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Boiling Lobster

Learn how to boil a lobster



Boiling a Lobster


Boiling a Lobster is not as hard as you might think. If you can boil a pot of water, then you can cook a live lobster. It's important that you begin with a live lobster. If the lobster is already dead, it may not cook properly. 

Boiling a Lobster

Boiling a lobster is the most common method of preparation and we'll show you how to do it step-by-step below.


Lobster Pot

Make a tasty cooking broth by combining the water, thyme, & bay leaves in a big pot. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water & then drop in the empty rinds. Bring the pot up to a high boil.


Clip the rubber bands off the live lobster.

Picking up Lobster

Pick up Lobster and quickly place head first in boiling water.

Plunge Lobsters

Cover, and boil for 15 mins. The lobster shells will be bright red & the the tails will be curled when they are done.

Cooking Lobster

The lobster is done when it turns red

Cooked Lobster

Lobster is done.

Cooked lobster

While the lobsters cook, make the lemon butter. Heat the butter in a small pot over low heat. Warm it up gently so the milk solids begin to cook and sink to the bottom of the pot, Keep a close watch because once the milk solids collect and fall, they burn really easily. Strain the clear butter into a small serving cup, leaving the solids behind, and give a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Lobster Cooking Times

For boiling or steaming a lobster

Lobster Weight Cooking Time
1 - 1 ¼ lb. 12 - 15 minutes
1 ¼ - 2 lb. 15 - 20 minutes
2-3 lb. 20 - 25 minutes
3-6 lb. 25 - 28 minutes
6-7 lb. 28 - 30 minutes
8 lb. and over 4 minutes per pound


How Do I Know When The Lobster Is Cooked?

Lobsters will turn their characteristic bright red color well before the meat is thoroughly cooked inside. Follow these easy tips to ensure that the lobster is cooked.

  • Tug on an antennae or pull off one of the small walking legs. They both will come off easily when the lobster is done.
  • The meat inside the lobster will be firm, white and opaque The tomalley, which fills much of the body cavity will be greenish-yellow.
  • The roe in female lobsters will be bright orange-red and firm. If it is a dark greenish-black, with an oily tar-like consistency, the lobster is under cooked.
  • The internal temperature should be 180 F (80 C)

Other helpful resources:

Easiest Way to Cook Lobster - Learn the easiest to cook lobster.

Easiest Way to Eat Lobster - Learn the easiest way to eat lobster.

Lobster Tail Recipe - Recipes for lobster tails.

Lobster Butter - Learn how to make clarified butter for lobster.

Frozen Lobster Tails - Learn what to buy and how to cook frozen lobster tails.

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