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How To Cook A Live Lobster or Lobster Tail

Updated on May 4, 2017

Types of Lobster

First of all, when you think of a lobster, you think of a Maine lobster which is an American lobster found on the coast or North America on the Atlantic coast. The Maine lobster is what you would find in restaurants and in your markets.

The other most common type of lobster is called the Spiny or rock lobster. The Spiny lobster has no claws, a very hard shell and very large antennas.

If you buy a frozen lobster, place in the refrigerator for 12 to 16 hours to thaw before cooking.

Make sure you watch the three videos below I supplied for you. Interesting and informative

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5 stars from 2 ratings of How To Cook A Lobster

Ways To Cook A Lobster and Lobster Tails

Here are five (5) ways to cook a lobster:

  1. Pan Sear
  2. Grill
  3. Bake
  4. Broil
  5. Boil

I'm going to explain how to pan sear, steam in a pan and boil your lobster or lobster tail.

Cooked Maine Lobster

How To cook a whole Maine Lobster
How To cook a whole Maine Lobster | Source

Pan Searing Your Lobster Tail

Learn how to pan sear your lobster

If you decide you want to pan sear your lobster tail, you will need to cut a slit right down the middle of the tail without slicing the meat. Remove the meat from the tail. You may have to pull and pry the meat away but try to keep it intact.

Take out a non stick pan and place about a tablespoon of butter into the pan and melt gently over a medium heat. Careful not to burn the butter. You can use olive oil in place of the butter if you wish. I like the buttery taste, so I use butter.

When butter is melted, place your lobster tail meat into the pan and fry on each side for 4 minutes per side. Meat should not be glossy (translucent) looking if done.

OPTIONAL: If you are making an elegant dinner, you can place the meat back into the lobster tail if you kept it in tact.

Get out some melted butter and enjoy!

Another Way of Pan Frying Your Lobster Tail

Pan frying your lobster tail is easy and delicious. You will need the following ingredients and things ready:

  1. Medium size frying pan with lid
  2. 3 oz clarified butter or melted butter (Watch video below to learn how to clarify)
  3. About a 20 oz. lobster tail (thawed if frozen)
  4. 1/2 Cup Water
  5. Salt and Pepper to taste

Rinse your lobster tail extremely well to clean of any debris. Slice down the middle of lobster tail to expose the meat in a butterfly fashion. Heat your skillet on a medium heat and add your 1/2 cup of water. Place lobster tail into water and add your salt and pepper. Cover with lid and let it steam for approximately 7 minutes. Serve with your butter

Lobster Tail

How to cook a lobster tail
How to cook a lobster tail | Source

Picture of A Live Lobster

Cooking a live lobster -recipe
Cooking a live lobster -recipe | Source

How To Boil Your Live Lobster

If you decide to buy a frozen lobster instead of a live one, make sure you thaw the lobster first. If not, you will not get proper cooking or flavor of the lobster.

You will need an extremely large pot for this. I am guessing about 5 to 6 gallons of water should be plenty for a whole lobster. You always want to make sure you have enough water. One reason, is if you don't have enough water and your lobster is live, it won't kill him. I have had experiences before where the lobster had found a way to grab onto the edge of the pot and fling himself out and onto the floor. Yes, it's true and yes, it scared me to death. I literally had a lobster going crazy on my kitchen floor and if you are a woman, it's going to scare the living daylights out of you as it did me. Make sure your water is at a rolling boil and plenty of water to fit the lobster into it.



  1. I use almost 1 tablespoonful of salt for each quart of water I use. I usually use 9 quarts of water so I use 7 tablespoonfuls of salt. As the saying goes, you can add but you can't take away. If you don't want that much salt, then just cut it down to where you feel comfortable. Some of you have high blood pressure and can't use that much. It's strictly your decision.
  2. Now, here is the fun part. As the water is boiling, get your lobster ready to place in. Please make sure the rubber bands are still on your lobster's pinchers.. I have had them come off before when I have brought the little guy home from the store. It does not make for a fun afternoon when they can pinch and latch on!
  3. Take your tongs and grab onto the back of the lobster about 3/4 the way down. Please hold on with a tight grip as he may try to wiggle and squirm.
  4. Always place the lobster into your boiling water HEAD first. If you are cooking more than one lobster, do the same for each but try to get them in around the same time so they are done at the same time.
  5. Put a lid on the pot and cover immediately. Cook roughly 8 minutes per pound of lobster(s).

How To Tell If Your Boiled Lobster Is Done?

If you lobster is done, he should be a nice deep red color. Look at the eggs on the tail of the lobster (if it's a female)- It should be orange and firm. If it is green, then your lobster is not done. The antennas should break easily if pinched and the meat should be firm.

Get out your butter and melt it and enjoy!

Video Of Live Lobster Snapping Out of Pot- Make Sure Your Pan is Big Enough!

How To Grill A Lobster

How To Clarify Butter Easily


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    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 2 years ago from Central USA

      Thanks for comment my kitchen. I absolutely love lobster. It's a little pricy but worth every penny. The tail is mainly where the meat is, but if you don't mind the time, the claws are worth digging at!

    • My Kitchen profile image

      My Kitchen 2 years ago

      I have never cooked a lobster before but your recipe looks mouth watering. Would give it a try.

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 3 years ago from Central USA

      Yes I have a very hard time cooking a live lobster ever since I had the one that flipped out of the pot and was flopping all over the floor --it was a 2 pound lobster and scared the daylights out of me. Thanks for commenting

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I witnessed cooking of a live lobster once and never witnessed it again. The clinking of the claws on the sides of the pot were just too weird for me. Your hub is very useful though! :)