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Fresh Lobster, Lobster Tails, Lobster Meat, Lobster Soups, Steaks & More. Get Lobster

Parboiling a Lobster

Learn how to partially cook a live lobster

   

Parboiled lobster

 

Parboiling a Lobster: Partially cooking a lobster has many advantages when preparing lobster dishes. This chart is based on the same lobster-to-water ratio recommended for fully cooked lobsters. Because it is crucial that the lobsters be in contact with the water as close to boiling as possible, and because this is such a quick procedure, there is no reason to crowd the pot. If you need to, you can parboil lobsters in more than one batch. Just be sure that the water returns to a rolling boil before you cook the second batch. Lobsters weighing more than 3 pounds are not suitable for parboiling because the meat does not cook properly during the second cooking. If you are using soft shells, deduct at least one minute from the cooking time. Allow lobsters to cool at room temperature. Remove the meat while still slightly warm -- it is easiest that way. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Lobster Cooking Times

For partially cooking lobster

Lobster Weight Cooking Time
1 lb 3 1/2 minutes
1 ¼ lb 4 minutes
1 1/2 lb 4 1/2 minutes
1 3/4 lb 5 minutes
2 lb 5 1/2 minutes
2 1/2 lb 6 1/2 to 7 minutes
3 pounds 7 1/2 to 8 minutes

Steaming a lobster

Fill the pot with 1 inch of salt water, either fresh salt water or water with salt added. Heat pot on high.

Steaming a lobster 2

Prepare lobster by rinsing in cold water. If you feel brave enough, remove the rubber bands to prevent rubber taste.

Steaming a lobster 3

Once the water boils, the lobster is ready to be cooked.

Steaming a lobster 4

Plunge the lobster head first into the pot and close the lid.

Steaming Lobster 5

The lobster does not feel pain and will be dead in 10 seconds. It may continue to move afterwords due to muscle spasms.

Steaming Lobster 6

Cook according to lobster weight

Lobster Weight Cooking Time
1 lb 3 1/2 minutes
1 ¼ lb 4 minutes
1 1/2 lb 4 1/2 minutes
1 3/4 lb 5 minutes
2 lb 5 1/2 minutes
2 1/2 lb 6 1/2 to 7 minutes
3 pounds 7 1/2 to 8 minutes

 

Steaming Lobster 7

Lobster will have begun turning but dark spots may still remain.

Steaming lobster 8

Parboiled lobster

Submerge partially cooked lobster in an ice path for several minutes or until the lobster is cool to the touch. This stops the cooking process and allows your lobster to be at it's best for your favorite lobster recipe.

 

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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