How to Freeze Whole Live Lobsters


Freezing a whole live lobster for a few minutes before cooking, then returning it to the freezer soon after, can help to preserve the meat for up to a year. The freezer quickly slows down the lobster's muscular movements, causing it to struggle less during cooking. This process also prevents oxidization and bacterial growth, which can cause the lobster meat to spoil.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tubs
  • 6-quart stockpot
  • 2 quarts filtered water
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • Tongs
  • 6 cups crushed ice
  • Paper towels
  • 2 zip-lock plastic freezer bags (gallon)
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Lower the whole live lobster into a clean plastic tub and slide the tub into the freezer.

  • Fill the stockpot with the sea salt and water and set it on the stove with the lid on. Turn the heat to medium high.

  • Remove the whole live lobster from the freezer after 15 minutes and lower it into the stockpot.

  • Reduce the heat on the stove to medium low and cook the lobster with the lid on for 10 minutes for 1-pound lobsters, adding 3 minutes for each additional pound. A 1 1/2-pound lobster would need to cook for 11 1/2 minutes.

  • Remove the lobster from the stockpot with a pair of tongs and transfer it to a clean plastic tub. This can be the same tub from before, but it must be cleaned with hot soapy water after holding the live lobster.

  • Cover the lobster with crushed ice and allow it to cool for 20 minutes.

  • Lift the whole cooked lobster from the plastic tub of ice and thoroughly dry its shell with paper towels.

  • Slide the whole lobster into a large zip-lock freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before you seal the bag.

  • Slide the sealed plastic freezer bag inside another large freezer bag, again squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing.

  • With the permanent marker, write an expiration date of one year on a piece of masking tape attached to the freezer bag.

  • Place the sealed and labeled bag with the whole lobster into a freezer running at zero degrees F. or below and use it before the expiration date.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never leave the live lobster in the freezer for more than 15 minutes. The lobster meat begins to freeze after 20 minutes and changes in both texture and flavor.

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  • Photo Credit lobster image by pcphotos from
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