Lobster FAQ


Largest Lobster

The Largest Lobster ever caught ! According to Guinness Book of World Records the largest lobster ever caught was in Nova Scotia in 1977 weighing 20.15 kilograms (44.4 lb) and measured 3 ft. 6 in. from the end of the tail to the tip of the largest claw and estimated to be 50 years old.  It was sold to a restaurant in New York City. 

In the Pliocene period, over a million years ago, lobsters were five to six feet long!  These days a 3 or 4 pound lobster is considered a good sized feast!

Sustainable Seafood

Smoked & Cracked buy and sell only lobsters under 2 lbs. Larger lobsters are “breeders” and are essential to sustaining a healthy lobster population for future generations. Maine has some of the strictest lobster fishery regulations, which means that our lobsters are not only delicious, but ecologically sound.

What is a Lobster ” Pound”lobster_al

A lobster “pound” is a cordoned-off cove or tank where lobsters are kept until they’re sold. Some lobsters are kept in pounds for many days or weeks before getting shipped out to restaurants or seafood markets. Think farmed animals versus free range. By contrast, Smoked & Cracked’s deals direct with the fishermen and we are the  lobsters’ first home after leaving the natural ocean, which means our lobster is as fresh and flavourful as you can get.

What is tomalley?
The tomalley is actually part of a lobster’s digestive tract, the midgut glands.  However, most people think of tomalley as the liver.  Tomalley turns green when it’s cooked, and is considered a delicacy by many. 

What is roe?
The red, or deep coral looking mush often found in a cooked lobster is actually the unfertilized egg mass of a female. Some people enjoy eating this part as well. 

How do you tell a lobster’s age?
There is no foolproof way to determine a lobster’s age.  One can only make an educated guess by looking at the lobster’s size.

How long can a lobster live out of water?

A lobster can live out of the water for a couple of days if kept in a moist and cool place


How can a lobster live so long out of water?
A lobster can extract the oxygen from the air, but in order to do this its gills must be kept moist or they will collapse.

Why does a lobster turn red when it’s cooked?
All the pigments that make up a lobsters shell are destroyed by heat except the red pigment.  This is why lobsters turn red when they are cooked.

Why don’t you ever see a lobster’s molted shell?
You usually don’t see the lobster’s molted shell because most lobsters actually digest them after they molt so that they can absorb the calcium in them to strengthen their new soft shell.

Is it possible to raise lobsters on a commercial basis?
Although numerous people have tried to raise lobsters on a commercial basis throughout the years they have all proven unsuccessful.  It takes so long for a lobster to reach a marketable size that it is financially unfeasible to raise them.

How can you tell when a lobster is cooked?
A lobster is cooked when it is bright red in colour and when the legs and antennae can be pulled off easily.  The tomalley should be green and firm, the roe bright red and the meat white, elastic and opaque.

How can you tell the sex of a lobster?
If you look at the first pair of swimmerets on the underside of the tail you will be able to tell if you have a male or female.  If they are hard and rigid then you have a male and if they are soft and feathery you have a female. You can also tell by looking at the width of the tail.  A female will have a wider tail compared with an equivalent sized male.  She needs this extra width to carry her eggs.

Do lobsters suffer and feel pain when being cooked?
Lobsters are invertebrates and do not have a complex nervous system like humans.  They are similar to a grasshopper whose brain is small and consists only of a bundle of nerves. Because they are quite simplistic in nature they do not have the same threshold of pain as we do and therefore do not feel pain to the same degree as us.

Can lobsters swim?
Adult lobsters do not swim.  They crawl by using their walking legs and by contracting and retracting their tail. However, lobster larvae that have not settled to the bottom yet float through the ocean with the water current.  As they grow older they swim with the use of their swimmerets and walking legs.  Once they reach the bottom they remain there for good.

Why is it that lobsters are fished in different areas in different months?lobster_al
This is done for conservation measures. If it was a free-for-all and anybody could fish lobster at any time of the year, certain areas might be in danger of being over fished and the lobster population could be seriously affected.

How big can lobsters grow?
The largest lobster ever recorded weighed in at 44 lb. 6 oz. and measured 3 ft. 6 in. from the end of the tail to the tip of the largest claw.  It was caught off southern Nova Scotia in 1977 and sold to a restaurant in New York City. 

In the Pliocene period, over a million years ago, lobsters were five to six feet long!  These days a 3 or 4 pound lobster is considered a good sized feast!

Can you eat lobster when there is a shellfish ban?
Yes you can.  Unlike mussels, oysters and clams, lobsters are not “filter feeders”.  They do not pump sea water and any pollution that the water might carry through their bodies. Toxins in the water do not concentrate in their flesh.