Can You Buy Live Lobster from Red Lobster?

Red Lobster is synonymous with delicious seafood especially lobster. The chain is known for serving up plates piled high with lobster tails or stuffed into lobster-topped pasta dishes. But with their focus on preparing lobster entrées, you may wonder – can you purchase live lobster from Red Lobster?

The short answer is no. Red Lobster does not sell live lobster to customers. However, they do receive regular live lobster shipments to ensure the freshest lobster possible is used in their recipes.

In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about buying lobster from Red Lobster. We’ll explain why live lobster isn’t offered alternatives for purchasing live lobster, and tips for preparing fresh lobster at home.

Why Red Lobster Doesn’t Sell Live Lobster

There are a few reasons why Red Lobster does not offer live lobster for customers to take home:

  • They specialize in prepared seafood dishes – Red Lobster’s culinary focus is on turning quality ingredients like lobster into delicious menu items. They don’t function as a fresh seafood market.

  • Lack of facilities – Keeping live lobster requires special tanks and cooling systems. Red Lobster locations don’t have the necessary equipment, space, or staff for maintaining live inventory.

  • Short shelf life – Live lobster has a very short shelf life out of cold water. Turnover would need to be extremely fast, which doesn’t work with inconsistent customer demand.

  • Inconsistent supply – Red Lobster needs to source from multiple regions to meet demand. Relying on local fishermen for live inventory isn’t feasible with over 700 locations.

  • Food safety regulations – Strict regulations govern selling live seafood to customers. Red Lobster’s supply chain is designed for ingredients headed straight to the kitchen.

Simply put, operating as a seafood market for live lobster doesn’t fit into Red Lobster’s business model. While inconvenient for customers wanting the freshest lobsters, this allows the chain to focus on serving up expertly prepared classic recipes.

Where to Buy Live Lobster Locally

If you have your heart set on selecting your own live lobster to cook, you have a few options:

Independent seafood markets – Specialty fishmongers and seafood shops are your best bet for fresh live lobster. The quality is top-notch.

Local fishermen – Buying right off the docks from lobstermen means you can’t get any fresher. This is common in New England coastal towns.

Asian food markets – Many Asian grocers stock live seafood including lobster. Check the tanks for active, healthy-looking lobsters.

Online seafood retailers – Order live lobster overnight shipping from online retailers. Make sure to choose fast shipping.

Restaurant tanks – Some high-end restaurants keep live lobster tanks. Ask if they accommodate customer pick-up upon request.

No matter where you purchase live lobster, look for:

  • Bright white shells without dark spots or residue

  • Sharp, snappy movements with active antennae

  • All legs and claws intact

  • No unpleasant odors

Avoid any lobsters that appear lethargic, limp, or have cloudy bands on their tails. This indicates stress or ill health.

Live Lobster Handling and Cooking Tips

Once you’ve sourced the finest quality live lobster, proper handling is key for a delicious meal. Here are some top tips:

  • Store lobster cold – Keep live lobster chilled below 40°F in a cooler until ready to cook, up to 36 hours. Do not store in air-tight containers or fresh water.

  • Prep before cooking – Rinse dirt and debris from the shell. Untie any rubber bands on the claws which can tear off during cooking.

  • Cook lobster humanely – Plunge head-first into rapidly boiling water to instantly sear the nerves and render lobster insensible to pain.

  • Boil for doneness – Cook for 2-3 minutes per pound until bright red. The meat should reach an internal temperature of 140°F.

  • Check for doneness – Look for an opaque, pearly white interior and firm, springy texture. The tail should curl tightly underneath the body when fully cooked.

  • Serve immediately – Serve lobster hot with drawn butter or other sauces. The meat becomes tough as it cools. Enjoy within 30 minutes for the best quality.

  • Use within 2 days – Refrigerate leftover cooked lobster meat up to 2 days. Reheat gently to 165°F until hot. Discard any meat that smells unpleasant or looks milky.

Great Ways to Use Cooked Lobster at Home

With some expert tips under your belt, it’s time to dream up amazing ways to use your cooked lobster! Here are some mouthwatering ideas:

Easy Appetizers

  • Lobster guacamole
  • Lobster salad stuffed cherry tomatoes
  • Lobster macaroni and cheese bites
  • Mini lobster rolls

###Main Dishes

  • Baked stuffed lobster
  • Lobster ravioli with vodka sauce
  • Steamed lobster with drawn butter
  • Lobster frittata

Special Occasion Meals

  • Surf and turf with filet mignon
  • Whole baked lobster with lemon garlic sauce
  • Lobster risotto
  • Lobster thermidor

Final Takeaways

While Red Lobster keeps live lobster on hand for the freshest ingredients, they unfortunately don’t sell it directly to customers. However, you can source live or freshly cooked lobster locally and prepare fantastic lobster dishes at home. With proper handling and cooking, you can enjoy the full flavors of fresh lobster without ever setting foot in a Red Lobster!

can you buy live lobster from red lobster

Enjoy Live Lobsters Shipped From Maine

No time to travel to Maine to buy your own live lobster? No problem. At Maine Lobster Now, we offer live lobsters shipped from Maine and delivered right to your home. Our lobsters are wild caught by our local suppliers. You can only get fresher Maine lobster if you go to Maine and catch them yourself. But if you live in the US, our home delivery service lets you experience Maine like never before. You can choose the exact date you want your lobster to be delivered to your front door. Order your live lobsters for home delivery today through our secure website now.

Yes, Your Lobster Will Arrive Alive

We get asked this question a lot: “Can you really ship a live Maine lobster to me?” The answer is “yes.” ” Our system ensures your Maine lobster arrives at your door alive and ready to be prepared. The cool temperatures at our facility translate to a lobster delivery that will exceed your expectations. Order live Maine lobster — shipped to your door — for a delicious, memorable experience.

Taking a LIVE LOBSTER to Red Lobster!?!!

Can you buy lobster online?

The ultimate guide to buying lobster online or at your seafood market. When shopping for live lobsters don’t be surprised by the dark green,brown or blackish color. Lobsters can vary in these color shades depending on where and when they are caught, but only turn bright red after cooking.

Does Red Lobster have Cheddar Bay biscuits?

Every To Go entree comes with two warm Cheddar Bay Biscuits®! Order Red Lobster delivery online. Find your favorite items from the Red Lobster classics menu, including our Live Maine Lobster (1.25 lb.).

Where can I buy Maine lobster?

At LobsterAnywhere, you can buy Maine lobster and have it delivered to your front door, overnight, guaranteed. Choose from live lobsters of all sizes, order by the pound, or opt for fresh frozen lobster meat. Experience the sweet taste of Maine without the mess.

What should I know when buying lobster?

When buying lobster, there are three things to keep in mind: 1. Live vs. frozen: Although it’s possible to purchase lobster tails or pulled lobster meat, fresh, whole lobsters have the best flavor. A dead lobster can start to become mushy within an hour due to enzymatic breakdown.

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