How To Cook Lobsters

Like many people, I traveled to visit relatives over the holidays. I flew south from Maine to Florida. Weather conditions were perfect for flying, and the flight was on time and trouble free. Thank goodness my luggage arrived with me, as I was carrying a dozen live lobsters with me. I didn't want my most prized Christmas gift to get left behind.

This was the first time I decided to bring lobsters with me when visiting relatives down south. The sweet, succulent taste is a rare treat for them. The spiny lobsters native to the Florida coast are actually not even members of the lobster family. Scientifically, they are members of the crayfish family. The taste doesn't doesn't compare to a real Maine lobster.

It was decided to have a lobster feast on Christmas eve. While enjoying some cordials and company, I decided to wander into the kitchen while dinner was being prepared, and to my horror I arrived just in time to see the lobsters about to be cooked in a full pot of boiling water.

Many people erroneously believe that the proper way to cook a lobster is to boil it. While lobsters can be cooked that way, it is not the best method. Being placed in boiling water will remove much of the natural flavor of the lobster.

In order to enjoy the most succulent lobster taste, the only way to prepare them is by steaming. For the absolute best-tasting lobster, always follow these two rules: 1. Always buy lobsters that have been caught and shipped the same day, not lobsters that have been previously caught and stored in tanks where they suffer atrophy, and 2. Always steam your lobster rather than boil it.

To accomplish #1, buy your lobsters from a Maine company that ships lobsters the same day they are caught. To accomplish #2, follow this recipe:

Steamed Lobster


2 lobsters
3 tbps Sea Salt or Regular Salt


Add about 1" of water into a large kettle. Add 3 TBSP. of salt. When water reaches a full boil, put in the live lobsters. Cover immediately and let the water boil again. Once boiling, lower the heat from high, but keep the heat high enough to maintain boiling which produces the steam that cooks the lobsters.

Approximate cooking time:

15 minutes for 1 - 2 small hard-shell lobsters
20 minutes for 1 - 2 large hard-shell lobsters.
Reduce cooking time by 3 minutes for new-shell (soft-shell) lobsters.
Lobsters are done when the outer shell is completely bright red or the antennae pull out easily. Serve with melted butter.

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About The Author, Greg Roy
G. Roy is a former recreational Maine lobster fisherman and owner of the site For everything you ever wanted to know about the king of crustaceans, please stop by for a visit as well as more mouth-watering lobster recipes.