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Jul 27, 2006 11:29 PM

Cooking lobster

What is the rule of thumb for boiling time? ie, how many minutes per pound? I don't cook lobster that often and usually just guess on the time, and sometimes guess wrong.

Also, I usually eat lobster straight from the pot, without any adornment, I really like it as is. But might want to try something different this time, was thinking about par boiling it, then slicing in half and adding something and then under the broiler. But add what?

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  1. I usually buy 1.5 lb. lobsters and never boil them. I steam them about 15-20 minutes total with the boiling water for the steam on high. Lobsters are so full of water anyway I learned a long time ago that the best method was to steam on a rack in a tightly covered pot.

    1. From my lobster bible (Lobster at Home by Jasper White), this is how we do it - bring salted water (about 1/2 cup of salt for each gallon) to a rolling boil before adding the lobsters and cook uncovered:

      1 pound - 8 minutes
      1.5 pounds - 11-12 minutes
      2 pounds - 15 minutes

      And some simple ideas for parboiling and then broiling - brushing with flavored butters. Some we've used are melted butter with garlic and a little ancho chile powder, butter with a little sake, ginger, and scallions, and melted butter with sauteed shallots and cognac or brandy.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        Does the book mention timing for steaming lobster?

        1. re: ChowFun_derek

          1 pound -- 10 minutes
          1-1/4 pounds -- 12 minutes
          1-1/2 pounds -- 14 minutes
          1-3/4 pounds -- 16 minutes
          2 pounds -- 18 minutes
          2-1/2 pounds -- 22 minutes
          3 pounds -- 25-30 minutes
          5 pounds -- 40-45 minutes

          It looks like the info in Dommy's link below is from the book, although Jasper White is more specific about types of pots, not overcrowding, why to heavily salt the water or use seawater, etc. - there's even a microwave steaming chart.

          1. re: ChowFun_derek

            It does, but I don't have the book with me now to give you weight to time info. for steaming. This book has many awesome recipes for lobster. I recently made a lobster hash recipe from the book that was amazing.

            1. re: Infomaniac

              I LOVE this book. I'll have to try the lobster hash! Everything I've made from it has been great - lobster stew, his recipe for lobster stock, salads like the avocado, lobster, and toasted almond salad, and the Vietnamese cabbage and lobster salad, lobster risotto, lobster broiled with whiskey butter, Newburg, Thermidor, and the lobster and papaya quesadillas. I have to say our top three favorites are probably the baked stuffed, the pan-roasted with cognac, and Rick Bayless' grilled lobster with toasted garlic, avocado and red chile.

              1. re: Rubee

                What is the recipe or general recipe for the baked stuffed lobster?

                1. re: Rubee

                  Oh, have you started a craving!

                  Here is the basic recipe at this link:

                  But with these variations and tips:
                  He says Ritz crackers are the best (and that's what I use) - or oyster crackers or New England common crackers, 3 ounces crumbled, instead of the cornbread. Always mix the stuffing at the last minute so it doesn't get soggy, do it gently, and don't pack the stuffing tightly. If using cooked lobster and/or crabmeat instead of raw scallops or shrimp, let onions and herbs cool before adding (I like to use the Phillips crabmeat from Costco). And 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 lobsters are ideal (smaller overcook and larger cook unevenly). 425 degrees -

                  1-1/2 17 minutes
                  1-3/4 20 minutes
                  2 lbs 24 minutes
                  2-1/2 30 minutes

          2. We did two huge monster lobsters this week (Post coming soon!) and we used this as our guide:



            1. I throw 1 and a half cans/bottles of beer, corona, bud or any kind of pilsner type beer in a pot with some onion, bring to a boil and then through the lobsters head first in so that the tails and claws basically steam. 1.5 lb lobster, 11 minutes.

              1. split the lobster in half lengthwise while still raw, and toss it over indrect heat on a grill (shell side down), with little dots of compound butter all over the meat. Let them grill for about 15 minutes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Biggie

                  I find this done BEST with California and Florida Lobsters (Where all the tail in the meat and the meat is more hardy to REALLY take to the grill and smokey flavors)

                  But you are right... this is EXCELLENT... Hmmm... Can't wait for our lobster season to start! :)