Get hooked on lobster


Learn how to cook, prepare, split and grill lobster.

Three cooking methods you should know

Cooking lobster is as easy as 1-2-3! Simply follow our instructions for succulent results.
The perfect lobster dinner on IGA blog (french only)


  1. In a pot with a lid, bring 2.5 cm (1 in.) of water combined with 2 tsp. (10 mL) of salt to a boil.
  2. Remove the elastics and place the lobster in the pot head first, with its tail folded under. Cover with the lid.
  3. Allow 12 minutes of cooking time per pound (450 g) of lobster for males and 14 minutes for females. Add 90 seconds per extra half-pound (225 g).

Chef’s secret

Popular among connoisseurs, steaming preserves the fine flavour of lobster meat. Choose this method for lobsters weighing over 450 g (1 lb.) that are served whole.


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Remove the elastics and immerse the lobster in the pot head first, with its tail folded under.
  2. Calculate the cooking time from when the water returns to a boil, according to the chart below.
  3. Once the lobster is cooked, remove it from the pot and submerge it briefly in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.

Boiling time: Get it right!

Did you know that the cooking time for lobster varies depending on its sex and weight?

Lobster weight Cooking time
Male Female
335g (¾ lb) 8 min 10 min
450g to 560g (1 to 1¼ lb) 10 min 12 min
675g (1½ lb) 14 min 16 min
900g (2 lb) 16 min 20 min
1.35kg (3 lb) 18 min 23 min and more
1.8kg (4 lb) 20 min 24 min and more

Chef’s secret

Boiled lobster meat is ideal for salads, lobster rolls, etc.


  1. Preheat the barbecue to medium and oil the grill.
  2. Place a live or blanched lobster on a cutting board. Place the tip of a knife on the cross behind the lobster’s head and pierce the shell. Cut lengthwise, first toward the head and then toward the tail. Remove the intestines and the sac of roe (eggs) behind the eyes. 
  3. Brush the meat with melted butter or garlic butter. Drizzle with a little lemon juice. Place the lobster halves on the grill, meat side up, and cook covered for 7 to 10 minutes for raw.

Chef’s secret

Barbecuing is best for small lobsters (under 450 g or 1 lb.) to ensure that the meat cooks evenly, especially late in the season when lobster meat is less sweet and benefits from caramelization on the grill.

IGA tips and tricks - Storing and cooking a lobster

Your IGA merchant suggests hassle-free cooked lobster!

If you prefer buying lobster already cooked but want to eat it hot, the best reheating method for retaining its flavour and texture is steam. Place the cooked lobster in a saucepan containing 2.5 cm (1 in.) of boiling, salted water for 2 or 3 minutes.

Is my lobster male or female?

To tell male and female lobsters apart, check under their bellies by their legs. Males have large hooks, and females have small, thin hooks.

Of course, you can always ask the fishmonger for help!

IGA tips and tricks - Shelling a cooked lobster

  • Start by placing the lobster belly-down on a work surface. Hold the body in place with one hand and gently turn the tail with the other hand to detach it.
  • Remove the tail fan with your fingers. Hold the tail upside down in your hand and use scissors to cut through the shell. Remove the meat that should come out in one piece. 
  • Twist the two claws and their leg segments to detach them. Using a knife, gently break the claw shells. Pull off the thumb of each claw and remove the meat inside all the claw pieces using a lobster fork if needed. 
  • There is a bit of meat in the walking legs. Remove it using a thin lobster fork or pick. 
  • After the feast, use the shells to make delicious lobster bisque or lobster bisque

Did you know?

Lobster meat is both high in protein and very lean, containing less than 7.5% fat!
Crack a lobster in 8 easy steps on Wikibouffe! (french only)