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.
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).
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.
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.