CARING for youR Live Lobsters

Avoid putting your live lobsters in tap water or ice cubes prior to cooking.

Keep them inside the reusable cooler until preparation. If desired, inspect the contents, making sure to tightly replace the cooler lid immediately. Also avoid placing the cooler near any heat source or direct sunlight.

For best results, cook your Lobster Gram live lobsters the very day you receive them.

Click here for complete cooking instructions. If you are unable to enjoy your lobsters tonight, follow the directions below.

In the event you cannot serve your live lobsters tonight:

  • Cook your lobsters as outlined in the cooking section.
  • After cooking, rather than removing the meat, immerse the whole lobster in ice water for five minutes to stop the cooking process.
  • Place lobster in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for up to two days, or freeze for no more than a week to retain maximum flavor.
  • Thaw frozen lobster in the refrigerator for at least 24-36 hours before reheating them.
  • Reheat your lobster by placing them in a pot of boiling water.
  • Let them heat through for one to two minutes. Remove promptly to prevent overcooking.
  • Continue with removing the meat as detailed here.

swipe to see more SWIPE TO SEE MORE
Live Lobster Weight 12 QT. Pot 16 QT. Pot 21 QT. Pot 34 QT. Pot
1 lb. Lobsters 2-6 7-10 11-14 15-24
1¼ lb. Lobsters 2-5 6-9 10-12 13-20
1½ lb. Lobsters 2-4 5-6 7-10 11-16
2 lb. Lobsters 2 3-4 5-6 7-12

Live Lobsters Preparation: Boiling

We’ve taken the time to speak with hundreds of lobstermen and chefs, all of whom agree that boiling is the easiest, and often the best, method for preparing live lobster.


Let us walk you through your experience with step-by-step instructions for optimal, and delicious results.

  • Keeping the lobsters in the provided cooler, fill the appropriately-sized pot (see the below Live Lobster Pot Size Guide) with enough water to cover the lobsters.
  • Place the water-filled pot atop the stove and bring to a strong boil.
  • Firmly grasp the lobsters behind their arms and carefully plunge them head-first into the boiling water. Some people prefer to cut off the rubber bands, making the case that the rubber affects the taste, but this is optional. If you decide to remove them, be careful, those claws can hurt!
  • Cover the pot with a lid. You may hear a whistling sound as the air begins to escape from the shells. Be mindful of splashing water and any over-boil.
  • When the water returns to a full boil, remove lid and set a timer for the appropriate cooking time (see Boiled Lobster Cooking Time chart). Continue cooking uncovered and reduce heat as necessary to maintain a soft boil.
  • While the lobster cooks, prepare lemon/butter sauce. Simply melt butter over very low heat and, if you’d like, add lemon sliced in quarters. Make sure you try some lobster without any butter or lemon first, though!
  • As your cooking timer expires, your lobsters should be deep red to pink in color. Be sure to wear rubber kitchen gloves or appropriate protection when handling to prevent burns.
  • Carefully remove your lobsters from the pot with tongs or other utensils, and place them on a plate. Let them sit for a few minutes so that the juices can soak into the meat.
  • Go to our How-to Cooking Videos to see this process for yourself.

Live Lobster Weight Cooking Time
1 lb. Lobsters 9-10 Minutes
1¼ lb. Lobsters 10-11 Minutes
1½ lb. Lobsters 11-12 Minutes
2 lb. Lobsters 12-13 Minutes
3 lb. Lobsters 15-16 Minutes


Steaming is the most authentic way to enjoy the honest-to-goodness lobster flavor, just as you would find on the shores of New England.

While genuine and worthwhile, this process can be delicate, and may require some practice to ensure even cooking. Follow our step-by-step instructions for best results!

  • Fill the bottom of a large kettle with approximately 1” of water.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  • Add the live lobsters to the kettle one at a time, then cover tightly with the lid and return to a boil.
  • Set your cooking timer to the appropriate time (see Steamed Lobster Cooking Time chart below).
  • As your cooking time expires, you can check the lobster’s doneness in the tail. The meat should be all white, with no gray colored sections.
  • If not done, return to pot for an extra minute or two. Keep a close eye as times may vary!

Live Lobster Weight Cooking Time
1 lb. Lobsters 10-11 Minutes
1¼ lb. Lobsters 11-12 Minutes
1½ lb. Lobsters 12-13 Minutes
2 lb. Lobsters 13-14 Minutes
3 lb. Lobsters 16-17 Minutes

Live Lobster Serving: Removing the Meat

Now that your live lobster has been prepared, either through boiling or steaming, it’s time to complete the process. Let us help walk you through the final steps for serving and enjoying your live lobster.


  • Grasp the lobster between the tail and the body and twist apart.
  • Take the flipper of the tail by hand and flip it back to break away from the rest of the tail. Discard.
  • Put your thumb or finger through the bottom opening of the tail and push the tail meat out through the top opening. Check the lobster meat for doneness. See that all tail meat appears firm and completely white. If there are any signs of translucent gray, or black shiny sections, more cooking time is required. Simply return to the boiling water for one-minute intervals until done.
  • Twist the entire arm of the lobster off from the body section and remove the rubber bands from the claws (if you haven’t already done so).
  • When cracking the arm sections, you always want to bend backwards. Bend back each arm segment, releasing it from the claw. The meat inside each segment should slide out by hand or with the help of a seafood fork.
  • Now very slowly, pull down the “thumb” of the claw (the smaller part of the pincher) and release it from the rest of the claw. Removing this piece slowly allows you to release a piece of cartridge with the thumb piece. Discard. Using shell crackers, crack open the claw to free the meat inside.
  • Serve by itself, with lemon/butter sauce, or your favorite seasonings!


Cracking the shells of super jumbo lobsters 3 lbs. or larger may require more effort.

Lay out newspapers on a roomy, flat surface and place the claws on top. Place a hot pad over the claw and strike once or twice with a cooking mallet or hammer.


Live Lobster Meat: What to Expect

Beneath its shell, a lobster has a remarkable combination of colorful, and sometimes mysterious, elements. Let us add some clarity to some of the meat and contents that you may find beneath the shell!


An uncooked or undercooked female lobster may be harboring eggs, also known as roe or lobster caviar. Prior to cooking, these eggs will appear thick, shiny, and black, and are found throughout the tail. If you have finished cooking your lobster and still see these black shiny sections, you simply need to cook them longer.

Once properly cooked, the black roe will turn into…


Once the above-mentioned female lobster is fully cooked, those black eggs turn bright red in color. Their texture becomes firmer, and they look more like the lobster caviar you may have encountered in restaurants or at your local sushi bar. Try them if you’re feeling adventurous — they’re quite delicious!


The brownish-green substance is the tomalley, or liver of the lobster. All lobsters have tomalley, as you’ll discover when you separate the tail from the body. While not for everyone, the tomalley can be quite the taste experience. If you prefer to remove the tomalley before serving, simply rinse off with water.


Once a Lobster Gram lobster is cooked, expect to see a thick, white, foamy matter both around the meat and in the water in which it was cooked. This is protein generated by the lobster that can be easily rinsed off and enjoyed. It offers further proof that your lobsters are incredibly fresh!


Occasionally, Maine lobster tail meat reveals a pinkish tint. This color usually indicates that you have received a female lobster that is either preparing to produce eggs, or has recently done so. This has no effect on the quality or taste of the meat.