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Boiled Lobster

Marla Hingley
If you put a live lobster into a pot of boiling water, it can thrash and twitch for up to 2 minutes before it is rendered motionless. The best and most humane way we've found is to first freeze the lobster for 30 minutes, inducing a coma-like state.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 22 mins


  • 8 cups of water for each 1lb of lobster
  • Sea salt 4 Tbsp/8 cups


  • Place lobsters in a large bowl and freeze for 30 minutes.
  • In a large stock pot, add 8 cups of water per pound of lobster, and mix in 4 Tbsp of sea salt for every 8 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Place the chilled lobsters headfirst into the rapidly boiling water, one at a time. Cover and return the water to a boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil again, start timing (see cooking times).
  • Cook until the thickest part of their tail reaches 175°F using an instant thermometer
  • Place lobsters on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside until cool enough to handle.


Cooking times based on size of lobster:
1lb - 12-15min, 1.5lb - 15-20min, 2-3lb - 20-25 min, 3.5-5lb - 25-30min

To avoid overcooking, only similarly-sized lobsters should be cooked together. If there are various sizes in the pot, base the cooking time on the largest lobster to ensure that it is cooked.
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