How to Cook Lobster at Home like a Pro

Have you ever thought about cooking lobster at home but feeling intimidated by this crustacean? Cooking the perfect lobster can seem daunting, but with the right technique, ingredients, and tools, you can prepare this exquisite seafood delicacy like a pro.

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to cook lobster at home, step-by-step. From selecting the right lobster to plating the finished product, you’ll have everything you need to impress your friends and family at your next dinner party.

1. Choose the Right Lobster

The first step in cooking lobster is picking the right one. Always select live lobsters as they are fresher and taste better. Lobsters should be lively and active, with no visible damage to their shells or missing legs. Make sure to cook them within a few hours of purchasing them to ensure maximum freshness.

2. Prep Your Lobster

Before cooking the lobster, you need to prep it by cleaning and removing the rubber bands. First, rinse the lobster under cold running water to remove any debris. Then, remove the rubber bands from the claws and tail to prevent them from cooking into the meat.

3. Boil the Lobster

Boiling is the most common way to cook lobster. Start by filling a large pot with enough water to cover the lobster. Add salt, approximately 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the lobster headfirst into the pot.

Cook for 8-12 minutes for a 1.5-pound lobster, and 14-16 minutes for a 2-pound lobster. Remove the lobster from the boiling water using tongs and let it cool for a few minutes before handling.

4. Crack and Clean the Lobster

Once the lobster is cool enough to handle, use lobster crackers or kitchen scissors to crack the claws and tail to remove the meat. Crack the claws open, and use a lobster pick or fork to remove the meat. Push out the tail meat by gently bending the shell backward.

Next, remove the digestive tract or the “vein,” a dark strip of intestine that runs along the length of the lobster tail. Rinse the meat thoroughly under cold running water before using or serving it.

5. Plate and Serve

To plate the cooked lobster, arrange the tail and claw meat on a plate or a lobster shell. Garnish with fresh herbs, lemon wedges, and melted butter. Serve immediately with a side of melted butter or your favorite dipping sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s the difference between a cold-water and warm-water lobster?

Cold-water lobsters come from the North Atlantic Ocean and are usually smaller and sweeter than warm-water lobsters. Warm-water lobsters come from tropical waters and are typically larger with firmer meat.

How do I know when the lobster is cooked?

A cooked lobster will turn bright red or orange and the meat will be firm and opaque. The internal temperature should be 140-145°F (60-63°C) when measured with a meat thermometer.

Can I cook lobster in the oven?

Yes, you can bake or broil lobster in the oven. Split the lobster tails in half, season with butter, garlic, and herbs, and bake at 425°F (220°C) for 8-10 minutes or until cooked. For broiling, brush the lobster with butter and broil for 5-7 minutes until cooked.

How do I store leftover cooked lobster?

Remove the meat from the shell and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To freeze lobster, wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Now that you know how to cook lobster like a pro, it’s time to impress your guests with this delicious seafood dish. Remember to select live lobsters, prep them properly, boil, crack, and plate the meat to perfection. With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a lobster cooking expert.