It’s hard to talk about Nova Scotia without mentioning LOBSTER. It’s a quintessential part of who we are. These crustaceans are part of our history, our culture, and our summers.

I have so many amazing spring and summer memories of tucking into a massive feed of fresh lobster while standing up over a picnic table. I always laugh when I see a whole lobster on a fine dining menu. I think it totally misses the essence of how to eat lobster. It’s all roll up your sleeves, get up to your elbows in melted butter and GO TO TOWN!

Key takeaways for how to cook and eat lobster:
1) Get fresh, just out of the water lobster.
2) Ideally, cook them in ocean water…bonus points if it’s from close to where the lobster was caught.
3) Once lobsters are cooked, remove from pot and place immediately into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Cold lobster, warm butter.

Good old-fashioned Nova Scotian Lobster boil

Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Ready in 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • One 1½ lb lobster per person
  • 4 gallons seawater (or 4 gallons fresh water with 2 cups of sea salt)
  • 2 leeks roughly chopped
  • 1 large white onion quartered
  • 1 bag ice and a couple of cups of salted water

Serve with

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • Fresh rolls (see rolls recipe on my blog)


  • How exciting is this! We are cooking lobsters. One of my favourite things in the world to do. Okay, first add the leek and the onion to the pot and pour in 4 gallons of water. Bring water to a rolling boil.
  • Once water is at a full boil, take the rubber bands off of the lobsters and drop them head first into the water and put lid back on the pot. For a 1 1/2 pound lobster you are going to want to boil for around 18-20 minutes. For a 1 1/4 pounder boil for 16-18 minutes.
  • While lobsters are bubbling away, get an ice bath ready. You are going to want to pop the lobsters directly into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Remember to season the ice bath water with salt if you are using fresh water.
  • Let the lobsters cool completely in the ice bath. While they are cooling, melt butter for dipping. I am also a huge fan of white vinegar with my lobster.
  • Crack those suckers open and devour. Make a mess, enjoy it. This is a celebration!
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