DIY Perfectly Steamed Lobsters
Yes And As Good As In The Restaurants

Why DIY perfectly steamed lobsters?  That must be the first question you will ask because most places offer to steam this seafood for free.

DIY Perfectly Steamed Lobsters

Prep Time: 20 Minutes  Cook Time: 20 Minutes  Serving: 2-4

Why Do You Need To DIY?

There are at least 2 reasons why you need this seafood recipe:

1) You want to have the ultimate control when you serve it.  Once you ask the seafood department to steam it for you, you want to head straight back home to enjoy the lobsters while they are still warm.  But if you have some special plans for the dinner, steaming for free is not the best option for you.

2) If you need your seafood super clean like my hubby and his family want, do it yourself is the only and best option.

How To Pick A Lobster?

Normally, things in better quality or bigger in size cost more, right?  But when it comes to lobsters, it is very different.

The bigger the lobster, the more they charge per pound.  You may think that getting a 7-to-9-pound lobster to wow your guests.  No, don't fall into that trap.  Did I say "No"?  Yes, I did.  And I need to say it again.  NO and don't do what they try to project it into your mind.

Cold water lobsters are definitely better than warm water lobsters taste wise.  A perfect lobster size should be between a pound to 1-1/4 pounds.  Because...the bigger it gets, the tougher the meat is.  Believe me, it gets chewy.

How To Store A Fresh Lobster?

Assume that you cook your lobsters on the same day of purchase.  You still store them in the fridge until the time you are ready to cook them. 

But sometimes, things happen.  You may need to wait.  Don't worry.  Here is the trick I learn from the seafood department professional.

The lobsters must be in a breathable bag.  If they are in a plastic bag, poke several big holes on the bag.  One of my grocery stores gives out leak-proof paper bag which is the best.

Before transferring the seafood into the fridge, put a piece of wet paper towel on top of the lobster(s).  Then, put the bag of lobsters at the back of the fridge.  They will stay alive for up to 2 days.

What Do You Need To Cook Perfectly Steamed Lobsters?

In this seafood recipe, you need the following:

1) A big soup pot, at least 6-quart

2) A pair of kitchen scissors which is strong enough to cut through bones or hard shell

3) A steamer

4) A lobster cracker to break the hard shell

How Do You Know The Lobsters Are Cooked?

There are 3 things you can tell if the lobsters are perfectly cooked:

1) The lobster tail has the thickest piece of meat.  It should turn from semi-translucent to white when it is cooked.

2) The meat will pull away from the shell.  (just a side note, you can only separate the cooked lobster meat from the shell if you want to make lobster rolls or other dishes) 

3) The lobster tail will curl up like a ball.

4) Your experience.  Practice makes perfect.  Once you make these perfectly steamed lobsters 2-3 times, you just know it.

More Tips

To just serve lobsters for a dinner, it won't be enough to fill you or your guests up.  You need more than that.  But cooking steamed lobsters require all your attention.  I
highly recommend that you will have somebody to help you to man the grill or stove.

Try get everything ready to rock and roll first before starting to cook lobsters.  Because once it starts, you must keep moving.

You may cook the lobsters 2 at a time.  Of course, if you can cook all of them in one pot, that would be the most ideal thing to do.  But most families do not have a big soup pot like in a restaurant.

Just be careful if you cook 2 lobsters at a time, you may want to multi task in order to get the seafood on the table ASAP.  Just pay attention not to over cook the last 2.

The rule of thumb of the prep time and cook time is 10 minutes to prep 2 lobsters.  The cook time is pretty much about the same for 2 or 4 lobsters.

Prevent From Too Messy

You and I know that when it comes to eating seafood like lobsters and crabs, you use hands.  And it can get pretty messy.  Of course, you will need a lot of napkins.  Will that be enough?  It depends.

So, here is the Chinese trick.  We have been doing this for years at home and in restaurants.  If it works out for you, please feel free to adopt it in your lobster dinner.

What Do You Need?

A bowl, a size like eating cereal would be fine
1 teabag
1-2 slices of lemon

Brew the tea in the bowl with the lemon in it
Discard teabag and put it or maybe a few bowls on the table (if room is available) for people to rinse off their hands

Perfectly Steamed Lobsters Recipe and Instructions


4 live lobsters (1-1.25 pound each)
1 stick Butter (1/2 cup; melted)
Lemon (optional; sliced)
1 pot of water
1 tsp salt
1 big bowl of ice water


  1. Add salt into the water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add 2 lobsters in first.
  3. Once the water boils again, transfer lobsters to ice water.
  4. Add another 2 lobsters into the boiling water while you work with the other 2 in the ice water.
  5. Once it is cool enough to handle, one hand holds the head and the other holds the tail.  A slight pull will separate the heads and the tails.  Apply the same method to separate the claws from the body and discard the heads.
  6. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the shell of the lobster tails in the middle.
  7. Run the cold tap water through the opening of the lobster tail to clean it thoroughly.
  8. Repeat the last 3 steps to get all the lobsters clean and ready.
  9. Fill the same pot with 1-inch deep of water and put in the steamer.
  10. Lay all the claws at the bottom and the tails on top.
  11. Cover with lid and bring the water to a boil and turn down to medium low to low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the meat is cooked through.  In the last 5 minutes of the lobster cook time, melt the butter in a small sauce pan at low heat.
  12. Once it is melted, divide it into 2-4 saucers and serve along the steamed lobsters.

Perfectly Steamed Lobsters  Steps with Photos

Add the lobster in the boiling waterAdd the lobster in the boiling water
When water boils again, transfer the lobster into a bowl of ice waterWhen water boils again, transfer the lobster into a bowl of ice water
After separating the heads, tails and claws, line up the lobsters on the steamerAfter separating the heads, tails and claws, line up the lobsters on the steamer

Serve This With: 

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