Steaming fresh lobster is a delicious way to enjoy this succulent crustacean. But if you’re cooking more than one lobster at a time, how long should you steam them for? Here’s a helpful guide to ensure your multiple lobsters come out tender, juicy and perfectly cooked.
Why Cooking Time Varies for Multiple Lobsters
The cooking time can vary substantially when steaming several lobsters together. Here’s why:
- Size Matters – Lobsters range greatly in size. A 1-pound lobster takes less time to cook than a 3-pounder.
- Thickness – Shell thickness impacts cooking time. Thicker shells retain more heat.
- Quantity – Loading up a steamer with multiple lobsters extends the cooking time.
- Steamer Size – Overcrowding lobsters in a steamer basket slows down cooking.
So while general cooking guidelines exist, it’s best to assess each batch of lobsters individually to determine the ideal steam time.
Handy Cooking Charts for Multiple Lobster Sizes
To take the guesswork out of timing, here are helpful steam time charts for different sized lobsters:
For 1 to 1.25 pound lobsters:
- Steam for 10 minutes
- Check for doneness, continue steaming if needed
For 1.25 to 1.5 pound lobsters:
- Steam for 12 minutes
- Check for doneness, steam up to 2 minutes more
For 1.5 to 2 pound lobsters:
- Steam for 15 minutes
- Check for doneness, steam up to 3 more minutes
For 2 to 3 pound lobsters:
- Steam for 18 minutes
- Check for doneness, steam up to 5 more minutes
For 3 to 4 pound lobsters:
- Steam for 20 minutes
- Check for doneness, steam up to 8 more minutes
For 4 to 5 pound lobsters:
- Steam for 25 minutes
- Check for doneness, steam up to 10 more minutes
Use these helpful charts to determine the initial steaming time based on lobster sizes. Then check for doneness and continue steaming if needed.
How to Tell When Lobsters Are Cooked
Since cooking times are estimates, you’ll need to verify doneness. Look for these signs:
- Shell turns bright red throughout
- Meat is opaque and whitish, not translucent
- Internal temperature reaches 140°F
- Meat separates easily from tail and claws
The shell color change and temperature test are your best indicators. Continue steaming in 2-3 minute increments if lobsters need more time.
Handy Tips for Steaming Multiple Lobsters
Follow these tips for flawless results:
- Use a large pot and steamer basket to hold lobsters in a single layer
- Bring ample water to a rapid boil before adding lobsters
- Start timing immediately after adding lobsters to the pot
- Add largest lobsters first, smaller ones a few minutes later
- Check often for doneness, removing lobsters as they finish cooking
- Allow lobsters to rest 5 minutes before serving
With the right steampot setup, churning boil, and cooking strategy, you can ensure uniformly cooked lobster every time.
Steaming Guidelines Based on Lobster Weight
To recap, here are general steaming guidelines based on lobster weight:
- 1 pound lobster: Steam for 10 minutes
- 1.5 pound lobster: Steam for 15 minutes
- 2 pound lobster: Steam for 18 minutes
- 3 pound lobster: Steam for 20 minutes
- 4 pound lobster: Steam for 23 minutes
- 5 pound lobster: Steam for 25 minutes
Add 2-3 minutes for each additional pound. Thicker shells may require a bit more time. Verifying doneness with a thermometer or shell color is key.
Let the Lobster Feast Begin!
Armed with these helpful lobster steaming charts, tips and guidelines, you can confidently cook multiple lobsters to tender, juicy perfection. Gather your ingredients, bring the water to a rapid boil, and steam away!
Soon you’ll be cracking open brilliant red shells to reveal sweet, succulent meat. Dipping the lobster in melted butter or lemon-garlic aioli takes each bite to new heights of flavor. A lobster feast with family and friends makes for treasured memories.
So don’t be intimidated to take on multiple lobsters. With the proper prep and cooking strategy, you can master steaming any number of these delectable crustaceans. Just follow the step-by-step instructions for lobster bliss!