Live Maine lobsters being sorted on fishing boat

Getting the lobster home alive from the tank at the grocery store or fish market takes a bit of planning but is well worth the effort. Lobsters shipped live to your home are sent using special containers and dry ice but you will not need either to transport your live lobster.

Have a Styrofoam cooler for each live lobster you plan to buy. Place a well-sealed bag of ice in the bottom of each cooler. You want to keep the melting water from the ice contained in the bags, as the fresh water can kill the lobster during transport.

Cover the ice bag with several layers of newspaper. This will help prevent the lobster from inadvertently ripping the bag open.

Place the lobster on top of the newspaper and then place the lid on the cooler.

Transport the lobster home as quickly as possible. Once home, put the lobster in an open container and cover the lobster with moist seaweed or a moist cloth and store in the refrigerator. The lobster should be cooked as soon as possible.


When choosing a live lobster, look for the liveliest ones. The tail of a lobster should curl downward when it is picked up. Cooked lobster will keep for approximately 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Freeze any leftovers for longer storage. Live lobsters will live between 12 and 24 hours in the refrigerator provided they are kept moist.