How to cook a lobster

How to cook a live lobster

Cooking a live lobster can be daunting for first timers. However, it's much easier than it seems and by following these simple steps you'll be a pro in no time!

The first thing to note is your lobster will have elastic bands around the claws, this is done to protect them from each other in holding tanks as well as to protect those handling them form little nips! Some people like to remove before cooking, however if you are hesitant at handling the lobster, then it's fine to leave them on and remove post cooking.

The likelihood is that your lobster will be fairly docile when it reaches you, however we always recommend that you leave the lobster in the loosely wrapped paper and place it directly into the freezer for 30-40 minutes before you cook it. (If you intend to cook the following day, place the lobster on a plate or tray, cover with a wet dish cloth and put in the fridge. Place it into the freezer a couple of hours before you intend to cook.). This will put the lobster into a coma like condition and it's believed to be more humane than boiling while still alive.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add the lobsters to the pan, making sure all claws and legs are submerged. Handle the lobster with some sturdy tongs if this helps. For a medium sized lobster (700g) cook for approximately 4 minutes, then turn the heat off and keep in the pot for another 4 minutes with a lid on. During this time the lobster will turn from black to a rich red colour.
Different size lobsters will take different times to cook, 900g around 14 minutes, 450g around 7 minutes, remember to adjust your times accordingly.

After cooking, drain the pot and submerge in cold water for 6 minutes, this helps to tenderise the meat. 

If you are planning to grill or barbeque the lobsters, boil them first, for 4 minutes (for a 700g lobster), then drain and immediately submerge in cold water. You don't want to over- cook the meat and submerging in the cold water stops the lobster form cooking through while still warm. Once cooled you can then halve your lobster and add your desired sauce or dressing and grill or BBQ for 5-8 minutes until the meat is nice and opaque.

Check out our guide on halving lobsters for further information.


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