1 lobster if larger then 3 pounds
2 lobsters around 1 1/2 to 2 pounds each (local Washington lobster)
(A large kettle of boiling water will only handle 1 (3-pound or larger) lobster at a time - maybe two lobsters if you are using a canning kettle)
Melt butter for dipping the meat in
Bring a large pot of water to a high boil.
Pick up lobster and quickly place head first in boiling water.
Cover and boil for 10 minutes. (I want to make sure the lobster is no longer alive.) (I do not like using the knife to make a slit at the back of the head to kill the lobster and I know this method is just as hard but I can actually do this . . . kind of. . . I cry every time.)
NEXT STEP: (You can add more then 1 lobster to a pot for steaming.)
Take lobster out of boiling water and place in steaming basket or rack elevated above water. Make sure the water is at a high boil before placing the lobster inside and start timing when the water is at a high boil after placing the lobster inside. For a 3 to 3 1/2 pound lobster or 2 ( 1 1/2 pound) lobsters, I steam for 20 - 25 minutes after boiling for 10 minutes.
A 4 to 5 gallon pot is ideal for steaming a total of 6 to 8 pounds of lobster. Do not overcrowd the pot, if you can not see the bottom, use a second pot or steam in 2 batches. The first steamed batch can be kept warm by being covered in foil and set in the oven at 165 degrees while waiting for the second batch.
HOW TO TELL THE LOBSTER IS COOKED:
1) The lobster shell will be bright red & the tail will be curled.
2) Pull off one of the small walking legs. The leg will come out pretty easily when the lobster is done.
3) The internal temperature should be 180 F.
4) The meat inside the lobster will be firm, white and opaque. The tomalley, which fills most of the body cavity will be greenish-yellow.
I took a part the lobster and served with king crab legs, delicious!