How to Steam Lobster in the Oven

Steamed lobster is a delightful way to enjoy this succulent seafood. The gentle steaming process yields tender, moist meat infused with sweet, briny flavor. While typically steamed on the stovetop, you can also achieve perfect results steaming lobster in the oven.

With the right techniques, you can make restaurant-quality steamed lobster at home without any special equipment. Follow this simple guide to master oven-steamed lobster. We’ll cover everything from choosing your lobsters to serving your finished feast.

Selecting Fresh Lobsters for Steaming

Everything starts with sourcing high-quality lobsters. Look for:

  • Live lobsters that are active and lively. Avoid lethargic lobsters.
  • Hard shells that are shiny and free of nicks or cracks. Soft shells mean a recent molt and more tender meat.
  • 1 to 1 1⁄2 pound size. Larger lobsters tend to be tough.
  • Female lobsters as they tend to be meatier.
  • A healthy aroma. Raw lobster should smell pleasantly briny, not fishy or ammonia-like.

Choosing healthy, lively lobsters ensures tender, flavorful results when steaming. Now let’s prep them for the oven.

Preparing Lobsters for Steaming

Proper preparation is vital for even cooking:

  • Scrub lobsters under cold running water to remove dirt and debris.
  • Remove rubber bands on the claws to allow steam to circulate.
  • Consider splitting lobsters in half lengthwise before cooking for more even steaming.
  • Kill lobsters right before cooking by driving a knife into the body/head junction. This is the most humane method.

Taking these steps sets you up for perfect steaming every time.

Why Steam Lobster in the Oven?

Steaming lobster in the oven offers advantages over stovetop steaming:

  • Convenient method using items you likely already own. No special equipment needed.
  • Containment in a covered vessel allows the lobster to gently steam in its own juices and moisture.
  • Even heating from the circulation of hot air in the oven. No worrying about hot/cold spots.
  • Temperature control by setting the oven to the ideal temp. No risk of boiling.
  • Minimal cleanup without having to dispose of a large pot of hot water.

For convenience and foolproof results, the oven is ideal for steaming tender, succulent lobster.

How to Steam Lobster in the Oven

With a few simple steps, you can steam lobster to tender perfection in your home oven:

Preheat Oven and Prepare Vessel

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Choose an oven-safe pot or pan with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Add 1-2 inches of water to the bottom of the pan.

Prepare the Lobster

  • Scrub and split the lobster if desired.
  • Place a steaming rack at the bottom of the pan if you have one.

Begin Steaming

  • Place lobster in the pot atop the rack or directly in the pan.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the pan, covering the bottom.
  • Cover pot tightly and place in oven.

Steam Times

  • 1 lb. lobster – 10 to 15 minutes
  • 1 1⁄4 lb. lobster – 15 to 20 minutes
  • 1 1⁄2 lb. lobster – 18 to 22 minutes

Check often for doneness. Times may vary based on oven.

Finish and Serve Immediately

  • Use tongs to transfer lobster to a serving plate.
  • Serve with melted butter, lemon wedges, etc.
  • Enjoy your tender oven-steamed lobster!

Checking Doneness of Steamed Lobster

With a few simple checks, you can confirm your lobster is cooked to tender perfection:

  • The shell turns bright red all over.
  • The meat is opaque and white throughout when cut into, not translucent.
  • The flesh feels firm yet tender when pressed, not mushy.
  • An instant-read thermometer inserted in the tail reads 135°F.

Following the recommended steam times and performing these checks ensures your lobster is cooked properly without becoming tough.

Serving Your Steamed Oven Lobster

Once cooked, transfer the hot lobster immediately to a serving plate. Serve with:

  • Melted butter – The classic topping for dunking the tender meat. Clarified butter is ideal.
  • Lemon wedges – A bright, fresh accent that cuts through the rich butter.
  • Mustard sauce – Add a tangy kick with a blend of mustard, mayo, and lemon.
  • Garlic aioli – For an indulgent dip, blend garlic, mayo, lemon, and olive oil.
  • Crackers and picks – Provide the tools needed to access all the sweet meat.

Lobster is also delicious served chilled. Cool quickly by submerging in an ice bath after cooking.

Steaming Lobster Without a Steamer Basket

A steamer basket isn’t essential. You can steam lobsters directly in a covered pot or pan filled with 1-2 inches of water by:

  • Placing the live lobster directly in the pot atop the water.
  • Adding a steamer rack improvised from foil balls or metal jar rings to elevate the lobster above the water.
  • Turning the lobster halfway through cooking time.
  • Adding more water as needed, replenishing evaporated liquid.

Monitor the pot closely to ensure adequate steam levels are maintained and liquid doesn’t fully evaporate.

Storing Leftover Steamed Lobster

For the best flavor and food safety, observe these leftovers guidelines:

  • Refrigerate steamed lobster meat in an airtight container up to 3 days.
  • Freeze lobster meat up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating gently.
  • Reheat leftover lobster gently, just until heated through. Avoid overcooking or the meat will become rubbery.
  • Discard lobster within 1-2 days if not refrigerated properly after cooking. Do not reheat more than once.

Properly stored leftovers let you enjoy steamed lobster again later in the week.

Troubleshooting Steam Oven Lobster

If your oven-steamed lobster turns out disappointing, here are some common issues and solutions:

Rubbery, tough texture:

  • The lobster was overcooked. Use an instant-read thermometer and don’t exceed 140°F internal temperature.

Too soggy and waterlogged:

  • Too much water was used in the steaming vessel. Use 1 to 2 inches only. Elevate lobster on a rack.

Undercooked, translucent flesh:

  • The lobster was not steamed long enough. Double-check against recommended cook times.

Unevenly cooked:

  • The lobster meat was very thick. Consider halving or splitting large lobsters before steaming.

With some adjustments, you can achieve tender, perfectly steamed oven lobster every time.


Steaming lobster in the oven is an easy, convenient method for cooking tender, succulent seafood. With a covered pot or pan, a little water, and the right oven temperature, you can rival restaurant results at home. Prep your lobsters properly, steam just until opaque and cooked through, and serve immediately with melted butter or your favorite sauces. Enjoy this simple, foolproof method for lobster perfection.

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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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