How Long Does It Take to Cook Lobster? [5 Cooking Methods]

How long to cook lobster depends on its weight and how you cook it. You can cook lobster by boiling, grilling, and steaming, among others. But whichever way you cook it, the important thing is not to overdo or underdo it. In this article, I’ll describe how long to cook lobster with different cooking methods.

How long does it take to cook lobster? The time it takes to cook a one-pound lobster is as follows:

Cooking Method:How Long a 1 lb Lobster Takes to Cook:
Boil10 minutes
Steam14 minutes
Grill10 minutes
Bake12 minutes
Fry10 minutes

So cooking a whole lobster depends on its weight and how you want it cooked. Boiling a one-pound lobster takes about 10 minutes to cook, but a heavier one takes a little longer. Similarly, it also takes roughly 10 minutes when you grill it. But steaming it will take at least 14 minutes. A baked lobster takes at least 12 minutes to cook, while a fried one takes about 10 minutes.

Add about 3 extra minutes of cooking time for each additional pound of lobster.

Read on to learn more about how long it takes to cook lobster when boiling, steaming, grilling, baking, and frying it.

How Long to Cook Lobster?

The minutes or hours you spend in cooking lobster highly depends on two main factors:

  1. The cooking method you use to cook the lobster
  2. The weight of the lobster

You can cook lobsters in several ways. Lobsters can be boiled, grilled, steamed, baked, or fried. 

Since there are different cooking methods available, this means that cooking time varies as well. Let’s discuss all these methods and find out each of their cooking time.

1. Boiling a Lobster

How long does it take to boil a one-pound lobster: 10 minutes

Boiling a lobster is not only the most common cooking method for lobsters. It is also the easiest one. To start the boiling process, you first need to prepare a large pot with a lid. Then, fill the pot with water. Make sure that when you place the lobster in it, it will be covered in its entirety.

I suggest that you measure the water you’ll use to determine the amount of sea salt to add. For instance, you have to add at least two tablespoons of sea salt for every four pints of water. Four pints more or less translate to two liters of water. We can then translate this to a 1:1 ratio, in which one liter of water needs one tablespoon of sea salt.

Once done, turn on the stove and bring the water to a boil. As soon as you see it boiling, place the live lobster in the pot carefully. Remember to immerse it headfirst. Then, start your timer to make sure that you won’t overdo or underdo it.

By this time, I assume that you have already weighed each lobster because their weight is significant when it comes to their cooking time. As earlier mentioned, allot at least 10 minutes for a one-pound lobster. And then add at least three more minutes of cooking time for every additional pound.

Suffice it to say that a two-pound lobster takes 13 minutes to boil. Whereas, a three-pound lobster takes roughly 16 minutes to boil, and so on.

Once cooked, remove the lobster from the pot, drain it, and immediately serve hot. Prepare some melted butter, which will serve as its dip.

2. Grilling a Lobster

How long does it take to grill a one-pound lobster: 10 minutes

Boiling may be the most common way of cooking lobster, but grilling is one of the best ways of cooking it. This cooking method is normally done during family bondings in the backyard or when hanging out with friends by the pool or at the beach.

A grilled lobster tastes really good. However, it is somewhat tedious to prepare. Before you start grilling, you first have to par-boil or partially boil the lobster for approximately five minutes. While doing so, you may also start heating the grill to achieve the desired heat, which is normally medium to hot.

how long does it take to cook lobster

Using a knife, cut open the lobster to remove its sand sac, tomalley, veins, and guts from the head down to its tail. Basically, you have to clean the inside of the lobster.

Once done, you have the option to marinate the lobster with the seasoning of your choice or cover it with melted butter before putting it on the grill. Some people like it plain, so they simply sprinkle some salt and pepper all over it.

How long to cook lobster on the grill? Grill the lobster for about 8 to 10 minutes (or until the meat turns firmer). Once done, serve it hot with melted butter as a dip.

3. Steaming a Lobster

How long does it take to steam a one-pound lobster: 14 minutes

Some people prefer their lobster steamed. They say the meat becomes more flavorful than when you merely boil it. However, steaming requires more cooking time and might not be ideal for busy people.

To steam a lobster:

  1. Prepare a large pot and place a steaming rack in it.
  2. Pour at least two inches of water inside the pot and sprinkle one tablespoon of sea salt in it.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid.
  4. Turn on the stove and then wait until the water boils.
  5. Once the water starts boiling, place the lobster inside the pot, just right on top of the rack. 
  6. Again, cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. 
  7. Then, start your timer.

How long does lobster take to cook through steaming? A lobster that weighs one pound must be steamed for approximately 14 minutes. For a lobster that weighs two pounds, steam it for an additional three minutes. And for every pound added, add another three minutes to your cooking time.

A lobster weighing three pounds should be steamed for 20 minutes, while a 4-pound lobster should be steamed for 23 minutes.

Once done, drain the lobster immediately and serve while hot. Again, make sure to prepare melted butter as a dip.

4. Baking a Lobster

How long does it take to bake a one-pound lobster: 15 minutes

A baked stuffed lobster is usually served in restaurants. If you can boil, grill, or steam a lobster, I bet you can bake one too. You may find it a bit more complicated to cook. But it is fairly easy to prepare–not to mention fun too!

The pre-baking process begins by par-boiling the lobster for about seven minutes. Once boiled, let it cool for a minute. Slice open the lobster using a knife to remove the sand sac, tomalley, veins, and guts from the head down to the tail.

Once cleaned, stuff its body with crab cakes. Basically, after removing the sand sac, tomalley, veins, and guts, you replace them all with crab cakes. Then, pour melted butter on the crab cakes and onto the entire lobster.

It’s perfectly fine if you prefer other types of stuffing instead of crab cakes. Some chefs remove and reserve the tomalley and mix it with the following ingredients:

  • Salt
  • Lemon pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Sweet onion
  • Celery
  • Cracker crumbs
  • Melted butter

Mix all of these ingredients in a suitable bowl to create a cracker mixture. Then, place it in the lobster’s body cavity as stuffing. Next, sprinkle parmesan cheese and paprika all over it.

How long to cook lobster in oven? Place the lobster inside the oven and bake it at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Baking time usually takes 15 minutes or until the stuffing turns golden brown.

5. Frying a Lobster

How long does it take to fry a one-pound lobster: 10 minutes

When you see a lobster, frying is not the first cooking method that comes to mind. But who’s stopping you from frying one? As long as lobsters can fit in your skillet, go ahead and fry them all.

Before frying, the usual preparation includes glazing the lobster with lemon juice and rubbing it with garlic powder, onion, and salt. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.

And just like the other cooking methods above, frying time depends on the weight of the lobster. For instance, a pound of lobster takes about 10 minutes to cook. And for every additional pound, add an extra three minutes of frying time.

To fry a lobster:

  1. Preheat your skillet at 360 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Pour vegetable oil generously and heat for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Place the lobster in it, making sure that the lobster is immersed in the oil.
  4. After seven minutes, turn the lobster over to cook evenly. 
  5. Leave it for another seven minutes. 
  6. You would know that your lobster is cooked once the meat turns golden brown. In which case, you may now turn off your stove.
  7. Drain the oil out of the lobster by removing it from the skillet and placing it on a plate with paper towels. 
  8. Let it cool for 1-2 minutes before serving it with rice or mashed potato
  9. You may also serve it with potato chips or any other favorite dish of yours.

Now we know how long to cook lobster through different cooking methods; including how to cook live lobster by boiling, grilling, steaming, baking, and frying. Next, let’s look at the factors that affect its cooking time.

Factors Affecting the Cooking Time of Lobster

Earlier, I mentioned two main factors that affect the cooking time of lobsters. They are the weight of the lobster and the cooking method you will use. However, there are also other factors related to it.

To further understand how long it takes to cook lobster, let’s discuss all factors affecting it.

how long does lobster take to cook

1. The Size and Weight of the Lobster

The bigger the size of your lobster, the heavier it is. And the heavier it is, the longer it will take you to finish cooking it. When boiling lobster, a single pound normally takes 10 minutes to cook. If the lobster weighs two pounds, expect it to get cooked after 13 minutes. Basically, you add an extra three minutes per additional pound.

2. The Cooking Method

How you will cook your lobster plays a big role in your cooking time. The fastest way to cook lobster is by frying. It only takes 10 minutes or less to deep fry it.

Based on our discussion, steaming is the longest cooking method of all, as it takes at least 14 minutes for the lobster to cook.

3. The Right Cooking Temperature

Achieving the right cooking temperature also plays a significant role in your cooking time. When cooking at a low temperature, the chances are that your lobster will take longer to cook. A high cooking temperature, of course, means your lobster may get cooked immediately. However, you must closely monitor it to prevent overcooking.

4. The Weather or Room Temperature

How long to cook a lobster also depends on the weather if you are cooking the lobster outside, or the temperature of the room if you are cooking it inside. Cold weather may make the cooking time a little bit longer as cold temperatures deter heat. Just increase the heat if you notice that your lobster is taking longer than usual to cook.

5. Humidity

High humidity prevents lobsters from getting cooked immediately. It usually happens when making baked lobsters. However, if the oven’s temperature is high, it could defeat humidity.

Cooking Lobster Tail and Lobster Claws

In case you are wondering about the cooking time of lobster tail and claws, everything is, in fact, basically the same.

For instance, a pound of lobster tail takes about 10 minutes to boil. If you are boiling two pounds of lobster tail, then cooking it will take you 13 minutes. And if you are boiling three pounds of lobster tail, then it should take you 16 minutes to finish cooking. The same rule applies when boiling lobster claws.

Conclusion – How Long Does It Take to Cook Lobster?

How long to cook lobster usually depends on several factors. The approximate time it takes to cook a one-pound lobster is as follows:

Cooking Method:How Long a 1 lb Lobster Takes to Cook:
Boil10 minutes
Steam14 minutes
Grill10 minutes
Bake12 minutes
Fry10 minutes

So boiling a one-pound lobster takes about 10 minutes to cook, but a heavier one takes a little longer. When grilled, it takes roughly 10 minutes, and at least 14 minutes when you steam it. Baking lobsters takes at least 12 minutes, while frying takes about 10 minutes.

Add about 3 extra minutes of cooking time for each additional pound of lobster.

But aside from the lobster’s size and cooking method, other factors can also affect its cooking time. These factors are as follows:

  1. The size and weight of the lobster
  2. The cooking method
  3. The right cooking temperature
  4. The weather or room temperature
  5. Humidity

If you think that cooking a lobster is difficult, I assure you that it’s not as complicated as it seems to be. For sure, you can cook it on your own. And even if it’s your first time to lobster cooking, it will surely turn out the way you want it to be. Just make sure to remember the pointers mentioned in this article to guide you with your cooking without overdoing or underdoing it.