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Choose an option below or follow the page for step by step instructions on how to handle and store live lobsters from Lobsters Direct:​

What To Do When The Lobster Arrives

Your hand-selected lobsters are packed live with frozen ice packs to keep them cold. Lobsters are shipped in extra thick insulated cooler. Learn more about how lobsters are shipped to you, plus our delivery costs. The first thing you should do after receiving your order from Lobsters Direct is to open the package and verify everything you ordered is there and the lobsters are alive. Be sure to handle the package and the lobsters gently.


If anything is missing or wrong with the order, take pictures and contact our customer support.

How To Hold A Lobster Properly

Your lobsters will arrive with heavy rubber bands on their claws. Our fisherman put those on as soon as the lobsters are removed from their traps. These bands are to protect the lobsters from damaging each other.

Firstly, keep the bands on the claws! Both claws should be banded. (It’s up for debate whether to take the bands off the lobster before cooking, everyone has their preference.)

To hold live lobsters without getting pinched by the claws, hold the lobster by the lower end of the bigger body shell, while letting the lobster head and claws hang down.

Be careful not to let your fingers go below the tail. The shell on the underside of the tail has some sharp edges, and may cut you if the lobster flips its tail as if it was swimming. That’s right, lobsters swim backwards by flipping that powerful tail. You’ve probably heard the old adage “crabs crawl sideways and lobsters swim back.

Only pick up one lobster at at a time. Follow the rule: one hand, one lobster. Do not attempt to pick up several lobsters at a time. Also set lobsters down with care. Do not drop or toss them as you can easily damage them.


How To Store A Live Lobster In The Fridge

Live lobsters are highly perishable and must be handled promptly. It’s best to cook your lobsters on the day they arrive, but they can be stored up to two days if needed.

If you need to store them when they arrive, wrap the lobsters in damp paper and store with ice packs or in the refrigerator and keep them as cold as possible — but don’t freeze them.

If your refrigerator is large enough, keep the lobsters in the shipping container and place it in the refrigerator. If you need to take them out of the container, cover your lobsters with a damp cloth until you’re ready to cook them. Lobsters will die if they dry out, and can only last so long when refrigerated.

Lobsters stored this way will stay sluggish and moist, but must be cooked within 24-48 hours — after this, your investment in fresh seafood probably won’t be so fresh.

You risk a dead lobster and a lost meal if you postpone your lobster’s rendezvous with your pots and pans.

Some handling tips you’ll definitely want to keep in mind when handling live lobster:

  • Don’t place lobsters in tap water. They are saltwater creatures, and fresh water will kill them.

  • Don’t seal lobsters in an air-tight container.

  • Don’t store lobsters in stagnant water.

Preparing To Cook Live Lobster

Follow our how to handle a lobster guidelines above when removing the lobster from the fridge and preparing it for cooking.

Putting Live Lobsters To Sleep

Putting a lobster to sleep is a necessary step in the preparation process that can be stressful for some people. The University of Maine Lobster Institute has fielded many questions about whether boiling a lobster is humane. Their studies found that a lobster has a primitive nervous system, similar to that of an insect. To feel pain, an animal must have a complex nervous system.

Still, there are methods for putting lobsters to sleep so they don’t twitch their tails when boiled. We recommend minimizing how much a lobster moves or twitches in boiling water by chilling it first. This involves putting it in the freezer for 30 minutes. If it is still active after 30 minutes, keep it in the freezer a while longer.