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Boiled or Steamed Lobsters

Lobster may be considered a delicacy, but it's a cinch to prepare. When you visit the fish market, don't be surprised at the crustacean's black or bluish-brown color; the familiar bright-red hue comes only with cooking.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2004


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarse or sea salt (for boiling only)
  • 4 lobsters (1 1/2 pounds each)


  1. To boil: Fill a very large (4-gallon) stockpot three-quarters full with cold water. Bring to rolling boil; add salt. Plunge lobsters, one at a time, headfirst into the water. Cook, uncovered, 12 to 14 minutes (from the time lobsters enter pot).

  2. To steam: Fit a very large stockpot with a steaming basket (or use a round wire rack or an inverted metal colander). Fill pot with cold water just to reach bottom of basket. Cover; bring to a boil. Quickly set lobsters in one layer in pot (or cook in batches). Cook, covered, 15 to 17 minutes.

Cook's Notes

If your lobsters are larger than one and a half pounds, add one to two minutes per quarter pound to the cooking time. Let cooked lobsters stand until cool enough to handle, six to eight minutes.

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