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A Step-by-step Guide on How to Boil a Lobster to Perfection

How to Boil a Lobster
Read the following Tastessence article to know about the ways to boil a lobster. Trust us when we say that boiling a lobster is not as difficult as it may seem.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2017
boiling lobsters
Lobsters are not at all difficult to cook. In fact, they are the most versatile seafood that you can enjoy just by boiling or steaming. Most people favor boiled lobster over steamed ones. This is because boiling provides even cooking of the meat within a short time. But, how to boil a lobster is a common doubt for nearly all of us. They are boiled while they are still alive; the only challenge is determining the correct time required to cook the lobster meat properly.

Boiling Lobsters

The most popular method of cooking lobsters is to simply boil them in salt water. Unlike other seafood, maximum meat is concentrated in the tails and front claws. So, these are the preferred parts in making a lobster recipe. Being a low fat and high protein delicacy, boiled lobster is a healthy alternative to other seafood recipes.

Required Supplies
In order to boil lobsters, you need a lobster, a large saucepan with a lid (big enough to submerge the lobster completely), water, salt and paper towels. If available, seawater is a better choice, rather than using salt to boil lobsters. To add more flavor, you can use fresh lemon juice.

Lobster Boiling Directions
  • In a large saucepan (or stockpot), add sufficient water to dip the lobster.
  • Cover the lid and bring the water to boil over high heat.
  • Add salt (2 tablespoons per quart of water) to the boiling water and fresh lemon juice.
  • In case, you are using seawater, add only lemon juice and skip using salt.
  • Place the live lobster (add one at a time) in the boiling water with the head portion first. This will ensure killing the live lobster quickly.
  • Maintain high heat and bring the water to boil. Then, reduce the flame to medium heat and cover with a lid.
  • Check the time and boil for 5 minutes for one pound. If you are cooking more than one pound, a further 3 minutes boiling is required per additional pound.
  • As soon as the calculated boiling time is over, remove them immediately, so as to avoid overcooking.
  • Place the boiled lobsters on a paper towel and crack open the claw shell for serving.
In brief, 5-7 minutes boiling is adequate to cook 1 pound of soft shelled lobster. And, for every additional pound, you need to boil it for an extra 3 minutes. Accordingly, 1ΒΌ pounds requires an 8-10 minute boiling time and 5-6 pounds should be cooked for 18-20 minutes. In case of hard-shelled lobsters, you can increase the boiling time by 3 minutes. This way, you need to calculate the boiling time beforehand.

In a nutshell, boiling lobster tails (or other parts) is as simple as boiling them till they turn red. After boiling, you can easily remove the meat from the shell. Well cooked lobster meat is creamy white in color (not translucent). As per your preference, you can serve boiled lobsters with melted butter and a spicy dip sauce. Or else, you can use them in making soups, salads, crepes and rolls.