This page has everything you need to know about the best lobster delivery – from how to choose a lobster to receiving the delivery. Lobsters are shipped alive. This means there is a lot of work involved in getting them to your doorstep. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of selecting your company, paying, preparing, getting the shipment, and cleaning up after the meal.
How Much Does the Best Live Lobster Delivery Cost?
Live lobster prices fluctuate by season and company. Below, you’ll find a grid with a few lobster companies we recommend in the 1.5-pound category. We selected this group based on the quality of their products and the strength of their customer service.
|Category||Company||Most Popular Size||Average $/Lobster Dinner*||Customer Ratings||Go To|
|Highest Customer Ratings||Lobster Anywhere||2 lb.||$335||5.0|
|Best for Sustainability||Crab Place||2 lb.||$280||4.5|
|Best for Lobster Tails||Cameron’s Seafood||12 oz.||$350||4.7|
|Best Variety||Fulton Fish Market||2 lb.||$270||4.6|
|Best for Lobster Meat||Wulf’s Fish||1 lb.||N/A||4.8|
|Most Frequent Discounts||Get Maine Lobster||1.5 lb.||$275||4.6|
|Best Website Experience||Winter Harbor Lobster Co-Op||1.5 lb.||$335||4.6|
|Best for Smaller Lobsters||Sanders Lobster Company||1.5 lb.||$270||4.5|
While the prices may appear different from one another, pay attention to the “Price/4 Lobsters” column. These calculations take shipping costs into consideration, creating a more equal per-pound price. So, while it might look like a lobster from The Lobster Guy is $15 cheaper than one from Cape Porpoise Lobster Company, there’s only around $2 of difference between the two. If you’re trying to get a sense of how much lobsters cost, we recommend using the “Price/4 Lobsters” column as your guide. This should help you know how to budget for Maine lobster delivery.
How to Buy Live Lobsters Online
Ordering Maine lobster online can be tricky. We’ve outlined a few steps to take to ensure you get the best possible product.
- Choose your lobster provider. Ordering the best lobster delivery starts with selecting a company. But what makes for the best place to order lobster online? You’ll want to look for a variety of products, good reviews from former customers, and sustainability accreditation. If you need a place to start, check out our directory of reputable Maine lobster companies.
- Figure out what to order. Knowing which size lobster to buy can be tricky, especially if you can’t see the animal before making the purchase. A lobster will yield between 20-25% of its total weight in meat. If you order a 1.25-pound live lobster, you should expect between 4-5 ounces of meat
- Know the best time to order lobster delivery. The lobster season moves in waves, which means lobster prices can fluctuate throughout the year. Peak season will typically run from mid-September to mid-November, then from April through early June. If this sounds complicated, sign up for our lobster newsletter. We’ll send you alerts when lobster prices are good.
How Much Does Live Lobster Shipping Cost?
Shipping is where customers will see the most variance in lobster delivery costs. Some companies roll the shipping price into their per-pound calculations. Other companies choose to have the shipping cost calculated separately. There isn’t much of an overall price difference between these options. Just remember that, if you find a lobster company with shipping costs rolled into the per-pound price, you’ll want to ensure you are in their delivery zone. Sometimes, these companies limit the distance a lobster can travel to keep costs down.
How is Live Lobster Shipped?
Most of the best lobster delivery companies have shipping down to a science, but the process can feel inaccessible or mysterious to customers. Here’s how it usually works.
If you buy lobster online early in the day, the company will begin processing the order as soon as it is received. If you order later in the afternoon, the process will begin early the next morning. When a purchase is made, an employee will collect the lobsters and pack them into a Styrofoam cooler. These coolers usually include some type of cooling agent, like ice or frozen gel packs. These containers are designed to stay cold for the duration of the shipping process, thus preserving the life of the crustaceans inside.
Once the cooler is packed, it is picked up or dropped off at the shipping facility, where it is sent overnight to your door. In most cases, the cooler should arrive the very next day. Some companies offer Saturday delivery, but you’ll want to check with your provider before placing a weekend order.
If you want to know more about how the shipping process for how the best lobster delivery options works, check out our guide to seafood shipping.
Items You Need to Cook Lobster
You’ll want to cook your meal almost as soon as the delivery arrives. This means you should have some tools ready to use. Before placing your lobster order, we recommend making sure you have the following:
- A pot large enough to cook your lobster. Generally, a stock pot that fits between 12 and 30 quarts should be sufficient.
- Enough refrigerator or freezer space to store the lobster when it arrives.
- Ice. Keeping lobsters in their cooler may be the easiest storage method. Adding ice can help maintain a low temperature.
- Metal tongs. This makes handling the lobster a lot easier, both before and after cooking.
- A cutting board or heat-proof surface. You’ll want to rest the lobsters for several minutes between cooking and serving. You should have a designated spot for this.
- Butter. Most serve lobster with butter, and we agree – it’s the best way to enjoy the meal.
We also recommend deciding on a lobster recipe before the shipment arrives. Most people will boil or steam the crustaceans, but it helps to familiarize yourself with the process before beginning to cook.
How Your Lobster Will Be Delivered
In most cases, the cooler will be delivered to your home and left outside, either on a doorstep or in a vestibule. If you are unable to be home for your delivery, we recommend including a note with your purchase. Asking a delivery person to put the lobster in a shaded, cool area, like under a tree or in the garage, will help keep the lobsters chilled. You may be able to sign up for text or email notifications when your lobster is delivered.
When your lobster arrives, keep the animals as cold as possible. Adding ice to the cooler can keep the container cold, but you can also transfer the lobster to your refrigerator until it’s time to cook.
What to Do if Your Lobster is Dead
Accidents happen, and when they do, you might have a dead crustacean on your hands. If you open a container and find dead lobsters, take photos of the lobster and the package. Then, consult your company’s quality guarantee or policy.
Remember that lobster meat begins to degrade as soon as the animal dies. If you’re not sure when during the trip the lobster died, or if the cooler it arrived in is no longer cold, we don’t recommend consuming lobster that arrives dead. For more information, check out our guide to dealing with a dead lobster delivery.
Dealing with Lobster Shells and Waste
Lobster shells can usually be tossed in the garbage. If you have a compost bin, you can safely compost lobster shells if they are pulverized or crushed. Customers can also save their shells to use when making seafood broths and stews.
Some report having lobster smell linger in their steamers and pots for days after cooking. If this happens, scour the metal with kosher salt and a half lemon. The lemon can help deodorize the pot, while the salt works as a mild abrasive. A baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice combination can also be effective.
The Best Lobster Delivery is Worth the Cost
Ordering lobster can be a hassle, but it’s worth the effort. If you have a good experience with a lobster provider, remember to bookmark them for future purchases. Remember that lobster prices change frequently, so you’ll want to check how much lobster delivery costs each time you order. If you want to simplify the process, check out our email newsletter to receive price updates each month.
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