Steamed Lobster


Put a 3-pound lobster—in front of someone, and you’ll be amazed at how much one person can eat. The water should be salted, which can be done in three ways: You can cook in seawater, which is nice; you can add seaweed, which is charming (and works); or you can use salt, as most of us do. Other than that, lobsters don’t need much; I used to do melted butter, now just eat them with a tony squeeze of lemon so I can really taste the meat. To serve any number of people, multiply this recipe accordingly.

Makes: 1 or 2 servings
Time: 20 minutes


  • Handful salt

  • 1 or 2 lobsters, about 3 pounds total


1. Put an inch or so of water in a large pot, bring it to a boil and salt it. Put lobster in the pot one by one (use tongs— when they don’t try to pinch you, they’re probably dead).

2. Count cooking time from when the water returns to a boil: Cook lobster for about 8 minutes for its first pound and then an additional 3 or 4 minutes per pound thereafter. (Thus a 3-pounder should boil for 15 to 20 minutes.) The foolproof way to check doneness (essential with larger lobsters) is to insert an instant-read thermometer into the tail meat by sliding it in between the underside of the body and the tail joint; lobster is done at 140°F. Drain in a colander for a few minutes and eat, cool and eat later, or remove the meat from the shells to use for something else. (If you’d like to drain the water accumulated in the lobster shell, poke a hole in the crosshairs right behind the eyes, drain out the water and (if you feel like making stock with the leftover shells), save it.

Recipe from How to Cook Everything