The Shellfish We Cook, How to Cook Live Lobster

How to cook live lobster

Many people put live lobster straight into boiling water which kills them immediately but be careful. If the tails are thrashing you could get burned with the hot water. A way to prevent this is to kill the lobster first, but do this right before cooking. A preferred way of doing it is to place the point of a sharp knife directly behind the eyes and push down quickly. You can also just put them in the freezer for about an hour just before cooking.

To boil live lobster

You can cook more than 1 lobster at a time but make sure that you have a pan large enough so they will not be crowed.

Put enough water in the pan so when the lobster is added the water will completely cover them.

Put enough water in the pan and add 1 tablespoon of salt for every quart of water.

Bring the water to a rapid boil and add the lobster head first.

Start timing. Do not cover the pot and stir a couple times.

If lobster weighs 1 pound … cook for 12 minutes

1 p pound … 14 minutes

2 pounds … 16 minutes

2 p pounds … 20 minutes

3 pounds … 25 minutes

If you are doing more than one lobster use the weight of one lobster not the total weight when figuring the cooking time.

To check if the lobster is done pull on one of the small legs, they should come off easily and the meat should be opaque, not translucent and the shell should be bright red. The best way to check is with a meat thermometer. Lobster is done at 140 degrees. Overcooking will toughen the lobster.

To steam live lobster

You will need a pan with a cover, large enough to hold the lobster without crowding. Add 2 inches of water to the pan and bring it to a rapid boil. Add the lobster head first into the water and cover the pan.

Start timing.

If lobster weighs 1 pound … cook for 12 minutes

1 p pound … 14 minutes

2 pounds … 16 minutes

2 p pounds … 20 minutes

3 pounds … 25 minutes

If you are doing more than one lobster use the weight of one lobster not the total weight when figuring the cooking time.

To check if the lobster is done pull on one of the small legs, they should come off easily and the meat should be opaque, not translucent and the shell should be bright red. The best way to check is with a meat thermometer. Lobster is done at 140 degrees. Do not ruin an expensive meal, use a meat thermometer. Overcooking will toughen the lobster.

If you buy pre-cooked lobster

Pre cooked whole lobster can be reheated best by steaming for 5-7 minutes depending on the size of the lobster.



Source of The Shellfish We Cook, How to Cook Live Lobster by Tom J Bergerson – author of The Shellfish We Cook, How to Cook Live Lobster article

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