We’ve been shipping live lobsters and fresh seafood for over 15 years and have come across plenty of questions from landlubbers and lobster aficionados alike.  You’ll find many of the common questions below. If you can’t find your answer, contact us and we will get right back to you faster than you can say Penobscot, ME. 

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Storing and handling live lobster

Learn more about handling live lobster from Lobster Anywhere.

A good hard-shell lobster can live up to 36 hours out of water if kept cool, moist and refrigerated. Since lobster is a gill breather  wet newspaper and/or seaweed helps keep them moist. Since lobsters are seawater creatures never store them in fresh water.  If you need to use ice to keep lobsters cold make sure the ice is double bagged.  LobsterAnywhere suggests cooking your lobster the day they are received.

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Lobsters claws are powerful in the grasping direction. They can cut your finger if you are not careful. The claw bands will protect you and also prevent lobsters from injuring themselves or other lobsters.  Although the claws are strong in the grasping position , they are week in the opposite direction. We suggest leaving the bands on the claws until after it is fully cooked.

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Hold the live lobster by the lower end of the bigger body shell (called the carapace) while allowing the lobster head and claws to hang down. Be careful not to let your fingers go below the tail. The underpart of the tail can have some sharp edges and will sometimes flip its powerful tail.

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Refrigerate your lobsters immediately, and keep them cold until you’re ready to cook them. It’s best to cook your lobsters the day they’re delivered.

Store lobsters in a strong paper bag or right in the lobster pot if you were lucky to receive one. Contrary to popular belief, live lobsters are dark greenish-black or brown–they will turn the familiar bright red after cooking.


While lobster can live out of water for a day of more when stored in the refrigerator between 36 and 45 degree, for best result we suggest that you cook them the day they arrive.

The best way to keep lobsters alive for up to 24 hours is to store them in a lose paper bag with damp newspaper or in the shipping container in the coldest part of the refrigerator (usually the lowest shelf at the back or in the meat keeper). Don’t even think about the freezer!

If for some reason you find that you cannot prepare the lobsters for more than a day, you may partially cook them. After you have par-cooked them, submerge in cold water for 3 minutes, drain, and refrigerate. You can finish cooking them any time up to 48 hours later. Cooked lobster meat may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or for months if frozen.

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