Why do lobsters turn red when you cook them?

In this guide, we will answer the question “why do lobsters turn red when you cook them?” Also, we will discuss why it might not be safe to cook dead lobster and how you can properly cook lobsters.

why do lobsters turn red when you cook them?

Lobster turns red when cooked because the heat causes the lobster’s shell to change color. The lobster’s shell is made up of a protein called lobster shell protein (LSP). When the lobster is heated, the LSP molecule changes shape and the lobster’s shell turns red. 

The red color is due to the presence of a pigment called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is found in a variety of seafood, including lobster, crab, and shrimp. When seafood is cooked, the astaxanthin is released from the seafood’s tissue and gives the seafood its red color. 

The exact mechanism by which the heat causes the astaxanthin to be released is not fully understood. It is thought that the heat causes the proteins in the seafood’s tissue to denature, or change shape. 

This change in protein structure causes the astaxanthin to be released from the tissue and into the water. Once the astaxanthin is in the water, it diffuses into the lobster’s shell, where it gives the lobster its red color.

What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring red pigment that is found in a variety of plant and animal sources. It is a member of the carotenoid family and is thought to be one of the most powerful antioxidants available. 

Lobsters get their red color from the astaxanthin in their diet. It is responsible for the red, orange, or yellow color of many fruits, vegetables, and seafood.

Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to have a wide range of potential health benefits. These benefits include protection against heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions.

Why is it not safe to cook dead lobsters?

Lobsters are a type of shellfish, and like all shellfish, they can carry harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. When shellfish are cooked alive, the heat from the cooking process kills any harmful bacteria that may be present. However, when shellfish are cooked after they have died, the bacteria can still be present and can cause food poisoning.

Lobsters can also carry toxins that can be harmful to humans. These toxins are usually not present in live lobsters but can build up in the lobster’s body after death. If these toxins are not removed before the lobster is cooked, they can be transferred to the person eating the lobster and cause illness.

What do lobsters taste like?

Lobsters are a type of shellfish that has a very distinct taste. Some people say that they taste like a cross between shrimp and crab. Others say that they have a more delicate flavor that is similar to scallops. Lobsters are usually boiled or steamed, which helps to bring out their flavor.

Lobsters have a sweet taste because they are a good source of protein and they are low in calories. They have a slightly salty taste that many people find irresistible. Lobsters are also very nutritious, providing a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

What are the health benefits of eating lobster?

Some potential health benefits of consuming lobster include:

A good source of protein: Lobster is a rich source of protein, providing about 25 grams per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build and repair tissues, produce enzymes and hormones, and support a healthy immune system.

 Low in calories: Lobster is also relatively low in calories, with about 110 calories per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving. This makes it a good option for those watching their weight or trying to lose weight. 

A good source of omega-3 fatty acids: Lobster is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions like arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. 

A good source of selenium: Lobster is also a good source of selenium, a mineral that plays an important role in thyroid function and immunity. 

How do you cook lobster?

Lobsters are typically cooked by boiling in water. The water should be at a rolling boil before the lobsters are added. Lobsters should be cooked for 10-12 minutes. 

To boil lobsters, Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the lobsters to the pot. Cover the pot and return the water to a boil. Cook the lobsters for 10-12 minutes. Finally, remove the lobsters from the pot and serve.

You can get more lobster recipes here


In this article, we have answered the question “why do lobsters turn red when you cook them?” Also, we have discussed the health benefits of eating lobsters and how you can properly cook lobster.

Hope you find this article useful, in case of any questions, please let us know





Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.