What Are the Best Tips for Steaming Lobster?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2019
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One of the most popular methods of preparing lobster is by steaming it. When steaming lobster, the correct sized lobster pot with a few inches of salty water on the bottom is usually recommended. The lobster should be rinsed prior to steaming, and the rubber bands that hold the claws shut can be removed. It is also important to steam a lobster until it is thoroughly cooked, otherwise diners could suffer seafood poisoning.

A lobster pot is usually recommended for steaming lobster. These types of cooking pots have a rack in the bottom to keep the lobster from touching the bottom of the pot. They also have lids that fit snugly. As a rule of thumb, a 5 gallon (19 liter) pot can be used to steam 8 pounds (3.6 kg) of lobster.

A few inches (7.6 centimeters) of water should be added to the bottom of the pot. When steaming lobster, most culinary experts recommend adding salt to the water. Sea salt is an excellent option rather than table salt. On the other hand, some chefs use real sea water when steaming lobster.

Before steaming lobster, the shellfish should be rinsed in cold water. Also, live lobsters often come with rubber bands around the claws. These are there to prevent the animal from pinching, but they can cause a slight rubbery taste in the cooked seafood. to prevent this, they can be carefully removed before steaming.


Each lobster should be plunged into the lobster pot headfirst. For even cooking, they should not be crowded. If the bottom of the pot can not be seen, there are too many lobsters in it. One or two may need to be removed and steamed separately.

Cooking lobster completely is important, but it should not be overcooked either, since this can cause the meat to become rubbery. Lobster should be steamed for about ten minutes for the first pound (0.5 kg), and two minutes for each additional quarter pound. Halfway through this time, most chefs advise carefully checking the lobsters. They may need to be rearranged to ensure even cooking.

When a lobster is cooked thoroughly, the shell will turn bright red and the meat inside will be white. Also, the legs should easily separate from the body. Lobsters will continue to cook slightly after they are removed from the pot. To prevent this, they can be dunked into cold water for a few seconds.

Some individuals believe that steaming lobster is painful to the animal and causes it to squeal, or scream. In truth, a lobster is usually dead within seconds of entering the pot, therefore it hardly has time to feel pain at all. While there may be a faint whistling or squealing sound, this does not actually come from the lobster screaming. This sound occurs when air escapes from the lobsters shell.


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