Lobster can be boiled or baked, but which cooking method lends the best flavor depends upon a myriad of factors, such as the cook's level of skill, preparation, seasoning and overall character of the lobster. Boiling is an easy preparation for the novice to master and allows for greater control over cooking time, whereas baking requires more skill and concentration to prevent a dry or rubbery outcome.
Boiling is arguably the simplest and quickest lobster cooking method, and results in meat that is tender and easy to remove from the shell. Whole lobsters or just the tail can be prepared this way. Lobsters from the season ranging from July to mid-September are best for boiling. If you don't intend to eat the lobster immediately, boiling is an effective way to fully or partially cook the meat for later use.
Whole lobsters are typically not baked -- just the tail, which is customarily stuffed. Lobster tails from late summer are best prepared baked, as the added flavors and substance from the stuffing benefit the thinner shells lobsters have during that season. However, stuffing the tails can mask the overall flavor of the lobster. Baked lobster tails can be sweet and juicy if skillfully cooked, but dry and rubbery if not.
- Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images