Lobsters: Does Size Matter?

Is the meat from a large lobster better than that from a small lobster, or vice versa? Or are other variables more important in determining quality?

The Professor has never been disappointed by small, one- to one-and-a-half-pound lobsters; an old-timer from Maine once told The Professor that the huge lobsters are "tourist sucker bait!"

However, after cooking and eating lobsters of all sizes, chefj has found that large lobsters are no tougher than small ones, and their meat may even be a bit sweeter. (Though chefj will admit that cooking a lobster over three pounds is a challenge at home.) Chowhound ferventfoodie agrees: The meat from lobsters weighing in at five to eight pounds, and cooked by the in-laws in an actual garbage can kept specially for that purpose, was as sweet and tender as that from any smaller lobster.

Freshness and season are much more important than size, mwhitmore says. The shorter the interval between the tank and cooking, the better. And a winter lobster is better than a summer lobster. But mwhitmore has not noticed any difference in taste based on a lobster's sizeā€”and would never use that criteria to turn down a lobster.

Discuss: Which is better, smaller or bigger lobsters?

Photo by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com