June 16th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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Summertime is nigh, and for seafoodie Ben Sargent, that means one thing: bring on the lobster rolls.

Sargent first clawed his way onto the food scene in 2010 as his underground, lobster-dealing alter ego "Dr. Claw," also affectionately referred to as "Tha Lobstah Pushah."

At the height of his crustacean career, Massachusetts-born Sargent was shelling out 150 rolls a night from his snug Brooklyn apartment to the lobster-loving masses - well, that is until the Department of Health paid him a little visit and scrubbed his whole shellfish stint.

Luckily, Sargent has since re-emerged - thus far without any DOH violations - as the host of “Hook, Line & Dinner” on the Cooking Channel.

Even more lucky for us, he has relapsed into his old lobster-pushing ways to deliver a few pointers on building the perfect lobster roll.

Lobster Rolls
Recipe courtesy Ben Sargent
Makes 4 rolls


  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 4 lobsters, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds each
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • Splash crisp white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 top-loading hot dog buns (recommended: Pepperidge Farm Classic Top-Sliced Hot Dog Buns)

Cooking Directions

  1. Fill a stockpot with 1 to 2 inches of water and set over medium-high heat. Add the peppercorns, onion, sea salt and seafood seasoning. Once the water is boiling, add the lobsters. Cover the pot, and steam the lobsters for 8 to 10 minutes. When finished, remove the lobsters and run under a blast of cold water.
  2. Carefully remove the meat from the shell, saving the juices, and coarsely cut into large chunks (usually, the meat from 1 lobster is good for 1 roll). Mix the lobster juices with the mayonnaise; it should be a wet, thin consistency. Lightly toss the lobster meat with the mayonnaise.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter along with a splash of crisp white wine and the garlic.
  4. Heat a large, flat grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Open the buns, brush the butter mixture on the insides and toast, buttered-side down, until golden brown, about 1 minute.
  5. Place the lobster meat on some foil and gently heat on the grill as the buns are toasting.
  6. Evenly divide the lobster meat among the rolls, brush the meat with some butter mixture and serve in paper boats.

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soundoff (464 Responses)
  1. Bailes24

    All you need is a pot of well salted water, real butter, New England Style hot dog roll and dash of mayo NOTHING ELSE, no onions, or wine or Old Bay, no garlic, if you need to bury the lobster meat in anything else, then why bother??????

    June 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  2. Anastacia Vanderhousen

    Ok and I have never "stroked a lobster to sleep" if you are that leary, put it in the freezer for 15 minutes and they will act all like they are drunk and sleepy- no "stroking" involved- unless your into that I guess, no judgement here, well maybe just a little

    June 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  3. Anastacia Vanderhousen

    "Top Loaders" are New England Style rolls and its customarily buttered and grilled on the outside of the bun, not the inside. Overall, great presentation and method. JJ Nisan rolls with Land o Lakes butter is what I was raised on with Helmonds Mayo, life was good growing up on OOB in Maine. Cheers!

    June 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  4. Bob Loblah

    Who wants a hurtz donut?

    June 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  5. Amayda

    all the debating aside...I thought this was an excellent step-by-step photo shoot of how to make something delicious. I'm not afraid to take apart a whole lobster now! Now if you could only do a step-by-step on how to take apart/eat whole crab....

    June 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  6. m

    for all of you complaining and getting all high and mighty on your geography, the guy is from cape cod and lived most of his life there.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  7. Maine Lobsta

    make a knuckle sandwich nothing but claw meat

    June 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  8. Maine Lobsta

    1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
    OLD BAY !!!!!!!!!!! no frgn way this isnt new orleans

    June 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  9. neverland911

    A lady at work recently told me lobsters scream when you put them in the pot. Is that true?

    June 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • lee

      like banshees. you have to use ear plugs if you're squeamish

      June 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Matt

      Yup, sure is and they sing and dance too.

      June 17, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  10. Maine Lobsta

    the real maine lobster roll recipe

    boil 1-2 inches of water add 4 lobsters
    pick lobster meat and sample as you go
    very little mayo
    mix and place in hot dog bun

    June 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  11. Deep North

    Boiling Hot Water & Butter....

    June 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  12. Great Rainbow Hunter

    P eople E ating T asty A nimals

    I am going to have yummy lobster Saturday and may use this method.

    But tonight ~ it is **** The Incredible Edible Cow ***

    June 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  13. Jim Martin

    As a 73 year old New Englander, I dispute this is the "correct" way to kill and cook a Maine Lobster. People in New York do not know how to cook New England seafood. They destroyed a perfectly good clam chowder recipe by using tomatoes and other vegetables in the mix, they use ground up quohogs for the clams and they call this clam chowder (Manhattan style). When New Yorkers order clams, they get quohogs of various sizes depending on what they are using them for. There are little necks, cherrystones and full grown quohogs that are next to impossible to eat unless ground up. They are always tough and rubbery unless your eating the little necks raw. They (New Yorkers) have no idea what an Ipswich clam is, and this is the clam used in New England for clam chowder and other clam recipes. And as far a Lobster is concerned, no sane New Englander would ever add Old Bay seasoning, garlic, onion, wine or any other seasoning except salt to the water. Furthermore, the roll used in New England is a pan baked hot dog roll that is sliced on the top not on the side, and is toasted on the outside not the inside. Please do not tell America this is the correct way to kill and cook a lobster. This is your concoction and New Englanders know the meat of the lobster is too dellicate to add all these spices, herbs and veggies to the delicate lobster meat without it overpowering the sweetness of the meat. Stick with your New York Strip Steak, Pastrami and all the good things New Yorkers are known for.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Great Rainbow Hunter

      Amen – most all NY food is slathered over with spices, sauces and goop and always overpowers the taste of the meat, fish or whatever.

      Any Chef worth his salt and pepper mill will tell you "The taste of good meat stands alone."

      If you must disguise the taste get a new provisioner.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  14. Camelot57

    Spin it anyway you want: it's still a spider.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  15. Chang

    Right Now there is a Lobster somewhere reading this story and is disguested,....Bravo CNN,...BRA fuking VO!

    June 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  16. Wilson

    Ok, that's SO NOT the right way nor the best way to cook lobster. I'm sorry but that's just plain boiling it in the water then mix the meat with Mayo? lol OH GEEZ~!! They need to go visit any Chinese / Japanese restaurant out there really, ASAP.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Maine Lobsta

      a chef gets to fancy.. boil mix mayo and serve

      June 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  17. Buster

    I think the lobster tries to escape the pot because it's not salt water...

    June 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Keaton@Buster

      Nah .... he just forgot his bathing suit.

      June 16, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  18. grizzly

    Winner, winner, lobster dinner!

    June 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  19. malmn

    Real lobster connoisseurs (i.e. Altlantic Canadians) know how to open a one with a simple table knife.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Maine'iac

    Sorry, but the seasoning recipe for the watta to boil the lobsta....well no self-respecting Maine'er uses Old Bay! Lobsta anin't Maryland Blue Crab....boil or steam the suckers in sea water...dip them in butta....eat'em and wash it down with a beeer.....

    June 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Anastacia Vanderhousen

      I agree! What part of Maine are you from? I am Scarborough, OOB

      June 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  21. ahole

    enough with the commercials before every video

    June 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  22. Dennis

    rather it be lobsters than cats or dogs here in America

    June 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  23. Chip Jiggins

    Stroke the lobster to sleep? Classy.

    June 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  24. Dennis

    Never liked seafood and after watching the pictures I'm glad I'm not one, being boiled alive has gotta suck :)

    June 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  25. J0eSchm0e

    But this guy says steam them. I gotta try it, cuz Ive had steamed before and they were wayyy good. steamed with sea weed. the best.

    June 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  26. J0eSchm0e

    I live in maine, and mmm mmmm lobster never gets old!! 12 minutes into boiling water and youre good. you over cook them and they start to disolve. I check them early say at 10 min, by taking one out, (they gotta be red) and running it under cold running water. that way u dont burn your hands. break the tail off and look at the tail meat. if its white all through its done, if its a little clear like fish meat, then boil it another couple minutes. if you go 20 minutes, youre going to over boil them , then they arent sweet and tasty, they;ll be either rubbery and less taste or starting to disolve the meat. I boil lobster several times a year. 5 to 7.99 a lb. here. hard shell is best, you get more meat. soft shell cooks much quicker, and can over cook quick. yet is sweeter meat, but you get less. so buy more !! lol(soft shell costs less per lb.) enjoy !

    June 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  27. Bob

    Learning about lobster from a New Yorker is the equivalent of learning about child raising from Michael Jackson. It just doesn't make sense. Try coastal Maine, Massachusetts or Rhode Island.

    June 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  28. Jack

    Forget the part about if they feel pain or not. It's the cooking time I have a problem with.

    I have been cooking lobsters for over 40 years and never have I only cooked them for 8-10 minutes. Once the pot comes to a boil again after adding the live lobsters, it's 20 minutes. Never fails. And people, take the rubber bands off the claws before you cook them. Nobody wants that cooked plastic smell in their food.

    June 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • brainless

      thats the point of the rolling boil. with the correct boil you shouldn't have to wait for the pot come back to a boil and the cooking time changes completely.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  29. castle

    Really? who cares if they feel pain. If they are yummy, we eat them.

    June 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  30. mav

    where does this article even say how to kill a lobster the right way, which i'm hoping is "humanely?"

    June 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  31. Bob

    Lobster is not a Shellfish, you dumb-butt. It's a Crustacean.

    June 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Deep North

      The same....DUH!

      June 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  32. paula

    someday this will be illegal

    June 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  33. diana

    makes me sad to think of/see how they die. any creature, really. such is life, though, and eat, we must. and seafood is delicious.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  34. Real Mainah

    This is utter nonsense, learning how to make a lobster roll from a New Yorker! Please. No self respecting Mainer make s lobster roll like this, except Martha Steward, who only lives here for about 10 minutes a year.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  35. Ruth

    Actually the CORRECT way to kill a lobster for consuming is, you need a large pot 1/2 filled with water, once it comes to a boil you must put the LIVE lobster in head first so it kills it immediatly. If you accidently put it in tail first or in shallow boiling water you will hear it scream! Trust me I made that mistake and never will I ever cook another one again!

    June 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • uh

      Lobsters don't have vocal chords. They cannot scream. What you heard was air being released through the shell.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  36. Tingles

    Brain tastes good.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Viet Vet

      Watched two of my friends order monkey brain. Sat at a special table with a hole in the middle that opened and closed like a vice. The waiter brought over a live monkey, dropped its body under the table and viced its head still. With a few deft strokes he popped the top of the monkey's skull off and gave each of my friends a spoon. They dug in, I drank more beer and watched the monkeys face react after each spoonful. They said it was good – I hold them at their word.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Susan


        June 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
      • diana


        June 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
      • castle

        Someone's been watching Faces of Death. Old horror movies from the 80's.

        June 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • uh

        Did your friend happen to be named Indiana?

        June 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  37. Rich Alex

    Don't try to jusify your appetite for meat by comparing yourselves to Animals. There is one big difference between ourselves and animals – The Brain. We can think and that is why we are not animals. The brain brings you think about compassion by working with your heart. That is why you do not kill or try to kill as less as possible.

    By the way, the person you enjoy killing lobsters and eating them with explained methods, beware! Law of Karma will put you down the same boiling pot few years from now, when you will reborn. The ones you are eating , many were lobster tortureres and eaters in the previous lives!!!

    June 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • MalaDee@RichAlex

      Don't try to justify your existence by trying to sound educated. It's not working.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
      • Sam

        Ahh! this is supposed to be "illiterate eat the crap" board!

        June 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
      • MalaDee@Sam

        Aw heck. I know ... but reading all the hate and ignorance in the comments gave me a headache. It's mostly the ignents.

        June 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
      • RomPop

        Hiding from a truth is not ignorance.

        June 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Sanders

      Oh yeah! Law of Karma! Treat others as if you want to be treated same way!
      What you do to others will come back to you in one or another form..........

      June 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • brainless

      The brain... hrmmmm right... animals have no brain.. how could we be so stupid to eat them brainless critters.

      June 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  38. pokie

    I heard about poking the lobster on its tail end to make it release its bowels, so it wouldn't be cooked with the lobster, giving a "cleaner" lobster for consumption. I am surprised it was not mentioned in this article.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Tingles

      heard and doing are two different things. I heard if you give a nursing baby a bottle it will give them nipple confusion. And there is a song written about that. Nipple confusion.....yea yea...

      June 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Sam

      Most of ya meat eaters eat the shit of what you eat!

      June 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  39. Lobster good

    I personally doubt they feel much pain but I simply don't care if they do or not. They are delicious (albeit a tiny bit expensive) and that's really all that matters.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Tingles

      I've asked every lobster I met if they feel pain, if they do, they don't talk about it much.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  40. Porkasaurus Rex

    For a lobster that you drop in boiling water, the day is pretty much just like any other - just a bit shorter, that's all.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Lobster good

      LOL Very true, very true

      June 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  41. HB

    First: can't believe they gave this self-promoting idiot a television show and can't believe that eatocracy went to him for "his" lobster roll recipe when he learned all he knew sitting every night at the bar of NY's famous, original lobster roll haunt (because he was dating a waitress there!) Going to him for a lobster roll recipe is like going to Joe Schmo for his pork bun recipe instead of David Chang! LMAO! Shows how much YOU don't know...
    Second: regarding lobster's pain, you guys should read the seminal late David Foster Wallace/Gourmet piece, http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s/2004/08/consider_the_lobster

    June 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
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