Andrew Zimmern Explains How To Shell Lobster The Right Way

Eating lobster may feel like a luxurious affair, but this crustacean wasn't always a beacon of opulent dining, according to Insider. In fact, there was at one time such an abundance of lobster in North America that early colonists used them as fish bait and plant fertilizer. Lobsters washed up on the shores in such droves that they gained a reputation as meal that anyone could afford, regardless of their financial capabilities.

The modern perception that lobster indicates a fine dining experience cropped up with the rise of railway transportation and the invention of canned food. That's because people could travel to coastal cities to try new cuisine, like lobster, and they could order it in cans when they returned to their homes away from the shore. By World War II, lobster was considered a delicacy, per Seafood by Sykes.

Today, chefs have unleashed their culinary creativity on this coveted crustacean. But even the most skilled cooks can become intimidated when they get to cracking their tough shells. Celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern simplifies the process on his website, getting fans on their way to cooking perfect lobster.

Andrew Zimmern breaks down simple shelling

There's an art to cracking open a crustacean and Andrew Zimmern has it down to a science. According to the Travel Channel, Zimmern has earned four James Beard awards and is known as a veteran of the culinary industry. In a video on the celebrity chef's website, he gives fans a demonstration. And, while this professional makes the task look like child's play, there are a lot of steps involved.

Zimmern begins with his cooked lobster positioned belly up on a towel. To serve lobster on a half shell, he makes a decisive cut down the center of the animal, cutting from top to bottom. Then, he cracks the lobster in half (hotdog style) and displays the meat.

For foodies looking to go a step further, he shows how to twist off the tail, remove the shells, and take off the claw by wiggling it. Zimmern then smacks the claw with the back of a knife, causing it to crack, and removes the meat. He explains the knuckle meat is the most delicious and can be cracked and pushed out of the shell with the help of scissors.

The trick to cooking perfect lobster tail is shelling it properly. To shell the tail, bend the fan part backwards to crack the exterior. Then, you can use scissors or simply squeeze the sides of the tail together, bend back the head, and extract the meat.