Preparing Live American Lobster

Our live lobsters come direct from the cold North Atlantic waters off the coasts of Maine and Nova Scotia. At Dirk’s, we keep our lobsters fresh and alive in a refrigerated saltwater tank. Lobsters are available all year around. There is a six week period from late August thru September when lobsters shed their shells to grow, leaving fewer quality lobsters and raising the prices.

  • Lobsters grow to as large as 45 pounds but the average size is from 1 to 5 pounds.

  • We carry 1 ½ to 2 ½ pound lobsters on average.

  • Contrary to popular belief, there is no loss in quality or flavor in larger lobsters. Call ahead for larger sizes.

  • When you bring them home, they should be kept in a refrigerator or cool place below 40 degrees.

  • Lobsters should be consumed within 24 hours, but if any expire during that time, they will still be fine.

  • The lobsters should be left in the box in which they came. Do not put them into fresh water because they will die.

  • Besides the sweet white meat in the tail, claws and legs, you can also eat the green tomalley, which is the crustacean’s liver or the red “coral’ or roe of the female lobster.

  • One 1 ½ pound lobster will yield about 6 ozs. of meat when shucked.

  • Figure one lobster per person.

  • Dirk’s will cook and chill your lobsters at no extra charge with advance notice.

  • We also have lobster pots available with advance notice.


    1 -   Pot of Water
    ? -   Live Lobster(s)


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Use enough water to cover the lobsters.

  • Drop lobsters in head first. They die instantly.

  • As the water comes back to a boil, reduce the heat. A good simmer is what you want.

  • Cook two 1 ½ pound lobsters for 10 to 12 minutes. Four to six lobsters should cook no more than 12 to 14 minutes. Cook larger lobsters (3 to 5 lbs.) for the same amount of time.

  • Remove from the water, drain for a moment, and serve immediately.

  • If you would rather eat them cold, immerse them in ice water straight from the pot and chill for about 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Lobster can also be steamed above boiling water if you prefer. It will take a couple of minutes longer in time.

  • Important: When steaming 6 or more lobsters in a single pot, be sure to rotate the lobsters on the bottom of the steamer with the top ones for even cooking.

  • Another option is to boil lobsters for about 5 minutes. Remove from water, split totally in half and brush the insides with melted butter. Place the shell side down on the grill and cook for about 5 more minutes.

  • Serve all lobsters with melted butter, which I prefer not to clarify.

  • Pour a glass of your favorite wine and enjoy!