How Much Meat In A Lobster? What Size To Buy?

How Much Meat In A Lobster? What Size To Buy?

Are you a lobster aficionado? If yes, congratulate you on coming to the right place! Within this article, Fishermen’s Net is going to provide you with the 3 most interesting pieces of information related to lobster including how much meat in a lobster, how to grade lobster and what lobster size to buy. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

 how much meat in a lobster tail

Read more: How to buy lobster?

How Much Meat Is In A Lobster?

Having eaten lobster for a long time, have you ever thought of the amount of meat contained in a lobster? For what you may concern, the amount of meat in each types of lobster is different, but on average, a live lobster will yield up to 30% meat of its total weight. Obviously, the remaining 70% are made up of shell and waste. In addition, softer-shell has a lower proportion of meat per pound; because most of their body is water (after freshly molten). It is rare for any live lobster to yield less than 15 - 20% of its body weight. 

how much lobster meat in a tail

The lowest-yield but sweetest-tasting lobster is typically harvested during the summer. Most live lobster shipped to you require a hard-shell that ensures an average yield rate of 20 - 25% meat. Here is an estimated meat yield broken down by different parts of lobster.

  • 15% Lobster Tail.
  • 10% Claw Meat.
  • 3% Knuckle Meat.
  • 2% Leg Meat.

How Is Lobster Graded?

Grading lobster is a way to determine its value and quality. When purchasing, this technique helps customers know how much meat is in a lobster as well as its quality. At any time of the year, lobsters are graded to remove the spoiled and weak ones. Specifically, the lower the grade is, the softer the shell and less hardier the lobster is. Lobsters that are undergoing molting normally have soft shells. These lobsters are generally weaker and yield fewer meat than hard-shell lobsters. 

Soft-Shell Lobsters

Soft Shell Lobster means they have recently changed their cramped shell for the new one with a larger growing room. This new shell fills with water which makes the yield slightly less per pound. Soft shell lobsters are not shipped because of their weak and fragile natures. Moreover, the meat yields lower than good hard-shell lobster about 10%. Due to the yield being a bit less, the cost is less per pound for soft shells. However, the lower the price is, the more water in the shell is. The advantage of a soft shell is that it will be much easier for you to remove the shell from the lobster meat. However, water inside it makes the meat a bit messier.

Hard-Shell Lobsters

 how much meat is in a lobster tail

Lobsters with hard shells are the most popular due to the quantity and quality of the meat. After cooked, the shell turns into orange along with a sweet fragrance. The white flesh is firm and dense with a sweet flavour. Hard-shell lobsters are the standard of quality with the higher ratio of meat on shell. Normally, meat is only about 20% of the lobster’s weight, but hard-shell lobster can yield up to 30% meat inside with full of meat from claws to tail. 

Grade-A Lobsters

Grade-A lobsters are the best lobster with the highest ratio of meat inside. These lobsters are hard-shell lobster, because they have the most meat and firm, along with the best fragrance after cooked. Nowadays, grade-A lobster has the highest price in the market.

Grade-B Lobsters

On the contrary with Grade-A lobsters, Grade-B lobsters have lower quality and price. They are generally caught in the summer when lobsters have been molting for a while, and their shells are not too soft. At this time, the lobsters’ shells are firm or medium hard. Moreover, they also yield a significant amount of meat and are delectable.


If you want to find a good deal for live lobster, culls are the best choice to consider. Culls are lobsters that are missing one of their claws. They are usually less expensive, but have a good flavour and yield a lot of meat. Additionally, these are a great option for a recipe calling for cooked lobster meat.

What Is A Good Lobster Size to Buy?

Have you ever wondered which is a good lobster size to buy? Many people believe that the smaller lobsters are sweeter and more tender, but we strongly disagree!

Lobster Name and Size

First of all, according to reality, bigger lobsters yield a large amount of meat, and they are not any tougher than the smaller ones. You will get lots of meat out of a 2 or 3 lbs lobster, and the ratio of meat will increase due to the weight of the lobster. This ratio also increases because of the hard-shell lobsters. In many situations you will have to pay more for Select and Jumbo lobster, which is a result of high demand and short supply.

Secondly, one of the biggest mistakes is to assume that large lobsters are tough. This is not always true! You will not only get more meat with big hard-shell lobster jumbo, but you can also taste the tender meat as of smaller lobsters if they are cooked properly. 

In addition, there is no different flavour between male and female lobsters. The only difference is that females have a bigger tail with roe, while male have bigger claws. You should also choose during the lobster season to enjoy the freshest meat.

According to current market, average lobster meat price from $35 to $120 per pound. At Fishermen's Net, you can buy the freshness 1 lb lobster meat with only $79.99 (on sale).

What Size Lobsters Are Typically Served And What Are The Legal Limits?

Normally, an ideal serving to serve lobster in particular or animal protein in general falls into about 4 ounces.

Or with a more palatable meal that would be about 6 ounces. Even more attractive is 8 ounces or more.

So the most common servings on the market today are 1 1/4 pounds and 1 1/2 pounds of live lobster, also known as “quarter” or “half.” It will yield about 5 - 6 ounces of lobster meat (140 - 170 grams). The most abundant and most popular size of Maine Lobster is between 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 pounds each.

Legal Limits on Lobster Fishing, Harvest and Commercial Trade: Lobsters with shells under 3.25 inches or over 5 inches are prohibited from harvesting. Therefore, there are many different sizes of lobsters from 1 pound to 4 pounds. And lobster traps are also designed within regulatory limits so that small lobsters (not yet large enough to be kept) can be released back into the sea.

Related Question:

  • How many lobsters yield a pound lobster meat?

It depends on the type and size of the lobsters used. Generally, it takes either 5 to 6 pounds of soft-shell lobsters or 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 pounds of hard-shell lobsters to make a pound of lobster meat.

  • Which has more meat, 1 two-pound lobster or 2 one-pound lobsters?

In fact, the 1 two-pound lobster will have more meat. You have to look at in the ratio of shell to meat. Two 1-lb lobsters will have more shell than meat. And even though a 2 pounder is larger, the ratio of shell to meat makes the difference so there's comparatively more meat than shell.

  • How old is a 2 lb lobster?

To reach the legal size of about 3.25 inches and weigh 1 pound, lobsters usually take an average of 5-7 years and will grow more slowly as they get older. Therefore, a 2 lb lobster is estimated to be 10 - 15 years old and a 25 lb lobster will be about 75 - 100 years old.

In addition to the main parts such as tail, claws, knuckles, roe or tomalley, ... are all edible.

Lobster has many other interesting things that you should know, see more great facts about lobster.

How much meat in a lobster?”, “How is lobster graded?”, “What is a good lobster size that you should buy?” - Now you have gained all essential knowledge for these 3 questions. Fishermen’s Net hopes that with the above information, you will be able to have your best experience with the lobster world.

Visit our blog for more useful tips related to lobster. Feel free to contact us via the below contact information if you have any further questions or requests. 

  • Website:
  • Address: 849 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04103.
  • Tel: +1 (207) 772-3565.
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