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Cooking Lobster: Steamed Lobster

Steaming is a great way to cook but not overcook a lobster's delicate meat. In order to properly steam a lobster, you need a sturdy and close to airtight steamer. The best steamer setup is a steamer insert inside a lobster pot with a fitted, heavy lid. This setup will work well on a stove top, but if you're feeding more than eight people, it would be a good idea to cook the lobsters in a large stockpot on a propane "crab boil" burner outside. If that's not possible, just be sure not to crowd your pan too much and to keep the water in the bottom of the pan at a serious rolling boil. It's better to cook the lobsters in several small batches and cook them correctly.

This ingredient list is a basic suggestion for what will only lightly flavor the lobster meat. If I chose the ingredients in order if importance, it would be: salt, herbs, onion, peppercorn, garlic, bay leaf, lemon, celery. One real necessity, however is salt. Some hard core lobster boiler and steamers only cook them using seawater. Another tactic is to use fresh seaweed mixed in with the seawater to add even more flavor. The premise of this is that boiling or steaming a lobster in water with a lower salinity than the lobster will leach tasty salt from the lobster through osmosis, thus the need for highly salted drawn butter. I think a good amount of salt is 1 tablespoon salt per 1 quart of water. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that much salt will significantly lower the boiling point of the water, because it takes a whole ounce of salt per quart of water to raise the boiling point just one degree.

Steamed Lobster Recipe

Preparation Time: 20 minsServings: 4


1 tablespoon salt per 1 quart water added
2-2 pound Maine lobsters
1 medium onion, rough chopped (approximately 3/4 inch square )
2 stalks celery, rough chopped
1 tsp cracked peppercorns
2 bay leaves
whole branches of fresh dill (if no dill, substitute tarragon or parsley)


  • Cover vegetables and seasonings with 1 1/2 inches of water.

  • If you want to kill the lobsters first, click here to learn how to kill a lobster.

  • Bring to a boil and add the steamer basket with the lobsters in it and cover tightly.

  • Cook for 15 minutes, making sure there's still enough water in the bottom of the pot. If you do add more water, it is not necessary to add more salt, because only the water evaporates.

  • Check for doneness with one of the small legs. Then, remove from the pot and crack the lobster and enjoy!.


  • Click here to learn how to keep the lobster tail straight


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