About Cooking Lobster

Say hello to the sea rat:

Going for a swim:

and… After:

Goes nicely with a chilled white wine from Rueda (just a few kilometers north of here):

So I faced the moral-ethical dilemma about cooking lobster, live lobster, until it's dead. Since buying lobster already prepared or in a can poses no such problem I figure I ought to face the food I eat, buck up, and kill it myself. As for whether the lobster feels pain or not… I don't know. There are opinions on both sides of the issue but given that a lobster has very few neurons (100 thousand versus 100 billion in human types [that's 1 million times fewer]) there's reasonable weight on the side that says lobsters are neurologically challenged creatures. Related to the land-based scorpion.

The classical technique is to dump them into a pot of boiling water. I opt for the warming cold water up to a boil variant.

Boiled Lobster

  • 1 lobster (1 kilo [½#])
  • 1 large pot of water
  • 1 handful of coarse salt
  • a lid for the pot
  • heat
  1. Fill pot with cold water (enough to generously cover the lobster)
  2. Add a handful of salt
  3. Place lobster in pot
  4. Place lid on pot
  5. Place pot on heat
  6. Max heat until water is bubbling (actual bubbles rising, not just sticking to the sides of the pot)
  7. Simmer vigorously for 11 minutes
  8. Dump water out
  9. Fill again with cold water (to stop the cooking process)
    • Or dump lobster into ice water or another pot with cold cold water
  1. 13 minutes for a large lobster
  2. It will turn a real red color well before it's completely cooked
  3. Lobster's "done" when you can pull out/off one of the whiskers/feelers/antennae or one of the tiny legs
  4. If you see the meat separating from the shell that's also a sign it's done (or practically over-done)
  5. Avoid overcooking the lobster because the meat toughens up.
  6. Timings are for European style lobster which will be, by (north) american standards less well done that you might be used to
  7. Everything inside is edible except the head and the gills. The green and the red stuff you encounter in the lobster is tasty too (it's liver and lobster-caviar respectively)

Fresh lobster is delicious and well worth doing, yourself, at least once.

Other info snagged from the net (American Timings)





1 lb.

12 - 15 minutes

1-1/2 lbs.

15 - 20

2-3 lbs.

20 - 25

3-1/2 - 5 lbs.

25 - 30

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