What to Expect when you're Expecting Live Lobster

What to Expect when you're Expecting Live Lobster

So you've placed your order for our whole live Maine lobsters. Now what?! Here we are going to break down exactly what to expect from order confirmation to final formation (bright red and cooked on your dinner table!)

I just placed my order! How will shipping and delivery work with a live product?

  • In order to ensure freshness and best quality we ship all of our products, including live lobster, through UPS methods that arrive 1 day after the order is shipped.
  • You can schedule your lobster delivery to arrive Tuesday-Saturday. Please note that Saturday delivery is not available to some rural zip codes. If our team notices that you've ordered for arrival on Saturday and UPS does not offer this service where you are we will reach out about changing the shipping date or having the box picked up at a nearby UPS store.  
  • For live lobster orders we offer free shipping! If you have other Luke's products in your order they will ship separately from your live lobster.
  • The UPS shipping window does extend until 9pm local time so keep that in mind when planning dinner.
  • We pack our live lobsters with frozen gel ice packs to ensure they stay cool and alive even if the package lands on your doorstep a little later in the day on delivery day.

So now I have a box of live lobsters in my house...what do I do?!
The best thing you can do for these guys is to ensure they stay nice and cold. If you aren't planning on cooking them right away, take them out of the package and place them in your fridge. 

Pro tip: if you have the space, clear out a vegetable or fruit drawer and add the lobsters in there. If you don't have space in your fridge drawers, place all the lobsters in a lidded pot and keep in the fridge until your ready to cook them. You can keep the lid slightly cracked to allow for some air flow. We recommend cooking your lobsters no more than 24 hours after receiving them.

If any of the lobster have passed away in-transit (RIP little lobster) do not cook them and email retail@lukeslobster.com.

Best cooking practices?
There's lots of great ways you can cook whole lobster, but we think the best and most classic way is to simply steam them. You can find our step-by-step recipe for perfectly cooked whole steamed lobster here. And below is a YouTube link you can follow along with as well! (Make sure to save the shells and bodies if you want to make the most delicious lobster stock evah)

How do I get the meat out?!
To some people this can be the most intimidating part. But no matter what any crotchety old Mainer will tell you, there's really no wrong way to break down a lobster! As long as you are getting the meat out and enjoying it you're doing it right. That said, there are a few best practices and methods that will help you make the most of your Maine lobster experience.

A few good things to have on hand:

  • Lobster crackers (you can get these on lukeslobster.com with your live lobster purchase!)
  • Newspaper or butcher paper to lay down on the table where you are cracking open messy lobster!
  • Butter for melting and dipping
  • Lemon wedges

Watch the man himself, Luke Holden, break down a lobster at his home on the coast of Maine. Guest starring the very adorable and helpful, Poppy!

What is THAT stuff?!
Worry not! There can be lots of weird-looking but delicious surprises inside of your lobster. Here is what you might encounter once you crack into your lobster:

  • Green stuff=tomalley. The tomalley is a lobster's digestive gland, sort of like a cross between a liver and a pancreas. It is 100% safe to eat, some even consider it a delicacy! It has strong, concentrated lobster flavor and can be eaten as is, used in compound butter, whisked into sauces, etc.
  • White stuff=hemolymph. It is congealed blood of the lobster. Also completely safe to eat or add to sauces or soups.
    Red stuff=roe. The roe is actually the cooked eggs of a female lobster. If you see black eggs in your whole lobster or lobster tail that means the lobster hasn't been cooked enough. The roe is also referred to as "lobster caviar" so go ahead, give it a try!


Should you have any other questions about shipping, delivery, live lobster handling, or anything related to your order feel free to email us at retail@lukeslobster.com.