How To Quickly Clean A Lobster Without Any Tools [Video]

By: Luke Simonds on August 21, 2018
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Spiny Lobster on the Reef

It’s lobster time!

The 2018-2019 Florida Spiny Lobster season opened on August 6 and goes until March 31.

We were fortunate enough to be able to go down to Islamorada in the Florida Keys the opening week of the season to do some lobstering with our family.

We got a lot of nice bugs (a term for lobsters) while we were down there and had an awesome time doing it.

One of the best parts about lobstering is eating them after you catch them. To do that, you need to know how to clean a lobster.

In this article, I show you how to clean a lobster in five easy steps and provide a video tutorial on the whole process at the bottom.

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5 Easy Steps to Clean a Lobster

In this section, I show you how to clean a spiny lobster in five easy steps.

Step 1: Grab Your Gloves and Find a Cleaning Area

clean a lobster gloves

The first thing you need to clean a lobster is a good pair of cleaning gloves to protect your hands from the sharp edges on the lobster.

The next thing you need is a good place to clean the lobster. This process can get messy, so it’s always best to do this at a cleaning station or somewhere that can get a little dirty.

Step 2: Twist the Tail

twisting tail to clean a lobster

The next step is twisting the tail to get it ready to be removed from the body in Step 3.

To do this, grab the lobster head with your non-dominant hand (I’m righthanded, so this would be my left hand) and hold it steady.

With your dominant hand, twist the tail so that the top of the tail twists toward you. Twisting the tail toward you ensures that no lobster guts shoot out onto your shirt during the twist. This twist should also loosen the first side of the tail from the rest of the lobster’s body.

After you feel the tail loosen from the body on one side, twist the tail in the opposite direction to loosen it on the other.

Step 3: Remove the Tail from the Body

How to clean a lobster tail

After you’ve loosened the tail from the body, pull the tail straight out from the base to separate it from the lobster’s body.

Then, throw the head in a bucket to discard in a proper place later.

Step 4: Break Off the Lobster’s Antenna 

how to clean a lobster with an antenna

For the first lobster you clean, break off one of the lobster’s antennas from the base.

Then, tear off the top of the tip of the antenna that is flimsy. You want the tip of your antenna to be sturdy because you are going to use the antenna to loosen the intestinal tract in the lobster meat in the next step.

Note: you only need to break one antenna which you can use on all the lobsters you clean after that.

Step 5: De-Vain the Lobster Tail 

de-vain a lobster tail

With the barbs on your lobster antenna pointing up, push the tip of the antenna into the anus of the lobster tail and twist the antenna back and forth. This will loosen up the intestinal tract in the lobster tail.

Next, locate the intestinal tract which should protrude from the center of the tail meat at the base of the tail.

clean a lobster tail

Once you’ve located the intestinal tract, grab the end of it with your fingers and slowly pull it straight out from the tail until it has been completely removed from the meat.

clean lobster tail

You now have a cleaned lobster tail ready to be cooked and eaten.

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How to Clean a Lobster Video Tutorial

In this video, I show you the entire process on how to clean a lobster the easiest way possible.

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Conclusion

how to clean a lobster tail

Lobstering is a fantastic and fun way to spend your time on the water and is even better when you can mix it in with a little fishing.

If you have the chance to get out and dive for some lobsters this year, I highly encourage you to do it!

If you have any questions about how to clean a lobster or where to find spiny lobsters, let us know in the comments below.

Tight Lines!

Related Post: 

1. How To Catch Lobster In The Florida Keys Without Scuba Tanks [Video]

2. How To Grill Lobster To Perfection “The Butterfly Method” [Video]

3. 6 Ways To Catch Spiny Lobster In The Florida Keys

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