How to Grill Fresh Maine Lobster

In Maine, summertime means grilling season. Summer is the busiest time of year for hauling and trapping lobsters in Maine. During the summer, lobsters go to the warmer waters nearer the shore, and most of them shed their old shells to develop new ones.

But no matter where you live or the time of year you're grilling, learning how to cook lobster on the grill can significantly level-up your next backyard barbecue!

Although there are a few ways to prepare lobster (boiling and steaming are the first things that come to mind), grilling lobster imparts a smokey BBQ flavor to the luscious, sweet meat that only an open flame can produce.

So, if you're determined to master the best recipe for grilled whole lobster, let's look at this ultimate guide.

grilled seafood platter

Photo by wang xi from Unsplash 

Should I Grill Lobsters With Soft Or Hard Shell?

Lobster enthusiasts should know that more soft-shell than hard-shell lobsters are available on the market. For one, soft-shell lobsters are inexpensive because they are plentiful. They are also easier to prepare and grill, according to some chefs. In addition, the lobster can be cooked more quickly and uniformly on the grill, thanks to its soft shell.

lobster, crab, other seafood laid out on market table

Photo by Chait Goli from Pexels

Since they are older, hard-shell lobsters have more meat, as some chefs would adamantly assert that they are better suited for grilling. That's accurate. A soft-shell lobster's weight is partially made up of the additional water it carries inside its new shell while growing into it. Compared to an older, hard-shelled lobster that can withstand the rigors of a grill, a new shell is also more delicate when cooking.

Guide For Preparing A Grilled Lobster

The grilling techniques are practically the same whether for soft-shell or hard-shell. However, it's crucial to carefully store the lobsters alive before cooking, like with any lobster preparation.

If a lobster is not alive when cooked, its meat cannot be consumed. Instead, the lobsters must be kept chilled in the containers they were shipped in until they are prepared. Freshwater kills lobsters, so never store them in cold water or cover them with ice. A fresh, live lobster may be quickly and humanely killed when it's time to cook it. Please put it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking to dull its senses. After that, lay it on a cutting board and break its skull in half by driving a large, sharp kitchen knife between its antennae.

Afterward, divide the lobster with a large kitchen knife from the head to the tail to cut it in half for grilling. After being cut, it is necessary to remove the small grey sac behind the head, the black roe if the animal is female, the tomalley, a green-colored liver, and the black intestinal vein that extends from the stomach sac to the tail's tip.

knife on stone cutting board surrounded by vegetables

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Lightly Season It Before Grilling, Then It’s Go Time!

When it's ready for the grill, season it in any way you like. You can baste it with butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, or minced garlic. With the split side facing up, place it on the prepared grill at medium-high heat. For about 4-6 minutes, grill it with the top closed. Open again, baste with oil or butter, and cook for 4-5 minutes. It's advised not to flip the lobster to preserve the fluids. The butter or oil will keep it moisturized.

cooked lobster on platter, with garnish

Photo by Katie Musial from Unsplash

The shell of a lobster's claws is a little thicker and may require additional cooking time. If left whole, cover the claws with a roasting pan or pie tin for the lobster to cook evenly, or you can twist them away to grill them individually for a few minutes longer.

It All Happens So Quickly With Grilled Lobsters!

Always watch the lobsters on the grill as they'll get hot quickly. Make sure you're using non-stick grilling mats, so the meat doesn't stick and fall apart right away.

Lobster that has been overcooked may become rough, rubbery, and dry. Pull the lobster from the grill after the meat starts to get opaque and firm up; it will continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the flame.

Final Thoughts

Grilled Maine lobsters are delectable and straightforward to prepare. But, of course, prepping takes longer than grilling, so once you get into the swing of things, you'll be able to wow your loved ones all summer!

In addition, you need to be wise when selecting the drink to pair with your Maine grilled lobster since a poorly chosen drink can ruin even the most delicious lobster. In the end, the entire point of preparing a grilled lobster for your loved ones is to treat and spoil them, so take the time to pick an excellent beer to complement the taste of your lobster and enjoy!

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