Wet Heat vs Dry Heat Lobster Cooking: What’s the Difference?

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cooking lobster with wet vs dry heat
Photo by Ksbaeg licensed under CC0

You can cook most meats in several ways, like baking them in the oven, broiling them, or frying them in a pan. We can categorize these cooking methods into two categories: Wet heat cooking and dry heat cooking.

Lobster is very versatile in how you can cook it, as it can use both wet and dry heat methods. But what are those methods, exactly, and is dry or wet heat better for cooking lobster? Let’s find out.

What is Wet Heat Cooking?

Wet heat is sometimes referred to as moist heat cooking, but they both mean the same thing. This category of cooking incorporates methods that require you to cook with water or moisture, like poaching, boiling, or steaming (all of which you can do with lobster!). The water or moisture is what transfers heat to food.

Wet heat cooking is especially helpful when you need to cook meat that may need a little more moisture (chicken breast and pork, for example, can do really well with steaming because they can get dried out quickly in dry heat). Most moist heat methods can also cook meat a little quicker than dry heat methods because the water or moisture helps to penetrate the meat for a thorough cook in less time.

What is Dry Heat Cooking?

Dry heat cooking refers to any method that doesn’t require water or moisture from water, like baking or broiling. The heat transfers directly from the source to the food. Sautéing is another form of dry heat cooking. Even though you use a liquid, like melted butter or oil, to cook with, the direct heat, not the liquid, is what cooks your food.

Dry heat can quickly dry out food if you’re not careful, but it also allows you to brown foods nicely for more texture and flavor, which isn’t something you can do with moist heat.

Is Wet Heat or Dry Heat Better for Cooking Lobster?

When it comes to lobster, both methods work beautifully. The method you choose will likely depend on the recipe you’re making, and many recipes will require you to use both dry and wet heat.

If you need lobster meat that’s pulled from the shell to make a lobster roll or lobster salad, for example, boiled lobster will be the quickest and simplest process to cook the lobster thoroughly inside its shell to maintain its texture and flavor.

However, cooking something like stuffed lobster will first require you to boil the lobster so that you can split it open to expose the meat, stuff the lobster, and finish baking it in the oven.

Wet Heat vs Dry Heat Cooking with Lobster

There’s no 100% right or wrong method for cooking fresh Maine lobster, but becoming familiar with various lobster cooking methods can help you determine which path is the best one to take for your recipe. You’ll also encounter recipes that mention specific cooking methods, so it always helps to know the differences between them and how to do them.

We invite you to visit Lobster University to learn more about cooking lobster and what types of methods are best for specific types of lobster recipes. When you’re ready to start cooking, you can order live Maine lobster from us online and have it shipped to your door in a few days.