Lobster 101: Tips and Tricks for Buying, Preparing, and Enjoying

Sea Food

Lobsters are a delicacy enjoyed worldwide, with their succulent meat and sweet flavour making them a star ingredient in countless dishes. However, before looking at the lobster price it is essential to know how to choose, prepare, and enjoy them to maximize their value. This guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills to navigate the world of lobsters, from selecting the perfect specimen at the market to savouring every delicious bite.

Choosing the Right Lobster

Live vs. Frozen: While live lobsters are undoubtedly the freshest option, they require immediate cooking and may be intimidating for some. Frozen lobsters are a convenient alternative, as they are readily available and can be stored longer. However, freezing can impact the texture and flavour, making them slightly less desirable than their live counterparts.

Species: Two main lobster species are commonly available: Maine lobsters and Australian rock lobsters. Maine lobsters are known for their sweet and delicate flavour, while Australian rock lobsters have a firmer texture and a more pronounced lobster taste. Choose the species that best suits your preferences and budget.

Size: Lobsters are typically sold by weight, with larger specimens fetching a higher price. While bigger lobsters yield more meat, smaller ones can be just as flavorful and often cook faster. Consider the number of people you are serving and choose accordingly.

Visual Signs of Freshness:

  1. When buying live lobsters, pay close attention to their appearance.
  2. Look for vibrant, active individuals with clear eyes and a firm shell.
  3. Avoid lobsters with dull colours, cloudy eyes, or loose shells indicating age or potential illness.

Preparing Your Lobster

Cooking Methods: There are various ways to cook lobsters, each offering a unique texture and flavour profile. Boiling is a simple and traditional method that retains the meat’s natural sweetness. Baking or grilling brings out a smoky and caramelized flavour. Steaming is a healthy option that preserves the delicate taste and texture. You can also broil or pan-fry lobster tails for a quick and satisfying meal.

Tools and Equipment: Before cooking, ensure you have the necessary tools. A large pot or steamer is essential for boiling or steaming whole lobsters. Lobster crackers and picks help extract the meat from the claws and body. Kitchen shears are useful for cutting through the shell.

Seasoning and Flavorings: While lobster meat is delicious, adding some seasoning can elevate the flavour experience. Simple seasonings like sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon are classic choices. Consider using herbs like parsley, dill, or tarragon for a more complex flavour profile. Butter, garlic, and paprika are other popular additions.

Enjoying Your Lobster Feast

Presentation: Presentation plays a crucial role in elevating your lobster experience. Plate the cooked lobster beautifully, garnished with fresh herbs, lemon wedges, and drawn butter for dipping. Consider cracking it open and arranging the meat on a platter for easy access if serving a whole lobster.

Pairing: Lobster pairs beautifully with various side dishes, from simple buttered rice and roasted vegetables to creamy mashed potatoes and flavorful salads. Light and crisp wines like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc complement the sweetness of lobster meat, while richer Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon can stand up to its bolder flavours.

Leftovers: Lobster meat can be enjoyed beyond the initial meal. Consider incorporating it into salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, or even making a delicious lobster bisque for a comforting and flavorful soup.


By following these tips and tricks, you can confidently navigate the world of lobsters, selecting the perfect specimens, preparing them to perfection, and savouring every delicious bite. From understanding the differences in species and choosing the right cooking methods to experiment with flavourings and side dishes, you can now unlock the full potential of this exquisite delicacy and elevate your dining experience. Remember, lobster doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions. You can enjoy this delicious and nutritious seafood treat more often with the proper knowledge and skills.