Foolproof: Steamed Lobster

2 Aug

Summertime means lobster time! And while you can pay a pretty penny for a whole steamed lobster at a restaurant, you can cook them cheaply at home.  Steaming lobster is so easy, it’s almost impossible to mess up.

IMG_7744You don’t need a fancy lobster pot with a spigot. Just get a pot large enough to hold your lobsters without crowding them. I place a stainless steel steamer rack stand at the bottom of my pot, so that the lobsters sit above the water while they steam.

Steaming Lobster 101

  1. Add 1-2 inches of salted water to the pot. Ensure that the water level remains below the steamer rack stand.
  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  3. Put the lobsters in, one at a time. Cover the pot and start your timer. The times below correspond to the weight of individual lobsters, not the total weight of all lobsters in the pot. I got these times from, which is a great resource with information on selecting, storing, cooking, and eating lobster.
If the lobster weighs: Steam:
1 pound 10 minutes
1-1/4 pounds 12 minutes
1-1/2 pounds 14 minutes
1-3/4 pounds 16 minutes
2 pounds 18 minutes
2-1/2 pounds 22 minutes
3 pounds 25-30 minutes
5 pounds 40-45 minutes

I usually buy lobsters that weigh between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 pounds and steaming them according to the chart above has always produced perfect results. 

The lobsters are fully cooked when their entire shells are bright red, with no blackish areas.


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