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How to Cook Live Lobsters

Live lobster can be boiled, steamed, grilled or baked. Cooking a lobster longer than the recommended times usually makes the meat too tough. When properly cooked, lobster meat is creamy white and shells are bright red.

Don't worry about cooking lobsters, they have ganglionic nervous systems so they do not feel pain the same way we do.

Boiled Lobster


  • 2 lobsters
  • Sea Salt, Kosher Salt or Regular Salt


  1. Fill a large kettle 3/4 full of water, allowing about 21/2 quarts of water for each lobster.
  2. Add 2 TBSP. of salt for each quart of water.
  3. When water boils, put in the live lobsters one at a time headfirst, completely submerging them. Let the water boil again.
  4. Lower the heat, cover and simmer.
  5. Allow:15 minutes for 1 - 1 1/4 pound hard-shell lobsters or 20 minutes for 1 1/2 - 2 pound hard-shell lobsters.
  6. The cooking time can be reduced by 3 minutes for 1 1/4 new-shell and 5 minutes for 1 1/2 new-shell lobsters
  7. Lobsters are done when the outer shell is bright red or the antennae pull out easily. Serve with melted butter

Steamed Lobster


  1. Fill pot with 1 inch of water and add 2 tbs. of salt.
  2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  3. Add lobster one at a time, head first. Cover the pot.
  4. Steam 7 minutes for 1-1/4 lb. and 10 minutes for 1-1/2 to 2 lb. lobsters.
  5. Regulate the heat if the froth starts to bubble over.
  6. Lobsters are done when the outer shell is bright red, when the meat is white, and when the 2 front antennae pull out easily. DO NOT overcook.

Grilled Lobster


  1.  Preheat your grill - Medium to hot.
  2. Follow the instructions for boiling the lobster, but only par-boil for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the lobster from the pot and place on its back.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut the lobsters down the middle. Remove the black vein that runs down the tail. Remove the green tomalley and the sand sac which is located in the head, behind the eyes.
  5. Baste the lobster meat with melted butter and optionally with lemon juice, and place the lobster on the preheated grill, shell side down for between 8 and 10 minutes - OR until the lobster meat is thoroughly cooked. DON'T OVER COOK!
  6. Serve immediately.
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