Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Cook a Live Lobster

How to cook a live lobster.

 Hey everyone! If feels like an eternity since I have posted anything, but in reality it has only been a couple weeks.  We have been pretty busy around here getting ready for a couple major home improvement projects, so my time has been limited.  But with all of that being said let me tell you about what happened Friday!

Friday I received a gift.  Yes, a gift.  However, this was not your everyday gift.  No, this was quite possibly one of the most unique gifts I have ever opened.  It was the gift of LIVE lobsters, all the way from Maine!  I knew these beauties were coming to me, but I didn't realize that they would be alive.  So when I opened the box and saw four little sets of lobster eyes looking back at me, I panicked.  *lol*  To say getting them out of the cooler and into the crisper was a hilarious sight is an understatement.  Once I got them in there, I was left with the question "How am I supposed to cook these!?!"  Well, after talking to a few experts and doing a lot of googling, I was ready to tackle the beasts.  I have to say it was not nearly as difficult as you may think.  Also, there are a few old wives' tales that I now know can be put to rest.  So, without further delay, let me show you how I did it!

How to Cook a Live Lobster:
*Prep Time: 5 min.  *Cook Time:  10 min.  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  1 Whole Lobster


  • Whole Lobster
  • Large Pot of Boiling Water
  • Salt
Whether you purchase your lobsters live from a market, or have them shipped to your home, you will need to store them in the crisper of your refrigerator with damp news paper until you are ready to cook them.  

To begin cooking, you will need to fill a large stock pot with water.

Next add salt.  You want the water to be salty like the sea.  I added 3-4 tbsp to my pot.

Now let the water coming to rolling boil.

Thanks Catherine for your expert hand modeling!

Once the water has come to a rolling boil, remove the live lobsters from the crisper.
This step is totally optional, but if you place the lobster on it's head, and pat it's tail, it goes into a trance-like sleep.

Once the lobsters are "asleep" you can snip the bands from the claws.
I know that people say you can cook them with the bands on, but remember the rubber can and will affect the taste.  Take them off.

This next step is not for the faint of heart.
Gently drop the lobster, head first, into the boiling water.

If you feel like this is inhumane, you can put your chef's knife through the head.  It kills them instantly. Either way, if you are going to cook live lobster you are going to have to use one of these two methods.

Once you have place the lobster into the water, put the lid onto the pot.  He may flap his tale and splash water around if you don't.  Mine didn't do that, but I was told it could happen.

Once the water comes back to a rolling boil, set your timer for 10 minutes.  As a rule of thumb, it is 10 min. for the first pound and 3 min. for every pound after that.  These were 1.5-2 lb. lobsters. I cooked them for 10 minutes, and they came out perfectly.

While we are waiting for this little guy to cook, let me put a rumor to rest...

Lobster do not scream when you cook them.  They do not have vocal cords, so this is literally impossible.  Sometimes, when you are steaming them, air will release through the shell and there will be a high pitched noise, but it is not a scream.  

After 10 minutes you can remove the lobsters from the boiling water.  They should be bright red, tails tucked under, and have white flesh.  If you can check all of those boxes off you are ready to eat!

This is perfectly paired with some corn and roasted potatoes.  Not to mention you MUST have a little melted butter and lemon wedges as well.

Because I was too busy devouring these delicious morsels, I didn't get the how-to pics on eating them, but you can find all sorts of these videos on you tube.

So if you are wanting to plan a nice dinner for a special someone or occasion, give lobster a try!  It is so simple, and you will not fail to impress!

I would love to hear about any of your lobsters stories so please feel free to leave them in the comments!

And as always....

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~

How to Cook a Live Lobster:
*Prep Time: 5 min.  *Cook Time:  10 min.  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  1 Whole Lobster


  • Whole Lobster
  • Large Pot of Boiling Water
  • Salt
  1. Place the live lobster in the crisper with damp news paper until ready to cook.
  2. Bring a large pot of water up to a rolling boil.
  3. Add salt.  Make the water take salty like the sea. 
  4. Remove the lobster from the fridge and place it on it's head, while rubbing it's tail.  This will relax the lobster and put in a sleep state.
  5. Once the lobster is asleep, and you will know, snip the bands from the claws, and place it head first into the boiling water.*
  6. Bring the water back up to a rolling boil and place the lib of on the pot. 
  7. Cook for 10 min.  It should be bright red, tail tucked under, and have white flesh.
  8. Serve with lemon and melted butter and ENJOY!
*If you are not comfortable with boiling the lobster live, you can put a chef's knife through the head.  It kills the lobster instantly.  


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