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How To Cook Live Lobster Perfectly

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how to cook lobster

Table of Contents

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the entire process of cooking live lobsters. Starting with where to find the best lobsters at affordable prices, we’ll then move on to the crucial aspects of proper handling and storage to keep your lobsters fresh and ready for your culinary endeavors.

We’ll also discuss humane methods for preparing lobsters before cooking, ensuring respect for these fascinating creatures. Then, we’ll explore three fantastic cooking techniques: boiling, steaming, and grilling, each offering its unique twist to your lobster dishes.

Finally, we’ll guide you through the process of expertly cracking lobster shells, so you can fully enjoy every tasty morsel. Join us as we explore the journey from acquiring lobsters to cooking them and relishing the ultimate lobster dining experience!

Catching Or Ordering Lobster

When it comes to obtaining fresh and live lobsters, we have two options: catching them yourself or ordering them from a reputable source. Obviously, generally people just order lobster besides catching them because it needs a lot of effort and time plus tools as well.

Catching Lobsters: Catching lobsters can be an adventurous and rewarding experience if you live near lobster-rich waters. It typically involves using lobster traps or pots, which are designed to lure lobsters and keep them trapped until you retrieve the traps. However, lobster trapping often requires specific licenses and adherence to local regulations. This method is not practical for most people, especially those who don’t live near lobster habitats.

Lobster Orders: For the majority of us, the most convenient way to get live lobsters is by placing an order with a trusted supplier. One of the best companies for ordering live lobsters is Lobster Order. They specialize in delivering top-quality lobsters directly to your doorstep. With Lobster Order, you can be confident that you’re receiving the finest, sustainably sourced lobsters from the coast of Maine. This approach ensures that you can enjoy this delicacy without the complexities of catching lobsters yourself, making it an ideal choice for most lobster enthusiasts. Recently we did a survey best place to buy maine lobster where you can see we compared all factors like reviews, pricing and shipping.

Storing & Handling Live Lobster

After you’ve ordered live lobsters online, the next steps are crucial to ensure that they remain fresh and lively until you’re ready to cook them. Here’s a precise and easy-to-follow guide on how to handle and store live lobsters:

Unpacking Lobsters: When your live lobsters arrive, carefully open the package. Expect them to be lively and active. Don’t be alarmed; this is a sign of their freshness.

Keep Them Cool: Lobsters are cold-water creatures. Keep them in a cool place, ideally around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius). You can place the entire package in your refrigerator or a walk-in cooler. If you don’t have enough space, you can use frozen gel packs to keep the lobsters cool.

Moisture Matters: To keep lobsters healthy, it’s important to maintain their moisture. You can use the seaweed provided in your package to keep them damp. Alternatively, you can use soaked newspaper.

Timing is Key: Lobsters should ideally be cooked the same day they arrive. If you need to store them for more than 24 hours, consider opting for larger lobsters, preferably 2 pounds or larger, as they hold their temperature and moisture better due to their thicker shells.

Extra Seaweed: If you want to extend storage time, consider purchasing extra seaweed. It helps maintain the necessary moisture levels for lobsters.

Now, with this easy guide, you’ll be well-prepared to handle and store your live lobsters properly until you’re ready to take the next step in your lobster cooking adventure.

lobster order company packing

A Gentle Approach to Lobster Preparation

Lobsters, unlike humans, have a less centralized nervous system, suggesting they may not experience pain in the same way we do. Still, it’s essential to treat these creatures with respect and compassion. To prepare lobsters humanely while minimizing any potential discomfort:

  1. Chilling Method: Start by placing the live lobster in the freezer for 10-20 minutes before cooking. This method gently puts the lobster to sleep and numbs its nervous system. While it may not feel pain as we understand it, this step ensures a more humane preparation.
  2. Remove Rubber Bands: If your lobsters have rubber bands on their claws, carefully remove them during the chilling process. This enables the lobster to move more freely.
  3. Handle with Respect: Throughout the process, treat lobsters with care and respect. While they may not experience pain as humans do, a humane approach is crucial for ethical and responsible cooking.

By using the chilling method and taking off rubber bands, you can ensure a gentle and humane lobster preparation. This approach is considerate of these remarkable sea creatures, even as we prepare them for a delicious meal.

3 Best Ways To Cook Lobster

1_Boiling Lobster:

A Simple and Flavorful Cooking Method. Boiling lobster is a straightforward and popular method that infuses a rich, salty flavor into the meat. Here’s how to do it:

Boiling Lobster Instructions:

  1. Fill a large pot with water, using three quarts for every 1.5 pounds of lobster. The lobsters should be fully submerged in the water.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of Maine sea salt for each gallon of water. This saltwater enhances the flavor of the lobster meat.
  3. Bring the saltwater to a rolling boil.
  4. Using gloves or tongs, gently place the live lobsters into the pot. Do not cover the pot.
  5. Stir the lobsters halfway through boiling.
  6. Boiled lobsters will turn bright red when they are done.
  7. After boiling, place the lobsters in cool water or let them stand for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Boiling Live Lobster Chart:

QuantitySizeBoiling Time
11.0 lb8 minutes or 165°F (internal)
11.25 lb9-10 minutes or 165°F (internal)
11.5 lb12 minutes or 165°F (internal)
12.0 lb14-16 minutes or 165°F (internal)
12.5 lb16-18 minutes or 165°F (internal)
13.0 lb20+ minutes or 165°F (internal)

2_Steaming Lobster:

A Quick and Efficient Cooking Method. Steaming lobster is not only fast but also an excellent way to preserve the natural sweetness of the meat. Here’s how to do it:

Steaming Lobster Instructions:

  1. Pour about 2 inches of water into a pot and, if using freshwater, add Maine sea salt.
  2. Add seaweed if desired, as it adds a hint of coastal flavor.
  3. Bring the water to a heavy boil.
  4. Using gloves or tongs, place the lobsters into the pot and cover it tightly.
  5. When the water returns to a heavy boil, reduce the heat to a rolling boil and start the timer.
  6. Steam the lobsters for 9 minutes for the first pound and add 4 minutes for each additional pound.
  7. Steamed lobsters will turn bright red when done.
  8. After steaming, remove the lobsters with metal tongs or gloves and place them in cool water or let them cool for 3-5 minutes.

Steaming Live Lobster Chart:

QuantitySizeCook Time
11.0 lb9 minutes or 165°F (internal)
11.25 lb10 minutes or 165°F (internal)
11.5 lb13 minutes or 165°F (internal)
12.0 lb15 minutes or 165°F (internal)
12.5 lb19 minutes or 165°F (internal)
13.0 lb20+ minutes or 165°F (internal)

3_Grilling Lobster:

A Flavorful and Charred Delight. Grilling lobster adds a delightful charred flavor to the meat. Here’s how to do it:

Grilling Lobster Instructions:

  1. Prepare a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Sever the lobster’s head at the base of the neck and remove both claw arms. Twist off the tail.
  3. Mash the coral and tomalley (green matter) and add it to the marinade. Discard the carapace (shell) and legs.
  4. Cut the soft underside of the tail lengthwise and skewer the tail meat flat.
  5. Marinate the meat for a few hours.
  6. Place the claws and tail meat on the grill about 4-5 inches above the flame.
  7. Baste the tail meat with the marinade as it cooks.
  8. Grill for 5-6 minutes, turn the claw and tail meat over and bake them for another 5 minutes.
  9. Grilled lobsters will be bright red when done.

Grilling Live Lobster Guidelines:

  1. Grilling times can vary significantly due to the thickness of claws and tails. It’s advisable to start with a shorter time and add more if needed.
  2. For larger lobsters, it can be challenging to determine exact cooking times, as claw thickness and tail size vary. Keep a close eye on the meat and cook it to your preferred doneness.
  3. These precise guidelines ensure your lobsters are cooked to perfection, no matter which method you choose. Enjoy your delicious lobster feast!

Cracking and Savoring Lobster

Once your lobster is cooked to perfection, the final step is to crack open those shells and indulge in every succulent morsel. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Twist Off the Lobster Claws: Start by gently twisting off the lobster claws at the joints. These claws contain some of the sweetest, most tender meat.
  2. Crack the Claws and Knuckles: Use a lobster cracker or a nutcracker to break the claws and knuckles, revealing the delectable meat within. Be sure to crack them gently to avoid damaging the meat.
  3. Separate the Tail: Twist the lobster tail away from the body. The tail contains a generous portion of meat, and it’s relatively easy to remove.
  4. Remove the Vein: Once the tail is separated, look for a black vein running along the length of the tail. It’s the lobster’s digestive tract, and you’ll want to remove it before enjoying the tail meat.
  5. Extract Meat from the Legs: Don’t forget the smaller legs! Use your teeth to bite down gently on the legs and squeeze the meat out. It’s a little extra effort but worth it for the additional flavorful bites.
  6. Explore the Tail Flippers: Finally, use a fork to explore the tail flippers. These often-overlooked parts contain delicious, tender meat that’s worth savoring.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to make the most of your lobster meal, ensuring that no succulent morsel goes to waste. Enjoy your lobster feast to the fullest!


A few quick tips: Choose a reliable lobster supplier, handle lobsters with care, employ humane chilling before cooking, and experiment with grilling marinades. Also, remember it’s better to undercook slightly than overcook, and make the most of every morsel when cracking the lobster. Enjoy!


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