How to Cook Lobster: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Lobster is a popular delicacy because of its expensive cost. While it may have a premium price, it’s really easy to prepare. All you need is one pot and no other complicated sauces and techniques. Once you successfully cook lobster, there’s no turning back.

Although the cooking process seems straight forward, many people—even professionals—still run into trouble while preparing lobster. To prepare and enjoy the perfect lobster, here are several common cooking mistakes and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Buying a Large Lobster

One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to preparing lobster happens even before the cooking process. Inexperienced cooks tend to buy the largest, heaviest lobster available in the market, thinking it will have a lot of meat. However, the larger the lobster, the tougher the meat will be. For this reason, it is better to choose a soft-shell lobster weighing about 1.25 pounds. 

Mistake #2: Keeping a Live Lobster for Too Long

Many people feel squeamish about killing lobsters, making them keep the catch alive for too long. In reality, these creatures should be kept for a day at most in the refrigerator and cooked as soon as possible. 

If you are looking for the least stressful way to kill lobsters, try putting them into a freezer for around 30 minutes before boiling. It is considered more humane than other methods because this technique seems to sedate and numb them.

Once cooked, the lobster can be kept cool for a maximum of two days. The cooked flesh, on the other hand, can be kept frozen for up to one month.

Mistake #3: Undercooking or Overcooking Lobster

Undercooking lobster makes it gelatinous, while overcooking it makes it rubbery and dry. To properly cook lobster, use a large pot and fill it with water and coarse salt. Once the water boils, place the lobster into the pot, immersing it headfirst. 

As for the cooking time, the golden rule is to consider the lobster’s weight. If it weighs one pound, it takes 12 minutes to cook. Add three more minutes for every additional pound. Note that the cooking time starts as soon as the water begins to boil.

Add some seaweed to the cooking water if you prefer to give the dish an iodized accent. Once it’s done, place your boiled lobster immediately under cold water to prevent overcooking. 

Mistake #4: Throwing the Shells Away

After cooking, there’s no need to throw the shells away. Soak them in some oil instead to absorb the cooked lobster’s delicious flavor. This oil can be used for sauteing or stir-frying and it lasts for up to one one month when stored in a fridge.

Mistake #5: Adding Too Many Unnecessary Ingredients

Lobster has a very delicate taste, making its deliciousness easy to overpower when you use too many unnecessary ingredients. The key to enjoying this dish is to keep it simple. If you must use many ingredients, you have to make sure it complements the lobster’s taste.


Cooking lobster is relatively easy. Still, there are details you have to remember, and it’s important to get them right. Meanwhile, preparing the dish yourself can be inconvenient for you, even when you avoid all these common mistakes. If you want to delight in this world-famous gourmet delicacy without doing the cooking yourself, consider hiring a private chef.

Enjoy a five-star fine dining experience at the comfort of your home with help from our team of culinary experts. Whether you are throwing a party or celebrating your anniversary, you can have a fun time with your guests without worrying about cooking. You can even learn to cook lobster! If you need a professional private chef in Savannah, GA, contact us to start customizing your menu!

Published By Michael Casciello