What Size Lobster to Buy? Pick the Right Size Lobster

We often get asked, “what is a good sized lobster to buy?” We ship lobsters from from 1 ¼ lb. each, (the size you might find at a Boston seafood restaurant), all the way up to 10-12 lb. monster lobster. What size lobster to order will depend on your budget, your menu, the occasion and the size of your event.

Soft-Shell and Chicken Lobsters

You might see a “twin” lobster special at some of the New England tourist spots featuring two small lobsters just over a 1 lb. each (the smallest legal size.) We do not ship small lobsters under 1.20 lbs. (called “chix” in the trade); nor do we we ship soft-shell lobsters, known as new shell lobsters— crustaceans that recently shed their shell. It is not worth the work shucking a chicken lobster when you can crack into a bigger one full of meat. Soft shell lobsters are not shipped due to their weak and fragile nature. Plus, the meat yield is about 10% less than a good hard-shell lobster. Learn why you will always want to buy hard-shell lobsters.

Lobster Grading and Sizes
Lobster Grading and Sizes

How Much Lobster to Order

For the true lobster experience each person should crack into his or her own individual lobster. No sharing allowed, unless you order a large jumbo lobster! The larger lobsters not only weigh more but will have a higher proportion of meat. Hence, they will cost more per pound. Sometimes the real big lobsters can be cheaper per pound than Select lobsters. If you are throwing a large lobster bake or want to keep cost per person affordable, your best bet is to start with 1 ¼ lb. (550-650g) lobsters, also know as “quarters”. These lobsters are a good size and are usually more plentiful than the larger lobsters. Quarters are also a good choice if you are serving a surf and turf or have plenty of side dishes.

How Much Meat in a Live Lobster? A 1 1/2 pound hard-shell lobster will yield about 1 1/3 cups of cooked meat.

What size lobster to buy?

A 1 ½ lb. (650-775 g) lobster are called halves. These are NOT lobsters cut in half, they are whole, live lobsters! Halves are a large enough lobster for a “Maine” course lobster dinner. Going up in size is a 2 lb. (900-1000g) lobster (known as “deuces”). This a nice hefty lobster perfect for a special occasion like a birthday or an anniversary. Select grade lobsters are often in high demand and this is reflected in the price. High end restaurants and steak houses will always get a premium for Selects.

Even bigger in size are jumbo lobsters — 3 lbs. and up and are usually caught by offshore trawlers in the deep waters off Canada, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. They makes an impressive gift for your seafood loving friends or business associates. How about a big lobster for Dad for Father’s Day?

Largest Lobster Caught

One of the biggest misnomers is that big lobsters are apt to be course and tough. Not true at all. You’ll not only get more meat with a good hard-shell jumbo lobster, but the meat will be just as tender if it is cooked properly. Most of the cooking lobster cooking times we find online are much too long. See our lobster cooking times. There is also no taste difference between a male and female lobster; the female will have a bigger tail with roe, and the male will have bigger claws.

Save Money Buying the Right Size Lobster

If your making lobster rolls or dishes like lobster scampi or lobster mac and cheese you’ll save money buying fresh lobster meat. It takes about 4 ½  pounds of live lobsters to get a pound of meat! In the summer months it will take even more lobsters. If you do not care about presentation, culls (lobsters with only one claw) are a good deal if available.

LobsterAnywhere ships live lobsters from Maine, where product is received daily, then each lobster is selected for vigor and hard-shell excellence. You can pick different size lobsters and mix and match at our online store. For example, if you are planing a special birthday dinner you can surprise the birthday boy or girl with a special jumbo lobster and serve your dinner guests 1 ½ lb. lobsters each. Our lobsters will not be the lowest price you’ll find online, but they will be superior quality. Simply put, these are the BEST lobsters available, anywhere.

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