Friday, December 23, 2011

Proportion of Meat in a Lobster

We are making Nova Scotia hot lobster again for Christmas, which means I boiled and picked ten lobsters today.  My inner nerd came out to play so I gathered some data about the ratio of lobster meat to purchased weight.  First, we had a note in our cookbook that a lobster is 20% meat by weight from a previous year.  This year we had very meaty lobsters and the total came to 32%.  Here's the breakdown:

Average lobster size: 1.5 lbs
Average meat: 7.6 oz (32% of the total weight)
Average tail meat: 3.4 oz (44% of the meat)
Average claw meat: 2.8 oz (36% of the meat)
Average knuckle meat: 1.1 oz (14% of the meat)
Average little leg meat: 0.4 oz (6% of the meat)

I find it easiest to use a rolling pin to get the leg meat out.  Start at the little claw end and roll toward the opening.  The meat will squeeze out.  Even with this easy method, it is debatable whether this little bit of meat is worth the effort.  It's your call.

Given the variance of the two data points, I'd plan on about 25% meat by weight.

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