your clothes
- Paper towels: no explanation needed here
- Lemon wedges: to clean your hands at the table once your are stuffed
An important note about the boiling cooker. Depending on your location and access to fresh lobsters, you should consider checking into the possibility of renting a cooker. Luckily for us here in the Bay Area, we discovered a lobster import business which will loan you all the cookware for a nominal fee.
Ingredients for Your Lobsterfeed
All of the measurements below are approximate and can be tweaked to your preferences and taste.
- Fresh (read live) lobsters - 1 per person
- Red potatoes - 1 per person
- Artichokes - 1 per person
- White Corn - 1/2 per person
- Yellow onions - 1 for every 6 lobsters
- Garlic (whole bulbs) - 1 per person
- Shrimp (with head on) - 2 lbs. for every 6 people
- Smoked Sausage - 1/2 per person (Evergood is a great brand available at Costco)
- Zataran Crab Boil seasoning - 1 package
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- French bread - 1 roll per person, to be served on the side
Step by Step Instructions to Cook a Lobsterfeed
Once you have the cooker properly placed on your patio and connected to the gas, begin by filling the pot with water. Bring water to a boil. Add the Zataran Crab boil seasoning, salt and cayenne pepper. Then add the remaining ingredients according to the time table below. Stir between each addition.
Note: all ingredients should be added whole, with the exception of the corn and sausage. Do remember to clean and trim all ingredients, and cut the corn in half and the sausages in quarters.
- 7:25pm - add potatoes (35 minutes total cooking time)
- 7:40pm - add artichokes (20 minutes total cooking time)
- 7:45pm - add garlic bulbs (15 minutes total cooking time)
- 7:50pm - add sausage (10 minutes total cooking time)
- 7:52pm - add lobster (8 minutes total cooking time)
- 7:53pm - add corn (7 minutes total cooking time)
- 7:58pm - add shrimp (2 minutes total cooking time)
- 8:00pm - DINNER SERVED
How to Serve a Lobsterfeed
In our case, it was December and the lobsterfeed needed to be served indoors. For most other occasions, this meal can be easily enjoyed outside on the patio. But regardless of the space, trust me when I say that the clean-up will be a cinch.
We thought it would be fun (and festive) to enjoy this unique meal in an unconventional setting and started by moving our coffee table out of the way in front of the fireplace in our family room. Once the space was cleared, we brought in a folding table (and chairs) large enough to seat seven of us. You can forego table decorations as the lobsterfeed itself will take care of a beautiful display in the center of the table once it is served.
Next, line the table with a plastic sheet and cover it with butcher block paper. Secure both layers onto the table with tape. Add glassware for each guest, along with a few lobstercrackers/picks to share for the table. Each guest should have a personal ramekin to be filled with warm melted butter shortly before dinner is served. Bread, lemon wedges and paper towels can be casually placed off to the side. Last but not least, each guest should be outfitted with a bib to prevent (most) stains from hitting your clothes.
Remember to keep the entire center of the table clear to allow for the steam basket to be emptied. Being mindful of water dripping on the way from the burner to the table, carefully lift the basket from the pot and prepare to serve. This is most definitely a job for one to two people, both in terms of weight and maneuvering. Once the basket is emptied on the table, spread out the food and place one lobster in front of each guest.
With the fire crackling in the background, we got busy cracking our lobster shells and feasted on an absolutely delicious meal. The shrimp also deserve an honorable mention as they were perfectly seasoned and cooked. And when you add bread and butter to the mix, it is literally a match made in heaven.
Cleaning Up After a Lobsterfeed
If you have the help of a dishwasher, I can assure you that the clean up will be taken care of in less than 20 minutes. This is in large part because of the simple and functional set-up used for lobsterfeeds. Simply sift through the leftovers and keep any items you might enjoy reheated on the following day. The rest can easily be rolled up inside the butcher block paper/plastic liner and disposed of in your trash. Leave the boiling cooker for the following morning when you can easily wash it outdoors with the help of a hose.
Done. Finished. Good night.