Grilled Lobster or as I call it Lobstah!

Surf and Turf Dinner

Surf and Turf Dinner

I LOVE LOBSTER!!  Special thanks to Kelly, Liam Ron, Liz and Anthony for helping me get a second time in perfecting this delicious lobster reipce on Saturday night.  So much fun cooking with you guys!

As I said earlier, I love lobster and will eat my own and then watch you eat yours to make sure you are getting every last niblet of meat out of the shell.  If you don’t I will offer to ‘help’ only to sneak a portion of whatever little bit of meat I get out of the shell for you.  I get every last bite!

Now I realize not everyone is as excited about lobster as I am so when I found this Bobby Flay recipe for Grilled Lobster with Basil Butter I got pretty excited.  It looks dramatic and I can actually offer guests a half of a lobster so if they aren’t really going to eat every last bite I won’t be as appalled.  Really, I am appalled if you don’t finish your lobster.  It has nothing to do with the cost of it.  Lobsters are actually relatively inexpensive right now its just the idea that you might feel its not worth the effort to crack that claw knuckle and get the last little bit out.

I have tried this recipe twice and the above picture is from dinner on Saturday night.  We had quite a feast with my daughter and her friends.  Between 6 of us we made 4 lobsters, 6 steaks, corn (for the nonpaleo crowd) and cole slaw.  Thank god I only bought four lobsters because as expected there were only two of us – me and her friend Ron -who were the only ones that took eating a lobster VERY seriously.  I mean we had half a lobster left over!  Are you kidding me?  They were great sports as we had quite a time grilling undercooked lobster meat so please don’t under steam your lobsters by 5-6 minutes like I did.

Steaming a lobster is a tricky business so I have made a few notes for you in hopes that you will have a perfect first attempt at first steaming then grilling your lobsters.

Steaming Lobsters:  

  • 1.5 lb lobsters for 12 minutes and they came out just right to slightly overdone.
  • 1.7 lbs lobsters steamed for 10 minutes (6 minutes less than the recommended time – WHAT WAS I THINKING!) and they were way underdone and it was kinda nasty cutting them in half.  Plus then my guests saw the uncooked guts as I put them on the grill and it took 6-8 minutes to finish cooking them.  Not a good idea.
  • My Learning:  Cook them for the 12 minutes and get slightly larger than 1.5 lbs lobsters.
  • Check out the guide I found at the end of this post for steaming your own lobsters at home.  You can cook for the full time or take 1-2 minute off the time to slightly undercook the meat and then finish on the grill.
  • If you don’t have the equipment to steam the lobster you can have the fishmonger steam them.  Just call in advance or stop by early in the day to order your steamed lobster.  I have learned that many cape supermarkets and fishmongers book up their STEAMED LOBSTER orders as early as noon on summer weekends and holidays.  Also request that they not put them in a plastic bag which continues the cooking process and your lobsters will be very rubbery.  Roche Bros in Mashpee does this and its terrible.

The great part of this process is you can steam the lobsters about 20-30 minutes before your guests arrive or while you are all having cocktails and then grill them for 3-4 minutes when everyone is ready to eat.  We had a great time Saturday over drinks while I steamed two lobsters at a time on the stove.  Once the lobster was steamed, the kids got the steaks on.  Once the steaks were done we threw the split lobsters on the grill.  If we had tried to cook a lobster per person we would have run out of grill space so unless your grill is huge a lobster per person for a large crowd just may be too challenging.

I know lobster can be intimidating so maybe try this just with your partner/spouse for a special summer treat!

Grilled Lobster with Basil Butter

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium to hard
  • Print


  • 4  1.5-2lb lobsters steamed (the smaller they are the easier to cut them in half lengthwise and fit in your pot at home.)
  • 1 stick grass fed salted butter softened
  • 1/2 -1 cup chopped basil
  • sea salt and pepper (if you have unsalted butter use more salt for the basil butter
  • Grilling spray or other oil that can withstand high heat.


  1. Make your basil butter.  Pulse the basil in a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add the softened butter and pulse several times until basil is evenly spread thru the butter.  Taste then season with more salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Set butter aside in the fridge.  You can make this way ahead of time then let it soften on the counter for about 30 minutes before serving.
  4. Steam your lobsters see guide below.
  5. If freshly steamed let cool for 5-10 minutes, meanwhile heat your grill.
  6. Butterfly lobsters by cutting the upper body in half.  You need to use a large heavy knife and apply some force to get thru the body of the shell.  Then make a lengthwise gentle cut on the underside of tail to get it to lay flat.  Clean out tamale and other guts from the body of the shell.
  7. Spray or brush exposed meat with oil.
  8. Grill for 3-4 minutes just to heat thru.
  9. Generously spread all exposed areas with basil butter and serve!

Here is a great guide front the lobsters of Maine site and if you are going to grill them after you steam them just take 1 minute off your steaming.  Also don’t cook them all at once if you have a smaller pot just the number that fit in comfortably.  Don’t worry the lobsters retain their heat in the shell for a long time.

Steaming Instructions

Choose a pot large enough to hold all the lobsters comfortably; do not crowd them. A 4- to 5-gallon pot can handle 6 to 8 pounds of lobster. Put 2 inches of seawater or salted water in the bottom of a large kettle. Set a steaming rack inside the pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the live lobsters one at a time, cover the pot, and start timing. Halfway through, lift the lid (careful—the steam is hot) and shift the lobsters around so they cook evenly.

For timing, use the weight of individual lobsters, not total weight of all lobsters being cooked.

If the lobster weighs: Steam:
1 pound 10 minutes
1-1/4 pounds 12 minutes
1-1/2 pounds 14 minutes
1-3/4 pounds 16 minutes
2 pounds 18 minutes
2-1/2 pounds 22 minutes
3 pounds 25-30 minutes
5 pounds 40-45 minutes


Here is a link to their site – Steaming Instructions for Lobster


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