A lot of people are intimidated when it comes to cooking seafood. I’ll be honest with you, I think it’s easier than a lot of cuisines, and steamed lobster is no exception. Yes, steamed lobsters may be the easiest of them all.
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.
Prepping Live Lobster
Be sure to carefully remove the rubber bands from the lobster claws before steaming. There is no need to keep them on. Scissors work best for this so you don’t run the risk of getting a love bite.
How to Steam Lobster
I can explain it in 10 seconds. Fill a large lidded pot with 1-2 inches of water. Squeeze in juice of one lemon (for freshness), add salt, bring to boil, throw in lobster, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes until lobsters are bright red. This recipe is ideal for 1.5-2 pound lobsters, which is the ideal size for the best tasting lobster.
Steamed lobster tails can be done following the same process. Lobster tails may steam closer to 15 minutes since the overall volume in the pot will be a lot less than full-sized lobsters. You can also bake lobster tails. If steaming lobster tails only, you can probably get away with 1 inch of water in the pan. You don’t want to boil the lobster.
Can I Steam Frozen Lobster Tails?
Yes, in fact, this is most likely how all lobster tails will start out if you buy in the grocery store. Just be sure to let lobster tails thaw fully before steaming. This will ensure proper cook times etc.
The secret element of this recipe is 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.Print
Classic steamed lobster or lobster tails is a lot easier to make at home than you may think. Salt, water, and fresh lemon juice create the perfect freshly steamed lobster.
- 1.5–2.5 pound lobsters or lobster tails (thawd if frozen)
- 1 lemon, halved and squeezed
- 1 tablespoon salt (per quart of water)
- 1–2 inches of water (1–3 quarts)
- Melted butter, for dipping
- Fill a large lidded pot with with 1-2 inches of water. Squeeze in juice of one lemon and add lemon halves.
- Add salt, bring to a simmering boil, and add lobster or lobster tails (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.
- 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.
Steamed lobster tails can be done following the same process. Lobster tails may steam closer to 15 minutes since the overall volume in the pan will be a lot less than full-sized lobsters. Reduce water to 1 inch of water if only steaming a few tails.
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