Lobster live-to-tails conversion

A recipe calls for three, 1½ pound, live lobsters. (They’re Maine lobsters, apparently, because they mention claws.) I can only get frozen tails. How many tails equal the meat of 4½ pounds of live Maine lobster?

I got a 20% meat from whole lobster conversion ratio from this cite. 20% of 4.5 gets you 9/10ths of a pound. I’d be tempted to just round up and aim for about a pound of meat (assuming you can get the tails without shell).

I got four tails. The recipe makes about a cup of sauce, once it’s reduced. I didn’t check the weight of the tails (which are uncooked, and in their shells), but it kinda looks right.

That conversion is misleading, as they indicate themselves because there’s a large difference in the meat yield between hard shells and soft shells. Also it’s referring to the smallest lobsters sold by weight. Below 1 pound lobsters are call chickens, chicks, or chix. 1 to 1-1/4 lobsters have the lowest amount of meat for weighed lobsters. By 1-1/2 pounds, usually sold as 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds there’s already substantially more meat, and the ratio improves as the size of the lobsters go up. In addition there’s no standard amount of claw and tail meat in lobsters. The larger the tail the better the return on the meat. In addition there is plenty of meat in the legs and belly that is often ignored, again more as the lobster gets bigger. The cooking method matters too. Lobsters should be steamed to keep from drying out the meat. The water loss will obviously reduce the meat yield by weight. If you’re looking at 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pound hard shell lobsters you should be approaching 8 oz. per pound of lobster, and easily 8 oz. or more at 2 and up. And the lobster don’t magically jump from soft shell to hard shell density, they’ll vary through the year and the molting time varies with the location where the lobsters are caught.

Yes, the article mentioned that yield varied and used the 20% number as an average. It was also specifically for smaller lobsters.

Looks like Johnny figured it out all on his own… :smiley:

I guessed right.

Tonight was my first attempt at lobster Newburg. It turned out… not bad. I put in too much salt. It was one of those things where I grabbed a pinch of salt, and just as my fingers were opening I was like, 'Noooooooo! :eek: ’ It was attenuated by the lobster, but I wish I’d not put in so much. And I forgot to put in the freshly-grated nutmeg. And the sauce broke. Still edible, ‘good’ for a first attempt. It was very , very rich.

I made crêpes, and wrapped the lobster Newburg in them.

If you like the recipe, could you link/post it? I’ve been meaning to try it myself.

This is the lobster Newburg recipe. First attempt, but it was good (my mistakes notwithstanding).

And this is the crêpes recipe I’ve been using.

I think the description of the Newburg recipe needs to be updated.

Last Century?