Lobster of any kind is really about freshness, especially when you get Maine lobster delivery sent to your house. When you go to all that trouble, it HAS to be fresh. When you buy lobster online, you’ll also be able to explore your culinary side and/or impress guests with the same fine-dining experience they would get at seafood restaurants. Claws, tail, knuckles, and body, live lobster has something to offer everyone. Below are some of the best and most reliable live Maine lobster delivery companies in the country and their various pricing options for different sizes of lobster, plus lobster tails and meat.
Below all of the comparison grids, we go through the entire process from receiving shipment, how to cook, lobster recipes, beer and wine pairings, how to dispose of the carcasses and shells, and a few other tidbits to help make this a great dining experience.
Our Top Maine Lobster Delivery Companies
|Category||Company||Most Popular Size||Average $/Lobster Dinner*||Customer Ratings||Go To|
|Highest Customer Ratings||Lobster Anywhere||2 lb.||$302||5.0|
|Best for Sustainability||Crab Place||2 lb.||$260||4.5|
|Best for Lobster Tails||Cameron’s Seafood||12 oz.||$185||4.7|
|Best Variety||Fulton Fish Market||2 lb.||$265||4.6|
|Best for Lobster Meat||Wulf’s Fish||1 lb.||$55/lb||4.8|
|Most Frequent Discounts||Get Maine Lobster||1.5 lb.||$248||4.9|
|Best Website Experience||Winter Harbor Lobster Co-Op||1.5 lb.||$215||4.6|
|Best for Smaller Lobsters||Sanders Lobster Company||1.5 lb.||SOLD OUT||4.5|
*Estimated cost of one item in the company’s most popular size.
So, how did we choose these companies? We have personal ordering experience with a lot of them, and we’ve spent hundreds of hours researching their sites and reading reviews. These companies also have a commitment to lobster sustainability, and they really care about the quality of their product. Rest assured that these are the best and most experienced lobster providers in the business.
What Size Lobster to Buy?
When deciding what size lobster to buy, there are three main things to think about: appetite, flavor, and sides.
- Just taking appetite into consideration, for most adults, a 1.5-pound lobster is not enough food for one meal. If you have a big appetite, you’ll want to get 2 pounders and above.
- Smaller lobsters have a sweeter flavor, so the chix (1.25 pound lobsters) are coveted by those who know their lobster. They are universally considered to taste better than their bigger brothers and sisters. If natural flavor is your primary driver, go with the smallest lobster you can manage. If you are someone who likes to dunk every bite into clarified butter, then you can likely go bigger, as the butter will cover much of the flavor.
- What sides you have with your lobster will determine a lot about the size you need. If it is just standard corn or slaw and the like, we say go big. If you are having something more substantial, then you might drop down the size of each by a quarter or half pound.
Also, don’t forget wine and beer. If you are planning to drink a lot before and with dinner, that takes up space in your belly. And if you are having some kind of starch, it’s going to expand and they’ll be even less room in there for lobster.
So consider the whole picture, who’s coming, how much they can eat, what you are having with the main course, what you are drinking, and what flavors are most important. If you can manage all of that lobster calculus, you’ll know exactly what size live Maine lobsters to order.
What Goes into a Live Lobster Price?
Lobster prices can differ significantly between companies. A live lobster price will depend on two main variables:
- The season
- Whether shipping is included
When lobster isn’t in season, prices go up. This is because the demand begins to outstrip supply, and companies have to reorient their pricing. Additionally, some lobster providers roll the cost of shipping into their per-pound price, which can make some lobsters appear far more expensive than others. In general, there will only be $10-$15 in variability within a size category between lobster companies. However, note that prices have been generally trending upward in recent years, in light of the labor shortage, trade wars, and other global phenomena. That price difference is usually marginal and based on the company’s cost of operating. The below 2-pound lobster price grid illustrates these differences.
|Company||Min. Order||Price/lobster*||Price/4 Lobsters**||Company Rating||Go To|
|Fulton Fish Market||2||$65.99||$263.96||4.8|
|The Crab Place||2||$74.74||$259.61||4.5|
|Get Maine Lobster||1||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT||4.5|
Meat yield will vary by lobster, so it’s difficult to know exactly how many ounces of food you’ll get out of a live lobster. If getting meat for your money is your primary concern, head to the lobster meat section below. But, for our money, we like ordering lives lobster and fishing the meat out of the shell ourselves. That experience is priceless.
What to Expect With Maine Lobster Home Delivery (And Receiving)
When you get fresh lobster delivered to your door, it will (or should) arrive alive. This takes a little doing. Much of that responsibility lays on the side of the lobster company. Some of it is on the shipping service. Some of it is on you. We’ll briefly walk through the process (click the link above if you want to read more), but then we’ll cover your responsibility.
- Order your lobster. Select the size you want and check out. Make sure you specify shipping and receiving dates.
- The company prepares your order. Whatever mail order lobster company you choose will pull your lobsters right out of the water, pack them with gel packs and dry ice, and ship them in a Styrofoam container that fits in a cardboard box. This usually happens via UPS.
- Grab your delivery. Shipping live Maine lobsters will typically require two days, but sometimes overnight if you have selected this option. Live lobsters can usually stay alive, when chilled, for 24-36 hours, so the clock is ticking. You’ll get the standard pings and alerts as to when your package will be arriving, which should give you plenty of lead time to get prepared. Best lobster delivery scenario: You are there to receive your package as it arrives. If not, make sure someone can grab the package for you and move it into a cool space.
Remember that the costs also vary by distance away from Maine. The farther you are, the more costly it will be to have Maine lobster shipped. Also the more you order (i.e. the more weight to ship), the higher the cost of shipping.
Storing & Prepping Live Lobster Before the Meal
Once you have the live lobsters in your possession, keep them in a cool place until ready to cook. Freshwater can kill lobster, so if you use ice to keep them cool, layer in some towels and seaweed to keep them safe. The lobsters will be sluggish from the cold, but unlikely to be dead. But, if your meal does arrive in bad shape, read this article about what to do if your lobster is dead.
Keep them cool or around 40 degrees until just before cooking. Then you’ll want to put them in the freezer for a few minutes before they hit the pot. You’ll want to ensure you have a large enough pot to cook the lobster. Maine Lobsters are typically 10-20 inches long, so the standard 4-quart stock pot is unlikely to get the job done if you have four or more lobsters to boil or if they happen to be pretty big lobsters. We think it’s best to refer to the pros and consult the Maine Lobster Festival, and they advise having a monster, 19-20-quart stock pot on hand.
How to Cook Live Maine Lobster
Lobster Anywhere is a partner of ours and has probably the most comprehensive guide on how to cook lobster of any we have found on the web. But then here’s a video that is longer than is should be, but does the trick.
This could go forever and you can search google for what you’re looking for better than we can, so here we are just trying to provide collectives of top lobster recipes from renown recipe and cooking sites. This will save you a few minutes, but not much more. These are for cooking with meat or tails, but the breadth of these will show you what is possible out there if you get a little creative. From lobster rolls to bisque to quesadillas, ravioli, beignets, lobster mac and cheese, to pot pies and pizzas. Off you go.
- Food Network Lobster Recipes
- Huffpost 28 Lobster Recipes Anyone Can Make
- One Million Lobster Recipes from Pinterest
- Southern Lobster Recipes
- Recipes from Sizzlefish
Best Side Dishes to Have with Live Lobster
With a lobster dinner, you will typically see potatoes, coleslaw, corn, salads, heavy vegetables like carrots and asparagus, rolls/biscuits, and pasta. But, a word of caution: When we have lobster, we are all about the lobster. In fact, if it weren’t some weird rule that you have to have multiple dishes at dinner, we would just eat the lobster and nothing else. If you are like us or even a little like us, consider leaning toward lighter sides that can break up the heaviness of lobster, such as crisp salads and light vegetables.
Buy Lobster Tails Online
Some folks might not want the full live lobster shebang. That’s when a lobster tail might be the better choice. Lobster tails often come with a lower price tag and an easier shipping experience. You won’t get the wow-factor of cooking live lobster, but you’ll still have a pretty dang amazing meal. We’ll discuss the benefits of going with tails, but first, here are some of our favorite lobster tail companies and what they do best.
Our Picks for Best Lobster Tails
|Category||Company||Most Popular Size||Average $/Tail||Customer Ratings||Go To|
|Best for Medium Tails||Lobster Anywhere||6-9oz.||$29.95||5.0|
|Best for Large Tails||Crab Place||10-12oz.||$31.68||4.5|
|Best for Jumbo Tails||Cameron’s Seafood||12-14 oz.||$79.99||4.7|
|Best for Small Tails||Fulton Fish Market||4-6oz.||$25.99||4.6|
|Most Frequent Discounts||Get Maine Lobster||6-9oz.||$41.24||4.6|
|Most Size Variety||Global Seafoods||18-20oz.||$61.90||4.6|
*Estimated cost for one tail of the provider’s most popular size.
When to Have Lobster Tails Instead of Whole Lobster?
Lobsters tails have the most meat of any part of the lobster, making them more satisfying. They’re also cheaper to ship (per pound of meat) across the country. For the most part, you can tell whether you’ll be a fan of lobster tails based on your experience eating a whole lobster: If you like to cherish the sweetest and most tender meat that exists in the claws and knuckles, then you may be disappointed by the slightly tougher texture of the tail. If you’re frustrated by cracking open the hard lobster shell for just a couple small bites of meat, then you’ll likely find that tails are the best way to enjoy your lobster.
Maine lobster tails aren’t as much work or as much mess as live lobsters. Some people (you know the ones) don’t like to get their hands dirty and just want to use a fork. In this case, tails make a lot of sense. But keep in mind that lobster tails contain less meat than a full lobster. If you are aiming for surf and turf, a filet and a tail is pretty perfect. But if lobster tails are the main attraction, go big, buy extra, and add some sides.
Lobster tails are also more predictable. With a 1.5 pound lobster, you don’t get 1.5 pounds of meat. However, with a 6oz tail, you get pretty much what you are buying. Lobster tails can be found anywhere from 3oz to 20oz, so it can be pretty easy to tailor tail size for everyone at the table. For our money, this is much harder to do when cooking live lobster.
Additionally, lobster tails can be stored for longer periods before eating. Unlike live lobsters, you don’t have to cook them as soon as they arrive. Lobster tails (and meat, for that matter) will stay good to eat in the freezer for around three months. People tend to like this flexibility. If you’re already paying for live Maine lobster delivery, consider adding some tails to enjoy a few weeks after the main event.
Best Way to Cook Lobster Tails
Lobster tails have way more options for cooking, which brings in tons more recipes, if you are interested in adding some flavor. Here are a few, but you can find more on the tails page.
When to Buy Lobster Meat
In New England and the northeast United States, lobster meat is mainly used for lobster rolls. Of course, you can do anything you want to with it, such as lobster bisque, lobster ravioli, to name a couple. However, the primary reason that most people purchase lobster meat instead of tails or whole live lobster is to make lobster rolls.
Lobster meat will come frozen and in knuckle-sized chunks, just as it would appear in lobster rolls. These chunks are often a bit too big to fit into ravioli and often even bisque, so it is common to either chop these lobster chunks down into smaller pieces or to pulse them in the Cuisinart a few times to achieve the same result.
If you are on the hunt for fresh Maine lobster meat, either use that link or check out the lobster meat prices in the grid below. You can click right through to company websites to order your Maine lobster delivery.
Fresh Maine Lobster Meat
|Fulton Fish Market||$64.99||$129.99||603||4.4||website|
|Get Maine Lobster||$64.99||$129.99||11,168||4.9||website|
Explore all fresh lobster meat delivery companies
Map of Lobster Fisheries
This is a non-comprehensive map of Maine lobster fisheries.
Take note of our Affiliate Relationships that may exist with this page and companies listed on it.