Boiled and Sauteed Fresh Lobster

One seriously gorgeous cooked lobster.

As you all know, I recently made the leap into true carnivore-dom (yep, I’m totally calling that a word) by killing, cooking and eating my dinner for the first time: lobster! As it turns out, the cooking part of the meal was quite straightforward (aside from placing the live, moving lobster in the water – that one got my heart pounding a little)… if you can boil water, you can cook a lobster.   The bigger challenge is getting all that delicious meat OUT of the lobster’s shell so you can actually enjoy it.  Luckily, my brother Andy was on hand to do the dirty work of cracking shells and harvesting the meat.  Poor guy had no idea how much work he was getting into!

Boiled and Sauteed Fresh Lobster

Quantity: about 3 generous portions of lobster meat
Time: Prep/cooking: 25 minutes per lobster, shelling: 15-20 minutes
Paleo Grade: A+ if you saute in coconut oil; C if you go with grass-fed butter (we did!)
Vegetarian Adaptation: Sorry, guys, this one’s all about the meat.

  • About 1-1.5 lb. of live lobster per person (we used two 2.5 lb. lobsters to serve three people). It worked out well since we had to only shell two lobsters rather than three, but just make sure you’ve got a pot big enough to accommodate a monster lobster. Mine was borderline. It’s important that the lobster is live when you cook it… you’ll have to man up a bit to cook these guys at home!
  • 2-4 Tbs. sea salt
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 3-4 Tbs. grass-fed butter OR 2-3 Tbs. of coconut oil

One of our gorgeous 2.5 lb. live lobsters.

Boiling the Lobster

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a high boil on your range.  Squeeze the juice of 2-3 lemons directly into the water and add sea salt.
  2. Carefully snip the rubber bands from your lobster’s claws and place it in the pot head/claws down, submerging it fully. I used a silicone oven mitt to grab the lobster… a clean gardening glove would work well, too.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid and return to a boil. As soon as it’s boiling again, set your timer and let the lobster cook for the appropriate time (see below).  During the cooking process, the lobster will turn that gorgeous, characteristic bright red and its tail will turn under… this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s done – make sure to use the cooking time chart to ensure your lobster is fully cooked. Don’t overcook, though… your meat will end up tough – no good after all the work you’ll do to get to it! 😉
  4. Once the lobster is done, carefully remove it from the water with tongs and set aside until it’s cool enough to handle.
  5. Unless you’ve got a seriously monster-sized pot, you may need to cook the lobsters one at a time. Just be sure to bring your water back up to a boil before adding the next lobster to the pot.

Recommended Lobster Cooking Times

Lobster Weight Boiling Time
1-1.25 lb. 12-15 minutes
1.25-2 lb. 15-20 minutes
2-3 lb. 20-25 minutes

Still wondering if your lobster is cooked? Pull off an antennae – it should come off easily when the lobster is fully cooked. The meat inside the lobster should be white, firm, and opaque.  The tomalley (in the body cavity) should be greenish-yellow.  Finally, the roe inside female lobsters should be bright orange/red.  If it’s a greenish black, your lobster is undercooked.

How to Remove the Lobster Meat

Here is a great tutorial on getting all that yummy meat out of the lobster shell…How to Remove Meat from Lobster from  They do a great job of explaining and demonstrating the process, so I won’t repeat it here.

One thing they don’t cover is how to get the meat from those skinny little legs.  Especially with a larger lobster, you can get a fair amount of lobster goodness from those legs if you know the trick.  Use a rolling pin to extrude the meat from the legs:

Extruding the Meat from the Skinny Legs

Extruding the Meat from the Skinny Legs

Once you get all that gorgeous meat out of the lobsters, it’s time to finish them off for serving.

Sauteing Lobster Meat

My dear friend Jenna was joining us for this lobster-fest, and she has a dairy allergy, so we opted against the typical preparation of serving boiled lobster with clarified butter.  Instead, we made two saute preparations… one with coconut oil for Jenna, and one with the traditional grass-fed butter for Andy and me. To finish off the lobster, simply:

  1. Add butter OR coconut oil to a medium pan and heat to med/med-high.  (be sure not to scorch your butter!)
  2. Add lobster meat and saute for several minutes (~4-6), allowing the meat to soak up the gorgeous fats.
  3. When done, transfer to a serving plate and dig in, likely with many mmms! and sighs of utter satisfaction.

Preparation A: Lobster Sauteed in Grass-Fed Butter

Preparation B: Lobster Sauteed in Coconut Oil

Jenna, a long-time lobster lover who’d only recently stopped eating butter, loved the coconut oil preparation… she said she wasn’t missing anything without the butter!

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Categories: Mains

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2 Comments on “Boiled and Sauteed Fresh Lobster”

  1. January 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe! Going to try this tomorrow night.

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