Anyone can order lobster online these days. A handful of companies have put in hard work to create a shipping infrastructure that supports live Maine lobster delivery, no matter where you live. Below, we’ll outline what you’ll need to make a smart and confident purchase – from where to order and what size to get to how to store and cook your lobsters. This stuff might look complicated, but it’s about as easy as ordering anything else online. Your lobster company will take care of the hard stuff for you.
Compare Places to Buy Lobster Online
If you find lobster for sale online, you’ll want to do some extra digging to make sure the company is legit. We’ve done that legwork for you. Below, you’ll find an extensively researched grid of some of the best lobster companies out there. We’ve broken them up into categories to help guide your search. However, regardless of what you need, buying from any of these guys is a smart, safe choice. Keep in mind that the cost of buying lobster online will vary depending on the time of year, which size you buy, and whether shipping is rolled into the per-pound cost.
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.||$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||4.9|
|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|
*Estimated cost of one item in the company’s most popular size.
Find the Right Lobster Size
Getting the perfect size is the secret to a great lobster dinner experience. When buying lobster online and choosing your size, you’ll want to consider three variables: your appetite, the desired flavor, and how many sides you have. Remember that the smaller the lobster, the sweeter the meat, so true lobster aficionados usually stick to the < 1.25-pound range. But if you’re like us (i.e., you need a big side of melted butter to make the meal complete), the taste difference isn’t enough to really matter.
In general, a 1.5-pound lobster isn’t enough food for one person if you don’t include sides. If you’re just sticking to lobster – no sides – go with a 2-pounder. For those who have some sides on the dinner table, like corn, mashed potatoes, and salad, one 1.5-pound lobster per person should be enough.
If you’re still unsure, we don’t blame you. This stuff isn’t easy if you’ve never ordered lobster online before. Here are a few common occasions for ordering lobsters, as well as the sizes we’d recommend for each scenario.
For your romantic dinner…
A dinner for two usually doesn’t include a wealth of side dishes. You might split an appetizer or salad with your date, but a meal like this is all about the seafood. The lobster should be the star of the show. We recommend buying 2-pound lobsters – for both the meat yield and the Wow factor.
For your backyard barbeque…
When we throw barbeques, the whole neighborhood shows up. This means you’re probably going to be prioritizing quantity and ease of cooking. We recommend buying lobster tails, which are much easier to buy and cook in bulk.
For your small dinner party…
A dinner party usually means there’s more than a main dish on the table. In this situation, you likely have pre-meal snacks, as well as a handful of other dishes to share with friends. Still, each person will probably want a lobster for themselves. We recommend buying 1.5-pound lobsters and stocking the table with delicious side dishes.
For your wedding reception…
If you’re ordering lobster online for a wedding reception, the crustaceans are probably just one piece of the meal puzzle. There’s the cocktail hour snacks, the side dishes, and dessert. Still, you know your guests will enjoy having a whole lobster to themselves – as well as some salad and big ol’ slice of cake. We recommend buying 1.25-pound lobsters, which is just small enough to ensure no meat goes to waste.
What to Expect with Lobster for Sale Online – Shipping and Receiving
If all goes to plan, your lobster will arrive on your doorstep – alive – the day after it ships. If that sounds kind of magical, we agree; it’s wild to think that you can put an order in for a live lobster on Monday, have it flown across the country, and see it on your doorstep on Tuesday. Color us impressed.
Most lobster companies have dialed in their shipping protocols to maximize efficiency. Here’s the three-step process you should expect.
- You order your lobster. When ordering lobster online, choose a specific shipping and receiving date. Most companies send lobsters overnight, but a handful will allow you to select 2-day shipping. For our money, we always choose overnight. Your lobster is more likely to survive the shorter travel window.
- They pack your order. Live lobsters are packed into insulated containers with cooling gels and seaweed. The boxes are sealed up and ferried to the local FedEx or UPS to be shipped off.
- Your order arrives. You’ll typically get an estimated delivery window for when your package will arrive. However, things happen, and sometimes the driver drops the package outside of that delivery window. We recommend trying to be home for most of the day. If you can’t be around to receive the package, leave a note for the delivery person to leave the box in a vestibule, in the garage, or in the shade. This will help preserve the container’s cool temperature.
Once your lobster arrives, check to ensure it’s alive. Then, keep the lobster in a cool area until you’re ready to cook. Consider clearing out space in your refrigerator to store your purchase. If you don’t have space, add cooling packs to the insulated container to keep the temperature down. A word of warning: Fresh water will kill lobster. That includes melted ice. If you don’t have gel packs, layer in towels and seaweed with the ice to keep the lobsters safe.
Finding the Best Place to Order Lobster Online
The best online lobster delivery option won’t always be obvious. All of the companies we recommend above offer a great product and experience. Here’s the guidance we followed when selecting them. You can use this advice to find a retailer if the above companies don’t offer exactly what you need.
|Look Out For:||Try to Avoid:|
How to Cook the Lobster You Buy Online
Cooking lobster is surprisingly easy. All you really need to do is boil some water, put them in, and set a timer. But, if you’re looking for a tutorial, check out this video.
Remember that ordering lobster online means you’re relying on someone else’s timeline. You won’t know when, exactly, your lobster will arrive. And once it does, you’ll want to cook it as soon as possible. This means you should be more prepared when you order lobster online than when you buy it at the grocery store. In other words: If you don’t have the utensils necessary to cook your lobster, we recommend buying it before ordering. For easy reference, here’s what you’ll need:
- Lobster pot
- Hand cleaners
Frequently Asked Questions When You Order Lobster Online
If you haven’t found what you’re looking for in the above content, our Maine lobster delivery hub might be able to help. In the meantime, here are a few follow-up questions we’ve gotten when it comes to finding and ordering the best lobster online.
How much do lobster delivery services cost?
When you order lobster online, the price will depend on the time of year, what size you buy, and how far away you live from Maine. But, generally speaking, you should expect to pay between $35 and $75 per lobster, depending on whether shipping is rolled into the per-pound cost. We know that’s a huge range, but there are a lot of variables that affect prices throughout the year. For the most transparency, we recommend going with a company who doesn’t offer “free shipping.” This just means the cost of shipping is included in the product’s pricing, which makes it harder to know exactly how much your lobster costs.
What size lobster is best?
When deciding which size lobster to buy, think about your appetite, the number of side dishes you have, and whether lobster taste is important. In general, the smaller the lobster, the sweeter the meat – but this doesn’t matter as much if you like to dip bites in butter. If you care a lot about taste, 1.25-pound lobsters are your best bet. If you’re mostly after meat quantity, anything above 1.5 pounds should do the trick. Just be sure to calibrate your lobster size to the number of sides you’re planning to serve.
Which is better: male or female lobsters?
Most companies who sell lobster online don’t give customers the option to select between males and females. This is for a good reason: There isn’t much of a difference. Male lobsters generally have larger claws, and female lobsters tend to have larger tails. However, we don’t think these variations are substantial enough to warrant actively seeking out male vs. female lobsters. If you buy from a reputable company, you’ll get a great meal regardless of which sex your lobster has.
How soon should I cook a lobster from a lobster delivery service?
As a general rule of thumb, you should cook your lobster as quickly as possible. These little guys don’t last long outside of their natural habitat, and you don’t want to risk your dinner dying before you get a chance to cook it. Try to cook your lobster within 48 hours of its arrival, but ideally within 24 hours.
What if my lobster delivery is wrong, damaged, or missing?
We have a whole resource about what to do if your lobster is dead. Here are the most important bits: Take lots of pictures of the package and lobster and contact your company as soon as possible. If you order lobster online and it arrives alive but dies while waiting to be cooked, you’ll have no recourse with the company. This is why we recommend cooking your lobster soon after it arrives.