Steamed Main Lobster

I grew up with this Steamed Maine Lobster recipe, sailing the coast of Maine as a child. On board my parent’s sailboat, Brandywyne, I remember my father hailing lobsterman over the VHF radio looking for the freshest lobster for dinner. From Brandywyne’s Galley to your home dinner table, this classic and simple recipe is a must for cooking lobster.

Steaming is the best way to cook a lobster. It is forgiving on the cook, maintains the lobster flavor, and keeps the lobster tender. And unlike boiled lobster, your plate is never full of water.



  • 3-4 Lobsters (1 1/2 – 2 Pounds Each)
  • 3/4 Cup Vodka
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Tarragon

Steamed Maine Lobster - Recipe-CharcoalandFire

Steam the Lobster

  1. In a Large Pot, add in the water and vodka and bring to boil
  2. Add the lobsters and return liquid to full boil.
  3. Reduce to a gentle boil
  4. Lobsters will be bright red when fully cooked. Follow the time guidelines below. Do not overcook; lobsters will continue to cook even after pulled from the pot.
  5. Remove the lobster and place on platter.

1 pound 8-10 minutes
1 – 1/4 pounds 10-12 minutes
1- 1/2 pounds 12-14 minutes
1- 3/4 pounds 15-17 minutes
2 pounds 16-18 minutes
2- 1/2 pounds 18-20 minutes
3 pounds 20-30 minutes
5 pounds 35-45 (or more) minutes
*Reduce time by 3 minutes for soft shell lobster.

Steamed Maine Lobster - Alive-CharcoalandFire.JPG

Steamed Maine Lobster - Whatfordinner-CharcoalandFire.JPG

What’s for Dinner?

Heat the Tarragon Butter

  1. Remove the juice from the lobster pot and pour into a small sauce pot.
  2. Boil liquid and reduce to 3/4 Cup.
  3. Add butter to pot and continuously stir. Adding 1 Tablespoon at a time is the easiest.
  4. Add Tarragon and stir lightly
  5. Remove from stove and serve with each lobster in a small dish.

Serve and Eat

  • Serve Lobster when cool enough to touch and handle.
  • Twist and separate the tails and claws from the body.
  • Start cracking, dip the tender lobster meat in the tarragon broth and enjoy!


Equipment Used

  • 4 – 5 gallon pot with lid. Large Pot This should easily handle 8 pounds of lobsters. If cooking more lobsters, cook in batches or use a larger Patio Cooker outside.
  • Lobster Cracking Tools
  • Lobster Bibs and Damp Hand Towels. I recommend wearing paper or plastic disposable bibs.

Interesting Book

The Secret Life of Lobsters

3 thoughts on “Steamed Maine Lobster

  1. Hello Charcoal Man,
    Prepared this recipe . Delicious! The tarragon is a great compliment to lobster. Also, no large amount of excess water on my plate. Thanks so much!

  2. I simply want to tell you that I’m newbie to blogging and really liked you’re page. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You surely come with beneficial articles. Thanks for revealing your blog site.

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