Can You Steam Lobster In Instant Pot?

If you love lobster but find cooking it intimidating, you’ll be happy to know that you can easily steam lobster in an Instant Pot. Steaming lobster in an Instant Pot is quick, convenient and results in tender, juicy meat infused with delicious flavor.

Why Steam Lobster in an Instant Pot?

Saves Time – Steaming lobster in an Instant Pot takes just minutes compared to boiling a large pot of water and monitoring the stove. The pressurized environment speeds up cooking significantly.

Delicious Flavor – Steaming locks in moisture and flavor. Lobster tails come out tender and succulent, not rubbery.

Convenient – No need to watch a pot on the stovetop. Just set the Instant Pot, and walk away until lobster is cooked to perfection.

Hands-Off Cooking – The Instant Pot does the work for you with its built-in timer and auto pressure release.

No Special Tools Needed – All you need is the Instant Pot, lobster tails, and seasonings. No large pots, steamer baskets or extra equipment required.

Consistent Results – Unlike stovetop steaming, the Instant Pot eliminates guesswork and ensures your lobster tails are cooked perfectly each time.

Tips for Steaming Lobster Tails in Instant Pot

Steaming lobster in the Instant Pot is easy, but follow these tips for best results:

  • Choose frozen or thawed lobster tails, not live lobster. Remove any rubber bands before cooking.
  • Add 1-2 cups water to the Instant Pot to create steam. The amount depends on size of tails.
  • Use a steamer rack or trivet to elevate tails above water.
  • Season lobster with salt, pepper, garlic powder, butter or lemon juice.
  • Cook for 2-4 minutes on Manual or Steam mode, adjusting time for size of tails.
  • Quick release pressure once cooking is complete.
  • Check internal temperature to ensure doneness. Lobster tails should reach 140°F.
  • Drizzle with melted butter or lemon-garlic butter after cooking for added flavor.

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple steps for perfectly steamed lobster tails every time:

1. Prepare Ingredients

  • Thaw frozen lobster tails or use fresh thawed tails. Leave shells on.
  • Remove rubber bands from lobster tails.
  • Pat lobster tails dry with paper towel.

2. Season the Lobster Tails

  • Sprinkle tails evenly with salt and pepper.
  • You can also brush tails with melted butter, garlic powder, lemon juice or other seasonings.

3. Add Water to Instant Pot

  • Pour 1-2 cups water into Instant Pot liner.
  • The amount of water depends on the size of tails. Enough to create steam without submerging.

4. Place Steamer Rack in Pot

  • Put trivet or steamer rack in bottom of Instant Pot liner.
  • This elevates tails to prevent direct contact with water.

5. Arrange Lobster Tails on Rack

  • Place lobster tails shell-side down on steamer rack.
  • Arrange in a single layer without overcrowding.

6. Secure Lid and Select Setting

  • Close the lid and make sure the valve is in sealing position.
  • Choose Manual/Pressure Cook or Steam setting.

7. Set Cook Time

  • Set cook time based on size of tails:
  • Small tails (4-6 oz): 1 minute
  • Medium tails (6-8 oz): 2 minutes
  • Large tails (8-10 oz): 3-4 minutes

8. Cook Under Pressure

  • Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to preheat then cook for set time.
  • Do not open lid or disturb process during cooking.

9. Quick Release Pressure

  • Once cook time is complete, turn valve to quick release position.
  • This rapidly releases steam so you can open lid safely.

10. Check Doneness

  • Lobster tails should reach 140°F internally.
  • If needed, put back in Instant Pot for 1-2 minutes more.

11. Serve and Enjoy!

  • Carefully remove lobster tails from pot using tongs.
  • Serve with melted lemon-garlic butter or other dipping sauces.
  • Enjoy your tender, flavorful steamed lobster straight from the Instant Pot!

Timing Chart by Size

Use this handy chart to determine steaming times:

Lobster Tail SizeWater AmountCook Time
Small (4-6 oz)1 cup1 minute
Medium (6-8 oz)1 1/2 cups2 minutes
Large (8-10 oz)2 cups3-4 minutes

Troubleshooting Issues

Having trouble getting perfect results? Here are some troubleshooting tips:

Undercooked lobster: If lobster is translucent or flesh is gelatinous, it needs more cooking time. Put back in Instant Pot on Steam or Manual mode for 1-2 minutes.

Overcooked, rubbery lobster: Quick release pressure immediately and remove tails if overcooked. Cook for less time next attempt.

No steam produced: Ensure at least 1 cup water is in inner pot. Check that valve is in sealed position.

Tough or chewy texture: This can happen if internal temp isn’t high enough. Use a thermometer and cook until lobster reaches 140°F.

Lobster sticks to shell: Don’t pry meat from shell. Instead, use shears to cut shell lengthwise. Slide lobster meat out gently.

Recipes and Pairings

Once you master steaming lobster tails in the Instant Pot, try these delicious recipes:

  • Lemon Garlic Butter Lobster – Top steamed tails with flavorful lemon garlic butter.
  • Surf and Turf – For an indulgent meal, pair lobster with filet mignon and vegetables.
  • Lobster Rolls – Stuff tender lobster meat into toasted buns with a drizzle of melted butter.
  • Lobster Mac and Cheese – Combine with cheese sauce and pasta for ultimate comfort food.
  • Lobster Risotto – Mix lobster meat into creamy Arborio rice risotto.
  • Lobster Salad – Toss lobster chunks with fresh greens, avocado and citrus vinaigrette.

Steamed lobster also pairs beautifully with:

  • Drawn butter
  • Lemon wedges
  • Shellfish sauce
  • Clarified butter
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Melted garlic butter

More Instant Pot Seafood Ideas

The Instant Pot isn’t just for lobster. Try these other seafood dishes:

  • Crab legs
  • Shrimp scampi
  • Salmon fillets
  • Clams or mussels
  • Scallops
  • Fish fillets
  • Seafood stew or bisque
  • Paella

The key is using a trivet or steamer rack to elevate above the liquid. Adjust cook times based on thickness of seafood.

Steaming Lobster by Stovetop

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can steam lobster on the stovetop. Here is a quick guide:

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.
  • Insert steamer basket and add lobster tails.
  • Cover and steam for 8-10 minutes for 1 lb of tails.
  • Check often and adjust heat to maintain gentle boil.
  • Remove promptly when shells turn bright red.
  • Drain and serve immediately with butter or other sauces.

While this method works, it requires close monitoring and careful timing. The Instant Pot takes the guesswork out!

Enjoy Tender, Succulent Lobster

Steaming lobster in the Instant Pot makes enjoying this luxurious seafood fast and simple. In just minutes, you’ll have tender, juicy, flavor-packed lobster tails ready to devour.

Start experimenting with different seasonings, recipes and pairings. Steamed lobster also makes an easy, elegant entrée for entertaining or special occasions.

Stop being intimidated by cooking lobster. With the Instant Pot, you’ll make mouthwatering lobster meals that look and taste like you spent hours in the kitchen but with very little hands-on time.

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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