Why You Should Sous Vide Your Next Lobster Dinner

There are purists who may decry using a sous vide to cook lobster. For some (mostly ye olde New Englanders), there is simply no substitute for lobster boiled in seawater and served whole with a generous side of melted butter. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cooking lobster this way. It's the classic way to do it, and classics never die. But there are many ways to cook a lobster, and one surefire method to get succulent, flavorful lobster is to sous vide.

Sous vide, which translates to "under vacuum" in French, is a style of cooking applicable to virtually all food groups. The method is not dissimilar from a slow cooker. To sous vide is to slowly cook food in vacuum-sealed packages in a water bath that maintains a consistent, very precise temperature. This way of cooking was once reserved for haute cuisine. Today, though, the equipment necessary for sous vide is widely available for anyone willing to purchase it.

But sous vide for a lobster? It's actually a great way to make a delicious seafood dinner. Committing to a lobster dinner is an investment so you want to be sure that you're not going to ruin this meat that has cost you a decent chunk of change. With boiling, grilling, or even steaming, temperature fluctuations have the potential to overcook the meat. And overcooked, rubbery lobster meat is not appetizing in the slightest. Sous vide solves this problem by taking temperature flux, and stress, out of the equation. You can rest assured that sous vide lobster will yield perfectly cooked morsels every single time. 

An easy way to cook lobster

Though it may sound fancy, sous vide is very simple. Yes, there is equipment involved, but what cooking method is without its gadgets? Think of sous vide as a highly controlled braise. It's low-heat cooking that is not subject to fluctuations in temperature owing to the regulator that, once set, keeps the water bath at a consistent temperature. Plus, there's the benefit of the vacuum bag.

Lobster tails are a great place to start on your sous vide lobster journey. For one, the tail is one of the most popular cuts of a lobster. It's easy to get at and contains the most meat by far. They're also sweet, flavorful, cheaper than whole lobsters, and are available at any good grocery store. 

For a detailed breakdown, check out our step-by-step guide on how to sous vide lobster tails, but basically, you'll seal shelled and deveined lobster tails in a sous vide bag with whatever seasonings you want — butter, lemon, tarragon, or whatever you like to protect all the ingredients from being muddled and penetrated by the water. From there you'll set your sous vide machine to the proper temperature and time and then just sit back and wait for it to do its thing.

Sous vide is a very gentle way of cooking, and the results speak for themselves. With sous vide you get beautifully cooked, beautifully flavored lobster that required next to no effort on your part to prepare. Now that everything is finished cooking, all you need to do is arrange it beautifully on a plate, pour some wine, and enjoy your dinner. So the question is, really, why wouldn't you sous vide your next lobster dinner?