How to Prepare Steamed Lobster Like You’re Really from Boston

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Whenever you’re in New England, make it a point to have some Steamed Lobster in Boston. There are many ways to prepare lobster and nearly as many ways to feast on them. While boiling is the most familiar way to cook a lobster, you can just as easily steam one, too.

How to Steam a Lobster

Steamed lobster in Boston is a tradition, and true lobster aficionados have long preferred their lobsters steamed. Let’s find out how to steam your lobsters perfectly at home.

Preparing the Pot

First, pour 1-2 inches of water into a very large pot with a tight-fitting lid, and salt it. Next, place a steaming rack in the pot. Make sure that the water is below the level of the steaming rack; otherwise, you’ll just boil the lobsters. Bring the water to a boil. Then, add the live lobsters to the pot one at a time. Make sure the lobsters are spaced far enough apart so that the steam moves freely between them.


Steam one-pound lobsters for 10 minutes. Increase that time by 2 minutes for every additional one-fourth pound. For example, a 1- and one-fourth-pound lobster steams for 12 minutes, a 1- and one-half-pound lobster for 14 minutes, and so on.

When cooked, the lobsters should be a bright red. Remove the lobsters from the pot and let them sit for 5 minutes. Then, check the tail meat to see if it is done. It should be white and firm, with no gray or translucency. If the tail meat is not done, put it back in the steamer pot for another minute or two. Be careful not to overcook the lobsters. That’s it.

The next time you’re in Boston, stop by the Boston & Maine Fish Company at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It specializes in the best-ever steamed lobster in Boston.