How to Cook and Eat Lobster

HOW TO BOIL LOBSTER:

Choose a pot large enough to hold all the lobsters comfortably; do not crowd them. A 4- to 5-gallon pot can handle 6 to 8 pounds of lobster. Fill with water, allowing 3 quarts of water per 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of lobster. Add 1/4 cup sea salt for each gallon of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the live lobsters one at a time, and start timing immediately. Do not cover. Stir the lobsters halfway through cooking. Let the lobsters rest for 5 minutes or so after cooking to allow the meat to absorb some of the moisture in the shell.

If the lobster weighs: Boil:
1 pound 8 minutes
1 1/4 pounds 9-10 minutes
1 1/2 pounds 11-12 minutes
1 3/4 pounds 12-13 minutes
2 pounds 15 minutes
2 1/2 pounds 20 minutes
3 pounds 25 minutes
5 pounds 35-40 minutes

 

HOW TO STEAM LOBSTER:

Choose a pot large enough to hold all the lobsters comfortably; do not crowd them. A 4- to 5-gallon pot can handle 6 to 8 pounds of lobster. Put 2 inches of seawater or salted water in the bottom of a large kettle. Set a steaming rack inside the pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the live lobsters one at a time, cover the pot, and start timing. Halfway through, lift the lid (careful—the steam is hot) and shift the lobsters around so they cook evenly.

If the lobster weighs: Steam:
1 pound 10 minutes
1-1/4 pounds 12 minutes
1-1/2 pounds 14 minutes
1-3/4 pounds 16 minutes
2 pounds 18 minutes
2-1/2 pounds 22 minutes
3 pounds 25-30 minutes
5 pounds 40-45 minutes

 

If they are new-shell lobsters reduce cooking time by 3 minutes.

Cooked lobsters will turn bright red, but that’s not the best indicator of doneness, especially for large lobsters. They may still be underdone when the shell turns red. Jasper White recommends cooking lobsters for the recommended time, then cracking one open where the carapece meets the tail. If it’s done, the meat will have changed from translucent to white.


 

HOW TO EAT LOBSTERS

Twist off the claws

Crack each claw with a nutcracker

Separate the tailpiece from the body by arching the back until in cracks
Bend back and break the flippers off tailpiece
Insert a fork where the flippers broke off and push
Unhinge back from body. This contains the “Tomalley” or liver
Open the remaining part of the body by cracking sideways
The small claws are excellent eating. The meat can be sucked out.

 

“Maine Lobster ~ the only way to go”