How To Cook Lobster

By : | 2 Comments | On : July 11, 2017 | Category : How To, Seafood, Uncategorized

how to cook lobster

 How To Cook Lobster

Would you like to learn how to how to cook perfect lobster? Read on to find out how to cook lobster. There are a few different ways that people like to cook lobster and I will explain them here. Live lobsters are actually easy to cook but you need to know a few things to make sure they are perfectly cooked. For instance if you are cooking live lobster in the summer you do not need to cook them as long as they have a soft shell then they do in the fall and winter months.

Two of the most common ways to prepare lobster are to steam and boil them. I will explain these two methods here below. And to find out how to Grill and BBQ a lobster click here or if you would like to learn how to Poach and Parboil a lobster click here.

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Cooking Live Lobster at Home?

A lot of people are asking if you can cook lobster at home yourself? Of course you can, with the right materials and know how it is very easy to cook your own lobster! You will want a big enough for the amount of lobster you are cooking or you can cook in smaller batches. Make sure the pot is not over crowded as they will not cook evenly if the pot is crowded.


How To Boil A Lobster

Boiling a lobster will cook the lobster more evenly and is a great way to cook them when you have a larger quantity. Boiling the lobster makes getting the meat out of shell much easier as well. This is my favorite way!

To boil lobster you need a large enough pot to hold all the lobster you plan to boil at once. You fill the pot almost full about 2/3 or 3/4 depending on how many lobster you have and how big the pot is. You do not want the water to boil over but you need to have enough in the pot to cover the lobster.

Measure how many gallons of water you are putting in the pot. And then add 1 cup of salt per gallon of water. *

Bring the water to a boil and then add the lobster(s)* and bring it back to a boil.

Once it is back to a boil then you start timing. The boiling lobster time will vary depending on size. So use the chart below to determine your boil lobster time per pound per lobster.

*Make sure you take the elastics off the lobster claws before you put them in the water! Some people boil lobster with the elastics on and it can give you a disgusting rubbery taste from the elastics

**Note: Some people will say that is too much salt and other people will say it is not enough. This is how we on the East Coast prefer to do it if you are not using salt water. I got this recipe right from a lobster fisherman and this is how they cook there lobster for market sales.

Boiling Lobster Time Per Pound

(For Each lobster not total weight)

1 1/4 lb lobster – 6 to7 minutes

1 1/2 lb lobster – 7 to 9 minutes

2 lb lobster – 10 to 12 minutes

3 lb lobster – 12 to 13 minutes

5-6 lb lobster – 18 to 20 minutes

Steaming Lobster

Steaming lobster will give you a more tender lobster meat then boiling does. The meat will not be as juicy, the cooking takes a little longer.

You will need to fill a pot with about 2 or 3 inches of water and bring it to a boil. Once it is at a rolling boil then you add the lobsters, put the lid on the pot and let steam. You will need to steam the lobsters 8 minutes per pound for first pound and then 3 minutes for each additional pound.

You do not need a steamer rack but may use it to make sure lobsters on bottom do not burn. Make sure lid stays on tightly.

Steaming Lobster Time Per Pound

(For Each lobster not total weight)

1 1/4 lb lobster – 7 to 8 minutes

1 1/2 lb lobster – 8 to 10 minutes

2 lb lobster – 11 to 12 minutes

2 1/2 to 3 lb lobster – 12 to 14 minutes

5 lb lobster – 20 to 22 minutes


Click here to learn how to Grill and BBQ a lobster.
Click here to learn how to Poach and Parboil a lobster.

Cooking Lobster Tips & How To’s

  • Make sure the pot you use is big enough for your lobster. Do not use a pot that the lobster will be over crowded in. Whether boiling or steaming if the pot is over crowded the lobster will not cook evenly.
  • Soft shelled lobsters will cook faster then harder shelled lobsters. Soft shelled lobsters will have less meat as well. Reduce boiling and steaming times for soft shelled lobsters by about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Cooking lobster to long, whether boiling or steaming, will make the meat tough, chewy and stringy.
  • Live lobsters are a dark greenish – bluish color, they only turn red when they are cooked. You can add vinegar to water to give a more intense red color as well.
  • If your lobster has a long full antennae then you know that it was freshly caught.
  • Lobsters do not scream when cooked. That is just a myth. If you do hear any noise it is air escaping from shells.
  • The small walking legs will pull off easily when the lobster is cooked.
  • The tail will let you know how fresh the lobster was. A fresh lobster’s tail will contract and curl when cooked.

How To Make Sure Lobster is Cooked

Even though a lobster is red does not mean it is fully cooked. Here are some tips to tell if your lobster is fully cooked:

  • Give a good tug on the antenna and if it pops off the lobster is cooked.
  • The lobster meat will be a creamy white color all the way through.
  • Insert a thermometer into underside of tail. Internal temperature should be  135 to 140 degrees F.
  • Over cooked lobster will be chewy, tough and stringy.


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