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How to Boil a Lobster

Boiling a lobster is practically as easy as it sounds. Here’s how to do it perfectly every time.


  • Step 1: Fill the pot with water, cover it, and bring it to a boil.
  • Step 2: Remove the claws and tail. Twist them off while the lobster is still alive—you want to boil them separately, as the tails will take longer to cook.
  • Step 3: Season the water. Throw a couple of bay leaves into the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 4: Add the lobster to the pot. Tails take about seven minutes to cook, and claws take about five minutes, so put the tail in two minutes before you add the claws.
  • TIP: You don’t need to remove the thick rubber bands around the claws before boiling—they won’t melt.
  • Step 5: Strain the lobster. Turn off the heat, remove the pot, and pour the lobster into a colander in the sink.
  • Step 6: Let the lobster cool. Put it on a sheet pan for a few minutes.
  • FACT: The biggest lobster on record was caught off Nova Scotia in 1977; it weighed 44 pounds and measured 41 inches.

You Will Need

  • A large pot
  • A lobster
  • A few bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • A colander
  • A sheet pan
  • A stove top

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