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Cooking Lobsters in Seaweed (video on YouTube)










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The Perfect Lobster

June 18, 2013

Maine LobsterThis is going to be about cooking lobsters, but it could just as easily be about butter. I’m pretty sure I could eat a boiled turkey vulture if I had enough butter to dip it into. Surely the earliest people to eat homarus americanus must have had drawn butter to drench the meat of such an vicious looking creature.

We cooked our first lobster in 1978 with our kids, Mike and Liz. Using a Boy Scout Manual from the 1930’s for directions, we sent them out onto the mud flats at low tide to gather seaweed. Sinking up to their knees in the black mud, they gamely gathered a couple of bags... and never forgave us for sliming them.

We cooked four 1½ pounders over a wood fire in the seaweed. Results were mixed: some parts were burnt and rubbery, others were watery, a few bites with butter were good. There was a bit of dry, flaming seaweed happening, but the seeds of future culinary greatness were born.

Maine Lobster

Back in the 70s, we boiled these in the tiny Open Road Camper.

Almost every summer for the next 30 years, we would visit Maine, hike the trails with the collies in Acadia National Park every day, and every night reward ourselves with a lobster dinner. In fact, we rewarded ourselves even on rainy days when we could not hike. Eventually, as we grew older the hikes grew shorter and less frequent and the lobsters grew larger. We blamed this trend on our aging dogs.

During the early years, we dined at lobster pounds, but once we had a camper we began seeking out the biggest and freshest lobsters in the area and bringing them back to the campground to cook. There were many experiments to figure out the best way to prepare them. We knew we liked the hard shells and were not interested in the “sweeter”, but to us watery, soft shells.

Maine Lobster

Many summers, my parents, Pa and Jeff would visit and buy lobsters so Bernie would cook for all of us.

We really were doing the whole test kitchen thing. Boiling in pot, steaming, newburg, thermidor, stew, rolls, bisque... We could not bring ourselves to put a live lobster in the microwave...still can’t. We fed the meat of our disasters to the collies and soldiered on.

Sometime during the 80s, Bernie figured out that we should be grilling them, and furthermore, grilling them in seaweed for about 8 minutes per pound.

And so was reborn the tradition of going out into the ooky, yucky mucky (mud flats at low tide) to gather seaweed. Liz was the pioneer, but Calli has carried on quite well.

With a touch of the sea and a slight smokey taste, we have been happily, devouring these seaweed-steamed crustaceans with loads of melted butter and a little lemon ever since.

Recipe for Bernie’s Wood-fired Lobster

This is to die for! I had the honors to been taught the perfection of goodness from the Master Chef himself. Yum! Yum!


I like lobster well enough but wouldn't trade for gool 'ol Blue Crabs from the bay :>). They don't need all of that butter and calories. Just some Old Bay and a little beer in the steam :>)



Thank you for the recipe. It is making my mouth water. I grew up on lobster, coming from MA. We would only boil them but I love the way you cook them. One day I will try it and let you know how it turned out.


I know early Americans thought lobsters not fit for human food; they were routinely used as dog food. (Yes, Sully.) Grilling with seaweed sounds good, and I plan to pass Bernie's recipe around, see if I can get someone to try it with kelp and Pacific spiny lobster, and tell me about it. Not that I'll get any. The great tragedy of my life, being allergic to shellfish. Including crustaceans.

Turkey vulture though, that's another matter entirely.


Sitting at my desk at work muching on some crappy wavy potato chips dreaming of butter drenched lobster.

Enjoy my friends, enjoy. This is definately your cullinary domain.

We in Michigan are deprived of fresh sea food!

Sometimes life just isn't fair!


The lobsters look delicious........makes me crave one now. You guys sure are enjoying the best food.


I can't read this one about cooking lobsters. I know you will understand.

Yours in vegetarian fastidiousness,

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