Maine Lobster Boil

August 11, 2014

Nothing epitomizes summer more than a lobster boil. It’s best enjoyed outdoors and with friends excited to get their hands dirty and their bellies full. And the best thing about a lobster boil is that it feeds so many people, but you actually spend very little time actually cooking. I made this boil with small potatoes, smoked keilbasa sausage, yellow corn and fresh clams. Everything goes in one pot for about 20 minutes and the feast is ready. The only plan ahead you really need to do is to order your live lobsters.


Lobsters From Maine provides a list of companies that can ship live lobsters. Our lobsters came live in a small box packed with ice packs. You simply need to keep a damp towel over them, store them in the refrigerator, and cook them within 24-48 hours. And whatever you do, do not store them in water or cover them in ice.

Maine lobster boil

Start by boiling water in a very large stock pot. Add a few handfuls of salt to make the water salty. Prep your clams by loosely tying them in cheese cloth. I divided the clams into two separate sacks of cheese cloth. Make sure to leave enough room so they can open. Tying them in cheese cloth helps to keep the clam meat from falling to the bottom of the stock pot when they open.

Lobster and clams

Add a quartered onion and a bulb of garlic sliced through the center. Add potatoes and cook for about 8 minutes.

Garlic and potatoes

Add the sausage. Then add the lobsters and cook according to the average weight of your lobsters NOT the total weight of all your lobsters. Do not cover the pot when boiling.

  • 1 pound = 8 minutes
  • 1 1/4 pounds = 9-10 minutes
  • 1 1/2 pounds = 11-12 minutes
  • 1 3/4 pounds = 12-13 minutes
  • 2 pounds = 15 minutes
  • 2 1/2 pounds = 20 minutes
  • 3 pounds = 25 minutes
  • 5 pounds = 35-40 minutes


7 minutes before the lobsters will be finished add the sacks of clams into the boil. 3 minutes before the lobsters finish cooking add the corn.

Lobsters cooked

Remove the lobster and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Strain the boil and remove the clams from the cheese cloth.

Maine lobster boil | HonestlyYUM

Arrange on a large platter and serve with melted butter, lemon wedges and garlic sourdough bread. Oh, and don’t forget the beer!

Lobster meat


Stay tuned tomorrow for a recipe on how to use up extra lobster meat– if you even have any left over!

Lobster boil




  • 3 whole live lobsters
  • 2 pounds of clams
  • 3 links of smoked kielbasa sausages
  • 5 ears of corn, shucked and halved
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 head of garlic


  • Fill a large stock pot with water. The pot should be large enough to fit the lobsters with plenty of room.
  • Bring to a boil and salt the water. Quarter the onion and cut the head of garlic through the widest part of the head. Add to the boiling water
  • Before boiling the lobsters, snip the rubber bands off the claws. Add lobsters to the boiling water.
  • Cook lobsters according to weight (see above for timing based on weight)
  • Divide the clams in half and tie up each half loosely with cheese cloth. Make sure there is room for the clams to open.
  • 7 minutes before the lobsters are done cooking, add the clams
  • 3 minutes before lobsters are done cooking, add the corn.
  • Remove lobsters and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Strain the boil and arrange on a platter.
  • Serve with lemon wedges and melted butter

(images by HonestlyYUM)


What about the grilled bread? I don’t see any mention about that… Recipe please?!?!

We are planning a lobster boil for 40-45 guests. How would you convert this recipe?
Thank you!

I’ve noticed a few people like me have asked how servings this gives you. I’m having 6 people and wonder if this will serve them all. Please answer. Thank you.

If they are chicken lobsters (1lb – 1/4lb), one per person would do. Larger lobsters, split in half from head to tail.

I want to do this in a a propane steamer pot outside… with steam, not by boiling. Last year there was a recipe to steam potatoes, andouille sausage, corn, lobster clams and shrimp in about 8 cups of water with 12 oz. of pilsner, a garlic cluster cut in half, 5 quartered onions and a handful of salt.. I remember the potatoes went in the steamer basket first, never touching the water, and for about 18 minutes, them you started adding everything else at about 5 minute intervals. Then the shrimp last for about 3 minutes. I didn’t think to save the recipe and now I can’t find it. Would you how to change the cook times for a high heat 60 gal, propane steamer? Your recipe was the closest I could find to the original.

I just have one question- how many servings does this recipe call for?

WHY OH WHY do these “new” recipes call for SAUSAGE? *gagger* THey originated up here in New England – WE do NOT put ‘processed greasy scrap meat’ (aka sausage) in ours… THAT is just UNAMERICAN! 😛

This looks fabulous …
My only question is … Do you keep the potatoes in the pot the whole time?
I have lived right next door to Maine and now live in Nova Scotia….
You don’t get any closer to Lobsters than this.

Thanks! Yup just keep them in there the rest of the time. Very jealous of your proximity!

“It feeds so many people” ?? Really ?? It would be nice to know how many ! It is to much to ask to include number of servings in this recipe ? only takes about 10 keystrokes and then you would have a complete recipe.

I mean…I can’t even! This is too gorgeous and looks absolutely delicious and fun.

I’ve always wanted to have an authentic lobster broil, especially when I’m at the beach! I just love all these pictures, I feel like I’m there!

Gorgeous! A lobster boil is a great experience! These photos are beautiful!

Oh my gosh! This lobster boil looks absolutely perfect! And I love the looks of this. I’m adding this to my summer bucket list…guess I better get on it , huh?

Everything about this is STUNNING. Never had a lobster boil before, but now I need to get on it before the summer ends!

Love these photos! I’m originally from New England, but when I moved to the west coast my mom shipped me some live lobsters. It was really fun!

So fun, I think I’m inviting myself over to the next lobster boil! 😉

this is the kind of party i want to attend now,,,

Another season passed by and I haven’t tried lobster boil. I definitely have to catch up on this. Looks so delicious!

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