How To Cook Lobster

It's not as hard as you think

To most, lobster is an exotic delicacy, only to be ordered in a restaurant on the most special of occasions. While lobster certainly isn’t an everyday food, it is relatively easy to prepare and a fun treat to have at home once in a while. There are several ways to cook these tasty crustaceans — all of which will leave you with a delicious seafood dinner (especially if you’re serving it with warm butter!)

Buying lobster: Fresh vs Frozen?

Many stores carry frozen lobster tails and claws, which are certainly easier to work with than fresh (i.e. live) lobsters. The frozen bits tend to be more expensive than live lobsters. Cooking live lobsters can be a little intimidating and is understandably not for everyone. That said, if you’re able to put squeamishness aside, the live lobster experience is definitely worth trying at least once. 

The different methods


Fill a large pot (it has to be big enough to fully submerge the lobsters) with salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Put live lobsters into the water headfirst and cover, continuing to boil for 7-10 minutes for the first pound of lobster and 2-3 minutes for each additional pound (cooking time will vary depending how many lobsters you put in the pot). Remove from the pot and place the lobsters on ice so that they don’t continue cooking in their shells.


This one also works well with live lobsters. Pour 1” of hot water and some salt into a pot and place a steaming rack inside. Bring the water to a boil. Place the lobsters on top of the rack, cover, and steam for about 15 minutes, until they’re bright red and the antennas can be pulled out easily.


Lobster tails take well to baking. Defrost frozen tails overnight in the fridge. Using scissors, cut the shell down the centre of the back, leaving the tail fan in tact, and lift the uncooked tail so that it sits slightly on top of the shell. Brush with melted butter and bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until the lobster meat reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.


Another one to do with defrosted tails: cut the lobster tail as you would if baking. Heat up the broiler in your oven and brush the lobster tail with melted butter. Place on a broiler pan and broil until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.


Split live lobsters in half lengthwise from the back of the head with a sharp knife (they will die immediately) and remove the stomach sac and intestines. Brush the meat with olive oil and grill, meat side up, over medium-high heat with the barbeque lid closed for 7-9 minutes, or until the lobster is opaque throughout.