When your lobster arrive

  • We recommend that you cook live lobster the same day they arrive, and preserve them in the shipping container until you do.
  • If you can't prepare them the same day, they will usually do fine in the refrigerator for another 24 hours if you put them in a pan surrounded by moist newspaper. If you need to freeze your lobster for another time, see the instructions below.

Taking your lobster from the box

  • Lobster should be picked up by the body, never by the claws or tail. Hold them tightly as they may wiggle.

  • When removed from the box, your lobster should be cool and damp and show some reaction when handled. If they are sluggish and show little movement, they had a tiring trip and should be cooked that day. (It is normal for lobster to reduce their activity when shipped in the box-cooler.) If they don't appear to move at all, chances are they will recover if given a little time. Try putting them in the sink and gently rinsing them with room temperature water. If lobster are warm to the touch, they should not be eaten. But if they are ice cold to cool, a lobster, typically, is fine to cook, even if you can detect no movement. If you have a question about the lobster, cook it. If the tail curls, it is alive.

  • Be aware that live hard-shell North Atlantic lobster are naturally greenish-black or brown. They turn red only after they are cooked.

  • Do not remove rubber bands from both claws until after lobster are cooked.

  • While tempting, it's best not to let kids (or curious adults) handle the lobster excessively.

Freezing and blanching lobster

Sometimes, even the best-made plans for your lobster need to be postponed. One option is to blanch your lobster. Blanching lobster is a process of cooking for one or two minute and then chilling rapidly to stop cooking, resulting in a partially cooked lobster. Here's how to do it:

  • Add tablespoon of sea salt for every two quarts of boiling water in a large pot. Place live, chilled lobsters into the pot. Boil for two minutes.

  • Remove from pot with tongs and place in a bowl, or kitchen sink, full of ice cubes and/or icy cold water for 20 minutes. Gently shake excess moisture from lobsters as you remove them from the ice water.

  • To serve three days to three weeks in the future, wrap lobsters in freezer bags and store in freezer. Slow-thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before you complete the cooking by boiling, steaming, or grilling.
    To serve within 48 hours, simply store in refrigerator in a freezer bag.

  • When you are ready to serve your blanched lobsters, simply complete the cooking time. If recommended cooking time for your lobster is eight minutes, and you've blanched it already for two minutes, return it to the cooking process the second time for six additional minutes.

For general information on cooking your lobster, click here