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How To Cook Live Lobster

Learn How to Store Live Lobsters Learn How To Boil Lobster
Before You Begin Cooking Lobster Learn How To Steam Lobster
What Size Lobster Pot To Use Learn How To Grill Lobster
Learn How To Kill Lobsters Humanely Learn How To Crack Open a Lobster

Ever since Maine Lobster Now™ first opened its doors, our customers have been asking us how to perfectly boil, steam, or grill their live lobsters. Cooking and handling a live lobsters is part of the fun! We recommend that you start by searching for the perfect Maine lobster within our huge inventory of regular or jumbo lobsters and our mouth-watering lobster dinner side dishes!
Buy lobster online

Live Lobster

Buy giant lobster online

Jumbo Live Lobster

Live lobster side dishes

Live Lobster Side Dishes

Lobster cooking supplies

Lobster Cooking Supplies

How To Store Live Lobsters Properly Until You're Ready To Cook

It's very important to store your lobsters properly so they don't spoil prior to cooking them. If they are not alive when its time to cook, than the meat will not be edible. The two most important things to keep in mind that keep lobsters alive are temperature and moisture. Here are a list of "Do's and Don'ts". Please keep in mind we guarantee all lobsters will be alive upon arrival, storing lobsters longer than that would be at your own risk. With that said we can give you the best practices for the most successful event! If you have to store lobsters more than 24 hours, we recommend a 2 lb lobster or larger...the larger the better. These larger lobsters hold their temperature and moisture better than smaller lobsters because of their thicker shell.

Lobster Storage Do's

  • Put the entire box in the refrigerator or walk in cooler. If there isn't room than you can replace the frozen gel packs and keep the box in a cool place. Another great technique is to put the lobsters in a refrigerator door with the seaweed we sent.
  • Please take your time choosing your delivery date, lobsters should be cooked the same day that you receive them.
  • Use the same saltwater seaweed or soaked newspaper to keep damp.
  • 40 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for storage.
  • For extra storage time, we recommend purchasing extra seaweed.

Lobster Storage Don'ts

  • Do not put ice on the lobsters, fresh water kills lobsters.
  • Do not put in the bath tub, fresh water kills lobsters.
  • Do not leave your box in the sun.
  • Do not throw away a brown or black lobster. A lobster's natural color is black or brown. It is common to expect lobster to arrive red, this is not true. Lobsters only turn red when they are cooked. Live Lobsters can be as dark as black depending on the time of year and the last time the lobster molted.
  Lobster Storage Instructions

How to Store Live Lobster

Go to our home page for more information on Maine Lobster and Lobster Delivery

Getting Ready To Cook - Things You Should Know Before You Start Cooking Lobsters

Perfectly cooked lobster is very delicious and a great way to impress your guests. However, if not done properly it can be a great expense and ruin the entire evening. We make live lobsters easy to cook. Steaming and boiling are the two most common ways to cook lobsters. In the winter, lobsters have a harder shell and therefore require more time to cook. In the summer, the lobsters have a softer shell and require less time. It's always best to under cook your lobster than to overcook. Also it's important to cool your lobsters when you are done boiling or steaming so they stop cooking. It's very common for people to leave the steaming lobsters in the pot and they continue to cook even taken off the stove or flame which will ruin your lobster. We recommend spraying with fresh water using the hose in your sink or even your outside hose for events.

What Sized Lobster Pot?

Lobster supplies you'll need

Choose the Right Size Lobster Pot

  Whether you steam or boil, pick a pot with lots of room. Do not crowd the lobsters in the pot as the heat will not circulate evenly around the lobsters. If you do not have a big pot, you may cook lobsters in batches, using a couple of pots. A 4-5 oz. soup pot will work well for a couple small lobsters. A 20-quart pot will cook about 6 of the 1.5 lb lobsters. The pot does not have to be heavy duty as water will actually boil faster in a lighter gauge metal pot. Whether you choose to cook on the stove or use an outdoor lobster cooker, using a stainless or aluminum cooking pot isn't important. For larger events using outdoor cookers we recommend aluminum to save money because the burner will actually scorch the bottom of the pot, for home cookware please use your own preference.

Get Your Lobster Cooking Supplies Ready!

  • Get your gloves or tongs to take the lobster out of the water so they do not cook beyond recommended cooking times. This is a common mistake.
  • Get your lobster crackers and lobster picks ready to go so you can easily remove the meat from the shell.
  • If you plan on butterflying a lobster tail, you will need seafood shears to cut the lobster tail.

How To Kill Live Lobsters Humanely

  • Your lobsters should look healthy and lively with tails straight and claws up. Sometimes lobsters get tired from the cold temperature or traveling, but at the very least the small legs underneath should be moving.
  • If you have a lobster that is not moving, set it on its back for a couple minutes to see if it starts to move. If your Maine lobster does not revive within a couple minutes then it is certainly dead, than do not cook the lobster and let us know as soon as you discover the loss. In this unlikely event, please lay the lobster on its back and take a picture and email customer service with photos for a refund. Including an invoice number will expedite the refund process.
  • Before you begin cooking any live lobster, please place the lobsters in the freezer for 10-20 minutes to kill the lobsters humanely. This way they do not feel any pain.
  • You may then take your lobster bands off the lobster before cooking.
  • If you wish to butterfly a lobster tail, this would be a the time to separate your tail and cook it separately than the claws. Simply pull the tail apart from the center carapace, or cut with knife. The claws would cook about the same time as the normal cook time of the live lobster.
  How to kill a lobster humanely

How to Kill a Lobster Humanely

Go to our home page for more information on Maine Lobster and Lobster Delivery

How To Boil Live Lobster

Boiling Lobster Instructions

How to Boil Lobsters


Lobster Boiling Instructions:

  1. Fill your large lobster pot with water. Allow three quarts of water per 1.5 pounds of lobster, lobster should be totally submerged in water.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of Maine Sea Salt for each gallon of water. (4 quarts = 1 gallon). This adds significant flavor to the lobsters.
  3. Bring the salt water to a rolling boil.
  4. Put your live lobsters in one at a time using gloves or tongs. Do not cover.
  5. Stir the lobsters halfway through boiling. (cooking times below)
  6. Boiled lobsters will be bright red when done.
  7. Place boiled lobsters in cool water or let stand for 3-5 minutes before serving.
  8. Enjoy!

Lobster Boiling Times Chart:
Size: 1.0 lb 1.25 lb 1.5 lb 2.0 lb 2.5 lb 3.0 lb
Time: 8 min 9-10 min 11-12 min 15 min 20 min 25 min

Don't have your lobsters yet? Order your live Maine lobsters now on our home page or call for more information.

How To Steam Live Lobster

Lobster Steaming Instructions:

  1. Pour 2 inches of water into a pot, including Maine sea salt if using fresh water.
  2. Add seaweed if desired.
  3. Bring water to heavy boil.
  4. Using gloves or tongs, place the Maine lobsters into the pot, cover tightly.
  5. When the water returns to a heavy boil, turn the heat down to a rolling boil and start the timer.
  6. Steam lobsters for 9 minutes for the first pound, and add 4 minutes for each additional pound. (See Steaming Times Below)
  7. Steamed lobsters will be bright red when done.
  8. Removed the steamed lobsters with metal tongs or gloves and place in cool water or let cool for 3-5 minutes
  Live Lobster Steaming Instructions

How to Steam Lobsters

Lobster Steaming Times Chart:
Size: 1.0 lb 1.25 lb 1.5 lb 2.0 lb 2.5 lb 3.0 lb
Time: 9 min 10 min 11 min 13 min 15 min 17 min

Go to our home page for more information on Maine Lobster and Lobster Delivery

How To Grill Lobster

Grilling Lobster Instructions

How to Grill Lobsters


Lobster Grilling Instructions:

  1. Prepare a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
  2. With a sharp knife, sever the head at the base of the neck and cut off both claw arms.
  3. Twist off the tail.
  4. Mash the coral and tomalley and add it to the marinade.
  5. Discard of the carapace and legs.
  6. Cut the soft underside of the tail lengthwise, with scissors. Crack the hard upper shell so you can remove the tail meat. Skewer the tail meat so it lies flat.
  7. Marinate the meat for a few hours.
  8. Place the claws and tail meat on the grill about 4 to 5 inches above the flame.
  9. Baste the tail meat as it cooks with the marinade.
  10. Grill for 5-6 minutes.
  11. Turn the claw and tail meat over and baste them before cooking another 5 minutes.
  12. Grilled lobsters will be bright red when done!
  13. Enjoy!

Go to our home page for more information on Maine Lobsters and Lobster Delivered

How To Crack Open A Lobster In 8 Steps!

Lobster Cracking Instructions:

  1. Twist off the lobster claws.
  2. Crack each lobster claw and knuckle with a lobster cracker
  3. Separate the lobster tail from the body.
  4. Insert a fork and push the tail meat out in one piece.
  5. Remove the black vein which runs the length of the lobster tail.
  6. Extract the meat from the legs by biting down and squeezing the meat out with your teeth.
  7. Use your fork and find the meat in the lobster's tail flippers.
  8. Try the tomalley (The green substance in the body) Some people consider this a delicacy.
  Lobster Shelling Lobster Instructions

How to Crack Open a Lobster

Go to our home page for more information on buying Maine lobster and shipping lobster.