It isn’t easy to kill. Yet most of us do it one way or the other every time we cook. Few of us have pangs about taking a life when opening a can of tuna, but when it comes to grilling lobster it’s a little harder to feign innocence. Lobsters must be cooked within minutes of dying (shellfish decompose quickly after death), so you have to either buy them cooked or do the deed yourself. It’s easiest to boil them, but that leaves them with a steamed flavor that is antithetical to the intensity of the grill. We encourage you to follow the directions below, cooking the lobster completely on the grill, but if you really want to avoid the hand-to-hand combat required, you can boil the lobsters in a large pot of salted water just until they are bright red, split them in half lengthwise, and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Prep: 15 minutes (plus 5 minutes for rub)
Grill: About 15 minutes.
BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula or long-handled tongs.
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill – middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill -1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
4 live lobsters, about 1 pound each
6 tablespoons Green Chimichurri Rub
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon green hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Oil for coating grill grate.
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Put a lobster on its belly on a rimmed sheet pan. Hold a sharp knife with the blade perpendicular to the length of the lobster. Insert the knife into the back of the lobster where the shell of the thorax meets the shell of the head. Remove the knife and turn the blade parallel to the length of the lobster. Starting at the place where you just inserted the knife, cut down the length of the lobster through the center of the thorax and the tail. Turn the lobster onto its back and cut it in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the sand sac from behind the head. Remove the light green tomalley from the body cavity and, if present, the long sac of dark green roe that runs down the back of the lobster, and put them in a small skillet or saucepan. Crack the claws by whacking them across the crest of their bulge with the back of a heavy knife. Put the lobster halves on a plate that will catch their juices. Repeat with the remaining lobsters.
3. Drain any liquid that has collected on the lobster plate into the pan holding the tomalley. Cook over medium-low heat just until the lobster drippings turn white and the tomalley brightens, about 1 minute.
4. In a food processor, purée the tomalley mixture with 2 tablespoons of the rub, the dill, the butter, about one-fourth of the lime zest and juice, and the hot pepper sauce until the mixture is smooth and thick; set aside.
5. Mix the olive oil with the remaining 4 tablespoons rub and spoon the mixture over the exposed lobster meat.
6. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the lobsters, cutsides down, on the grill directly over the heat. Cover and grill for about 4 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Turn the lobsters over and move them away from the heat. Cover and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat registers about 140°F, about 10 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F.
7. Remove the lobsters to a large serving platter. Drizzle the meat with the remaining lime zest and juice, and place a dollop of the seafood butter in the open space of each lobster half so that people can dip the lobster meat into it as they eat.