1 1 ¼ lb. fresh, live lobster

Pinch of Salt

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 knife (sharp point)

1 set of long tongs

1 standard lobster or nutcracker




To Boil the Lobster:

1. Heat at least 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large lobster pot or 8 qt. stock pot.

2. If the lobster is more than a day out of the salt water, add a pinch of salt to the boiling water.

3. Hold lobster firmly by the back of the shell in one hand (with the lobster claws facing away from you) and using a knife, cut the claw bands in the other, removing the bands from the claws, the “crusher claw” (larger claw) first, since it is slower.

4. Place lobster into the boiling pot of water.

6. Allow about 12 minutes of a rolling boil for each 1 lb. to 1 ¼ lb.

7. After the appropriate amount of time, remove lobster from the pot with long handled tongs onto a large plate.

8. Allow lobster to cool enough to the touch of the finger before shelling.



To Shell the Lobster:

Note: The lobster meat can be either eaten while shelling or the meat can be reserved for another lobster dish such as Lobster Pie, Baked Stuffed Lobster or Lobster Salad.

1. After the lobster has cooled enough to allow the fingers to hold it, grab the lobster body with one hand and remove each claw by pulling it downward.

2. Still holding the lobster in one hand, grab the tail section with the other and move it side to side until it becomes loose enough to remove.

3. Stretch out the lobster tail (which will have rolled up into a ball), and tear off the fins at the end of the tail.

4. Using one finger push through the smaller section of the tail so that the meat comes out of the larger side.

5. Taking on of the claws, pull it back in the opposite direction it is bent until the shorter section (the knuckle) separates completely from the claw.

6. Hold the claw up and remove the small gripper pincer by first moving it in its’ normal direction and then slowly from side to side until it releases. (There is meat inside the gripper and you want to try and keep it attached to the larger claw meat section.)

7. Using the cracker, break the lobster claw in two or three places before removing the claw meat. Repeat with other claw.

8. Take the knuckle, which has two pieces, and break away the piece with no meat and discard. Crack the other piece of knuckle until shell can be discarded and meat removed. Repeat with other knuckle.

9. Holding the main part of the body in one hand, lift off the top of the shell in one motion with the other from back to front.

10. Remove the brown, green and/or grey matter, known as the “tamale,” and place aside. (Some people eat it and consider it a delicacy.)

11. Holding the lobster body in both hands, break it apart with both hands, revealing a “honeycomb” area with little pieces of meat inside that should be removed for eating.

12. Lastly, break off each leg from the body, remove the top section, place the open end of the leg between your teeth and slowly pull away until the piece of meat inside has been removed.

13. Remove entrails and veins from all of the meat before consuming.


Recipe Courtesy of The Gloucester House Restaurant, 2009




Boiled lobster is the most common way to prepare this type of traditional seafood. The famous Gloucester House Restaurant has been serving this and other seafood dishes since they opened in 1946. Here proprietor Lenny Linquata demonstrates exactly how a lobster is cooked and the meat is extracted from the shell. Tip #1: A lobster must be alive to be cooked.


The Gloucester House Boiled Lobster
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