Lobster can be cooked like crab, in boiling water. For a quicker, more humane method, stab
the head just behind the eyes, bringing the knife through to the cutting board, then pressing
it forward to divide the head.
To prepare for boiling, kill the lobster and split it lengthwise. Remove the stomach sac
and pull out the intestinal vein. Scoop out the tomalley and roe, and rinse under cold water.
To prepare frozen lobster tail, defrost, then cut the inner edges of the under-shell with a
pair of scissors. Clip off the fins, pull back the shell and discard. Bend the tail back to
crack the joints. Rinse with cold water.
Fill a large pan with at least 1 gallon (3.79 liters) of water plus another quart for each
additional lobster and bring to a rapid boil. One at a time, plunge live or prepared lobsters
headfirst into boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer five minutes for a 1 1/4 pound (about
567g) lobster plus two minutes for each additional pound (about 454g).
Place whole, cooked lobster (or lobster tail) meat-side-up in a broiler pan. Brush with lemon and oil or melted butter. Place 4 inches (10cm) from heating element or
flame and broil until meat is heated through. Follow the same method to cook raw lobster
tails, except broil tail-side-up for four minutes, then turn, brush with butter or oil, and
broil until meat is opaque (four to five minutes).
Kill the lobster, split it lengthwise, and remove the sand-colored grain sac from each side
of its head. Twist off claws. Heat oven to 400°F (200° C). Place claws on a shallow
baking pan and cook about eight minutes. Remove pan from the oven, then add lobster halves
flesh side up. Brush with lemon juice and oil or melted butter and cook for an additional ten
Place an inch or two (about 2.5 to 5cm) of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Put
the whole, live lobsters (or kill them first by splitting the head) in the pot and steam for
about five minutes. Use the cooking liquid as base for a sauce.
Soups or stews
Boil lobster lightly—the meat should not be fully cooked. When cool, crack shells and
remove meat, tomalley, and coral. Break up shells with a hammer and boil them in water to form
a savory broth. Strain the broth to remove shells, then add herbs,
spices, and vegetables. Add lobster meat
during the final few minutes of cooking.
Buying and storing tips
Picking quality lobster is easy. Fresh-cooked lobster smells fresh, with no hint of ammonia
odor. The freshest lobsters are alive and frisky; their tails curl up or flap rather than hang
down when they are picked up. Ask how long the lobster has been in the tank and choose those
that have been there less than a week. Discard any lobster that dies before you cook it.
Fresh-cooked lobster has a bright red shell. Any exposed meat should be white and moist, not
dried out or yellow.
Wrap live lobster in several sheets of wet newspaper and keep in the refrigerator, wetting
the paper again if it dries out. Fresh lobster is best cooked and eaten the same day you buy
it; store for no more than a few hours on a bed of ice in the refrigerator.
To freeze, wrap lobster meat in freezer paper or plastic, then over-wrap with a plastic
bag. Store for up to two months.
To thaw, unwrap lobster, place in a covered bowl or pan and let thaw in refrigerator
overnight. To thaw more quickly, wrap lobster in waterproof plastic and place in a sink with
cool running water, allowing about 30 minutes per pound (454g). For fastest thawing, use the
defrost cycle of your microwave allowing three to five minutes per 1/2 pound (227g). Let stand
for three minutes.
American or European clawed lobsters are the classic lobster, with large, meaty claws. They
are available live or as frozen lobster tails. You can also buy
“culls”—lobsters missing one claw. Spiny lobsters have hard, rough shells,
very long antennae, and no claws. Though there are many varieties of spiny lobster, most are
sold under the name warm water lobster (from Florida, Southern California, or Hawaii) or cold
water lobster (from Australia or New Zealand). They can usually be bought as frozen, uncooked
tails. Smaller lobsters (scampi, langostino, slipper) are usually available only in
Lobster (cooked, moist heat), 3 oz. (85g)
Total Fat: 1g
*Excellent source of: Copper (1.65mg), Selenium (36.30mcg), and Vitamin B12 (2.64mcg)
*Good source of: Phosphorus (157.25mg), Zinc (2.48mg), and Vitamin B12 (2.64mcg)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular
nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good
source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes
only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult
your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any
supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications.