Baked Lobster à la Ann Seranne

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Four


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About

The best recipe for baked lobster I’ve ever known is that of Ann Seranne, one of America’s finest cooks and cookbook authors. The great wonder, as she has remarked before, is that restaurants throughout the country don’t adopt this simple method. It is simplicity itself and provides the tenderest, tastiest lobster conceivable.

Please note that live lobsters must be used. If you are squeamish about killing a lobster, have it split by the fishman but the lobster should be used within the hour.


  • 4 live lobsters, about pounds each
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ pound (1 cup; 2 sticks) butter
  • Juice of 2 lemons


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Place the lobsters, one at a time, shell-side up on a flat cutting surface. Plunge a heavy kitchen knife into the center of each lobster where tail and body meet. This will kill them instantly. Quickly bring the knife down through the body section and then through the tail section to cut lobster in half. Crack the claws with the knife. Remove and discard the tough sac near the eyes of the lobster but leave the green and red soft portions in the chest section. These are the liver (tomalley) and coral.

  3. Arrange the lobster halves split-side up and side by side in a large baking dish.

  4. Sprinkle the cut portions of the lobster lightly with salt but generously with freshly ground pepper. Arrange small pats (thin slices) of butter up and down the cut portions of the lobster. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Baste the lobsters with the juices in the pan. Bake for 15 minutes more. Serve immediately. If you wish you can serve the lobsters with lemon halves and with more melted butter, but it is not necessary.