Steaming Lobsters to Perfection

Steaming Lobsters to Perfection

This summer harvest of lobsters has been remarkably abundant, making the price per pound the lowest in years. Maine lobsters typically go for around $8/pound in my area, but are not less than $5. But even with this price reduction the cost of serving a group of friends lobsters can still tally up pretty fast- and for the that money you want to insure a perfectly prepared meal.


For each dining guest, choose at least a 1.5 pound lobster. The lobsters that are the fiestiest of the bunch will be the freshest. Get your lobsters back to your kitchen as soon as possible and store in the fridge until ready to cook.  A live lobster can be kept in the coldest part of your refrigerator for a day to two at the most.


They say that lobsters feel no pain and die quickly in the pot- but as I've gotten older I like to minimize the thought of suffering in any way I can. I place my lobsters in the freezer for 30-60 mins before cooking. The cold will lull them to sleep and into the hereafter. This method also eliminates the dramatic flapping of tails headed into the pot as well.


In a large pot add a good 1.5" of water and a slug of salt. Bring to the boil and them place your lobsters in. No need for a steaming basket of rack on the bottom. Cover the pot and steam for 9-10 mins. Then remove from the heat and allow to rest with the lid on for another 2-3 minutes. The steam gently cooks the meat leaving moist and tender. Overcooking is hard to do with steaming- but you can get a rubbery texture if you go too far.


Remove carefully from the pot with tongs and allow to cool for 5 minutes before trying to handle. The lobsters will release some water, so please take care not to scorch yourself.


Lobster is traditionall served with drawn butter. For a more dynamic but easy recipe, try my Saffron Aioli recipe, which you can find here.


Lobsters are available all year round, but nothing beats a summer meal of lobster with friends.

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