Steamed Lobster Recipe

Classic steamed lobster is a lot easier to make at home than you may think.

Steamed Lobster Recipe

A lot of people are intimidated when it comes to cooking seafood. I’ll be honest with you, I think it’s easier than most cuisines, and steamed lobster is no exception. Yes, steamed lobster may be the easiest of them all. I can explain it in 10 seconds. Fill a large lidded pot with with 1-2 inches of water. Squeeze in juice of one lemon, add salt, bring to boil, throw in lobster, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes until bright red. That’s it, you did it.

If you’re from New England, lobster in the summer is a tradition and a staple. Or maybe even year round if you’re my family. For years, we ate lobster every Christmas Eve until the party/mess got so big my dad would literally have to clean lobster off the walls. That’s what happens when you have 20 crazy people eating lobster in your dining room.

I married into a lobster family (they’re literally lobsters). My father-in-law has lobster traps and pulls them every weekend in the summer months. It’s hard work and really makes you appreciate your dinner. In fact, I asked for his blessing to marry Patty while pulling traps on that boat (thinking back…incredibly dangerous move as he could have thrown me overboard if that convo went south). I think you get the point. We eat lobster a lot.

This is my dad’s recipe. The secret is the fresh lemon juice. It gives the lobster that subtle fresh flavor that goes so well with melted butter. You don’t need a steamer rack, only a pot large enough to comfortably fit all the lobsters you are steaming. If the lid fits, you’re in business. Chowhound has some good tips with pictures on how to eat lobster.

Steamed Lobster Recipe

Steamed Lobster Recipe


Steamed Lobster Recipe

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins



  • 1.52.5 pound lobsters
  • 1 lemon, halved and squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon salt (per quart of water)
  • 12 inches of water (13 quarts)
  • Melted butter, for dipping


  1. Fill a large lidded pot with with 1-2 inches of water. Squeeze in juice of one lemon and add lemon halves.
  2. Add salt, bring to a simmering boil, and add lobster (be sure to remove rubber bands around claws with scissors before steaming). You can add as many lobsters as you can comfortably fit in the pot with the lid secured.
  3. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes until bright red. Lobsters will be very hot when done, do not touch with bare hands. Serve with a side of melted butter.


1 1/2 lb lobsters usually take 15 minutes, 2 1/2 lb lobsters take 20 minutes. Lobsters are done if you can easily pull off antennas with no resistance.