Lobsters are submerged alive in boiling water and cooked for anywhere from 12 to 25 minutes depending on the size of the lobster. The water is sometimes seasoned with spices or vegetables, which lend additional flavor to the lobster meat.
It is important to cook lobsters while alive because the bodies of lobsters and other crustaceans or shellfish contain harmful bacteria that can rapidly multiply after the animal has died. These harmful bacteria are not always removed through cooking.
To prevent the lobster from experiencing pain during this process, cooks place it in the freezer for 15 minutes before cooking. This brings the lobster into a near-dormant state and decreases the amount of pain and stress during cooking.
Cooks may season the water that the lobster cooks in with a variety of seafood spices like capers, garlic or lemon pepper. Another method to cook lobster includes briefly boiling the lobster in water before cutting it in half and transferring it to a grill. The seasonings of choice vary depending on region and tastes. Lobster is best served with lemon and butter to complement the smooth taste and texture of the meat.
Lobsters are not naturally red. The outer shell of the lobster turns this color during the boiling process, but it is not an indicator that the lobster flesh has finished cooking.