How to Parboil your Lobster to keep it in the fridge until you want

You can keep your lobsters perfect to eat later.

We put the live lobsters in the vegetable draw, still wrapped in the slightly damp paper they arrived in. Put a piece of cardboard over them to minimise disturbance when the fridge door is opened. If it is very hot outside and the fridge is working overtime, add a cold pack or two, right at the bottom of the draw.

Then you can additionally parboil your lobsters to keep another day or two.

Or you can cook them through to eat now.

We recommend the biggest pot you can find. When this is full of boiling water it will bring the lobster up to full heat much more quickly than a smaller pot with less water.  Even with a very large pot and smaller lobsters we boil them one at a time.

Remember to salt the water heavily – lobsters are designed for sea water and lose their juiciness if boiled in pure water

Freeze and dispatch.

When you are ready to cook the lobsters, place them in the freezer for 30 mins or more. In the cold it will become very docile and less aware of stimuli. Do not freeze it but if very vigourous after 30 mins you may need to leave for longer.

 In line with the new welfare regulations being discussed, we much prefer to dispatch the lobster before boiling. You will need your largest and sharpest knife.

We usually put a large chopping board at the bottom of the sink for the next stage for kitchen tidiness, but you can also place your chopping board in a large baking tray if your sink is too small. This means any fluid released cannot escape around your kitchen.

Find the cross on the central dorsal line where the head meets the tail. Place the tip of a sharp chef’s knife on this cross and swiftly plunge the knife down forwards through the head. The legs will continue to move a bit afterward but the lobster is in fact dead. 

Here is a link with an easy video to direct you :


The water should be at a rolling boil and we use a strong pair of tongs clasped around the head end to put the lobster in tail first. You don’t need the tongs to put it in, but you will need them  to get to out so its best to have them nearby ! Start timing from when the water just starts to boil again. For parboiling we think around 4 mins for a small lobster, 6 for a medium and 8 – 10 for a large – but it does depend on the ratio of water to lobster so we can’t be more accurate than that. For full cooking add 2 minutes for a small lobster and up to 4 for a large one.

When your timer goes off, remove the lobster with the tongs and immediately place in bowl of iced water until it is cold. Then drain well and store in fridge until ready for next stage of cooking.

I have cooked all the lobster recipes on this site with parboiled lobster and think they work just as well.

how to boil my lobster

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