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Overhead photo of a cooked lobster on a cutting board with lemon wedges and butter around it.
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5 from 1 vote

How to Steam Lobster

How To Steam Lobster is an easy cooking method resulting in amazingly tender and delicious lobster meat in just 20 minutes of cooking time!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time14 mins
Total Time19 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 196kcal



How To Steam Lobster

  • Place lobster into the freezer for 20 minutes to gently put the lobster to sleep.
  • Fill a large stockpot with 2” of water and sea salt and bring to a rolling boil. *If you have a stockpot with a steamer insert it is preferred to use the steamer but not necessary.*
  • Carefully remove rubber bands off of lobster claws. Hold the lobster where the head meets the body for this. The lobster should not wake up, but to be safe hold this way to prevent any pinching *The rubber bands can leave a slightly bitter taste.*
  • Lower the lobster into the pot head first and close the lid. Halfway through, adjust the position of the lobster to help cook it uniformly.
  • Steam lobster for 10 minutes for the first pound, and 4 minutes for each pound after. For a 2 lb lobster, 14 minutes will be perfect. To be sure the lobster is done, gently tug on the antenna, it should release fairly easily. The lobster shell will be bright red in color, with white meat. If the meat is slightly translucent, steam for 1 to 2 more minutes to complete cooking.
  • Rinse the lobster with cold water once cooked and transfer to a wooden cutting board or flat work surface. Be careful, as some water could get inside the shell of the lobster while steaming. It is best to wait 5 to 10 minutes before removing the meat because of this

How To Break Down Lobster

  • To remove the meat from the lobster, you will need kitchen shears and bamboo sticks.
  • First, separate the claws and legs from the body of the lobster. Twist and gently pull to separate. Set aside to extract meat.
  • Now, remove the tail. Grab the lobster with one hand on the tail, and the other on the body and twist to separate. Discard the head. Rinse off the green tomalley in the tail under cold running water. Flip the lobster tail so the bottom is facing up, and use kitchen shears to cut down the middle of the shell. Push down on the sides of the shell with your hands and gently remove the meat from the shell. If it does not easily slide out, insert your finger and run it along the shell to free the meat. Use a knife to cut the tail meat in half. Remove the dark vein with a paring knife and discard. If female, there will be a red roe- remove and discard this as well.
  • Next, extract the meat from the claws. Hold the lobster at the knuckles, and twist to separate each section. Use a bamboo skewer to push the meat out of the knuckles. Once finished, remove the meat from the claws. Cut the shell on each side of the claws to release the meat.
  • Finally, extract the meat from the legs. There is not a lot of meat here, but the meat that is in the claws is very tender and sweet. Simply use kitchen shears to cut both ends of the legs and push the meat out with a bamboo skewer.
  • Save the shells to make a delicious seafood broth!


  • If cooking lobster from a frozen state, allow it to thaw in a bowl with ice overnight in the refrigerator before steaming
  • If cooking more than one lobster, make sure your stockpot is large enough to accommodate both lobsters. A 4-5 gallon pot will fit 2 lobsters. Place into the pot one at a time


Calories: 196kcal | Protein: 42g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 323mg | Sodium: 15027mg | Potassium: 511mg | Vitamin A: 10IU | Calcium: 222mg | Iron: 1mg