Lobsters are quickly and painlessly killed by inserting a sharp knife in the underside where the tail and body meet. Always wait until the last minute to kill the lobsters; otherwise they will lose a lot of the natural juices and flavor. Our advice is that you move quickly but carefully as you prepare your lobsters for broiling. It is a very good idea to have some rubber kitchen gloves on hand when you prepare the lobsters to protect your hands from the spiny parts of the lobster shell.
Place the lobster on its stomach on a cutting board and while firmly holding its body use a cleaver or a heavy French knife to remove the claws and legs. The lobster will instinctively curl its tail when you remove its claws.
Next, place the lobster on its back and firmly grasp the tail. Insert a very sharp boning knife into the abdomen where it meets the tail and draw the knife towards the tail.
Next, reverse the procedure, this time holding the lobster by the body while drawing the knife from the cut in the abdomen along the tail. Take special care not to cut through the shell along the back of the lobster.
The next step is to split the lobster. With the lobster on its back, press down with the fingers and thumbs along each side of the lobster until the shell cracks open, exposing the interior of the tail and the body cavity. All of the lobster is edible except for the stomach, which is the hard sac near the head and the intestinal vein. Remove and discard these parts.
The greenish liver or tomalley and the coral are edible and can be prepared in a stuffing or left in the lobster during cooking. In all of our broiled lobster recipes we will remove and discard everything in the body cavity. The reason we don’t use the tomalley or coral is that the tomalley can be bitter at certain times of the year and most people today just do not find the coral to be as appetizing as past generations have.
We suggest that the lobster be thoroughly washed under cold running water before proceeding with a recipe. The claws may be boiled or steamed and shelled to provide lobster meat for stuffing or they may be broiled with the lobster and served as a garnish.