The Maine Lobster Bake

16th August, 2022 / Food

If you’re looking for the world’s best lobster, you’ll find it in Maine. And if you’re looking for the ultimate lobster bake experience, look no further than a Maine Windjammer. 

 One of the signatures of the windjamming experience is the lobster feast – endless lobster, right from the source – the waters of Maine. Most of the lobster served on a Windjammer cruise has been caught no more than a day or two beforehand and sometimes even the same day.  Some were unloaded from the boat only hours before! 

Schooner Stephen Taber anchored off of one of Maine’s island beaches.

Once a trip the captain will choose an island with a stretch of beach suitable for “baking” lobster. The term “baking” in this case is a bit of a misnomer, as the lobsters are actually steamed in a large pot of salt water over a campfire. To minimize impact on the island’s landscape, the windjammer crews bring ashore their own firewood and firepan. In fact, the Windjammers follow all the Leave No Trace policies. They remove everything brought ashore and try to leave the island cleaner than when they arrived. 

These lobsters won’t turn red until they’re cooked!

Once the fire is roaring, the water is set to boil.  It only takes a few inches of pristine Maine sea water to cook the dozens of lobsters.  After the lobsters are added to the pot, other delicacies might be added like mussels, clams, corn, and /or potatoes. The lid goes on then it’s time to wait. The waiting, of course, is the hardest part but offers a great chance to explore the island, skip stones, go for a swim…. 0r help yourself to appetizers. Hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, kebobs, chips, dips, and veggies are all part of the spread 

Chef O.B. serves up pre-game burgers. Courtesy Lewis R. French

Photo courtesy Stephen Taber

Many of our guests are delightfully surprised by how sweet the meat is.  So, what makes Maine lobster, Homarus americanus, so sweet and succulent? It’s the cold water. The cold water causes Maine lobster to grow at a slower rate than warm-water spiny lobsters so the meat is firmer, but not chewy. The cold water and the lobster’s hard shell also keeps some of the salt out, so the meat is sweeter than some other kinds of lobster.  

Courtesy J. Tobin

And, for those who have left a little room for dessert afterwards, there are s’mores! When’s the last time you cooked a s’more over a campfire?