Cooked Maine Lobster
This shows a cooked Maine Lobster that is in a common Lobster Feast presentation along the coast of Maine. The lobster shell is an exoskeleton that turns red once it has been cooked. The common weight of the non-cooked lobster when purchased is between 1.25-1.5 pounds (0.57-0.68 kilograms). However, they can reach 3-4 pounds (1.36-1.8 kilograms). The two main choices when purchasing is whether you want a “soft-shelled” or “hard-shelled” lobster. There is a trade-off in the choice that you make. As lobsters grow, since they live inside their exoskeleton, they must shed their old smaller shells (called molting), and create a larger shell with more room inside to grow into. This new shell is “softer” than the one they discarded, but larger with more space. Consequently, soft-shelled lobsters have less meat per weight whereas hard-shelled ones (those who maxed out the space inside) have more meat. However, the meat of the soft-shelled version is often perceived as being more sweet and tender and easier to get at. The shells of the hard-shell lobster can be very tough.