Lobster requires eight minutes per pound to properly cook using the boiling method, reports the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative.Steaming a lobster takes slightly longer, with the process requiring 10 minutes per pound according to the same source.
To properly boil lobster, use a pot that can hold enough water to entirely submerge the lobster. For ideal flavor, you should use seawater if available. If you don't have access to seawater, simulate the saltiness of this natural liquid by adding approximately two tablespoons of sea salt per quart of water used. Bring the salt water to a boil, then place the live lobster into the liquid, claws first. When you add the lobster, the water cools and stops boiling. Cover the pot and wait until the water has resumed boiling before you start timing.
To steam lobster, use a 4- to 5-gallon pot. As with boiling, using seawater is best, but you can also use salt water prepared using the same proportions as the water you would prepare to boil the lobster. Add water to the pot until you have one inch of standing water. Heat the water on high until it boils. Add the lobster, claws down, to the pot and place a lid on top. Take off the lid and remove the lobster after the appropriate amount of time has passed.