How to Steam Lobster & Shrimp


Lobster and shrimp are healthy, low-fat sources of high-quality protein. These shellfish are best if they are steamed. Cook the shellfish only until bright red, and prepare the lobster and shrimp while the lobster is still alive and the shrimp is as fresh as possible. These measures will prevent you from overcooking them and making their meat tough.

Things You'll Need

  • Whole lobster (preferably live)
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • Large pot with lid
  • Steamer basket to fit inside pot
  • Meat thermometer
  • Water to fill the bottom 1 1/2 inches of the pot
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
  • Seafood forks, claw crackers, lemon wedges and melted butter for serving

How to Steam Lobster

  • Insert the steamer basket into the pot.

  • Add water to the bottom of the pot so that it covers the bottom 1 1/2 inches of the pot.

  • Heat the pot until the water boils.

  • Place the live lobster into the pot on top of the steamer basket.

  • Cover the pot with the lid to trap in the steam. Let the lobster steam for 15 minutes. Check the pot halfway through the cooking time to ensure that there is still water in the bottom of the pot. Add more if it is needed.

  • Check that the lobster is done by inserting a meat thermometer. The lobster should be 180 degrees and the shell needs to be bright red. Serve immediately after cooking with claw crackers, seafood forks, lemon wedges and melted butter.

How to Steam Shrimp

  • Combine the 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar and Old Bay Seasoning (if using) in a large pot with a lid.

  • Place the steamer basket into the pot of water.

  • Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil before carefully adding the shrimp into the steamer basket. You can either use shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined or you can leave the shells on.

  • Cover the pot and let the shrimp steam for 5 minutes or until bright pink and a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees.

  • Let the shrimp cool before peeling the shells of and pulling out the vein. Serve warm or chilled as desired.

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