How to Throw a BYOL (Bring Your Own Lobster) Party

Submitted by Liz Novak on Thu, 08/10/2017 - 23:59

Here’s how to throw a big backyard soiree without spending a fortune.

Bring Your Own Lobster Party

If you’re not catching from your own traps or fishing line, throwing seafood dinner parties can ring up a hefty check. Share the load by asking everyone to bring their own lobster. In the Summer people are always visiting and bringing friends along to events; it can be hard to get a headcount for dinner parties in the high season. Just have the basics prepped, and it really doesn’t matter how many people come to your party if they’re bringing their own lobster. I like to have the fixings for tacos, rolls, and corn on the ready. Here are some tips for success:

1. Set up a table with some newspaper for cracking those crustaceans. I like to set this up with a little distance from the main serving table, because things can get messy.

2. Get all the fixings ready ahead of time. I usually double my recipes for lobster tacos and lobster rolls. If you do the tacos, gather the baja sauce, pico, cheese, and tortillas ahead of time. If you do rolls, gather a mixing bowl, buns, and premixed mayo with celery butter. It’s also a good idea to have some lemons halved for those who just want to eat their lobster as is. Have all of these keeping fresh the fridge until it’s time to boil the lobster.


3. Optionally, it’s nice to have some corn on the grill for a side. Soak the corn (husk on) in a bucket of water for at least an hour until you’re ready to grill. Choose someone to be your grillmaster while you’re boiling the lobster; there’s always someone who wants to be him.

4. Weigh-in the lobsters! As your guests come in, it’s fun to have everyone weigh their lobsters before adding them to a cooler before the boil. Make sure your lobster aren’t directly on ice or tap-water. I placed my ice under a garbage bag inside the cooler before adding the creatures. Lobsters die in fresh water, and you want them alive...until you don’t.

Bring Your Own Lobster Party

5. If you’re keen on serving everyone the actual lobster they brought, get a pack of colored rubber bands to place on the claws, assigning everyone a color.

5. I recommend getting an outdoor gas cooker. I got this one on Amazon, and it kept me out of the kitchen and in the backyard with guests. There is nothing worse than being inside near a hot pot during an outdoor party.

Bring Your Own Lobster Party

6. Keep in mind that the time to boil lobster does not multiply as you add more lobster to the pot. A 1lb lobster is always going to be about 8 minutes, no matter how many buddies are in there. To keep things simple, I usually boil them in batches of same sized lobsters. Here’s a chart for boil times.

Lobster weight Boil Time
1lb 8 mins
1.25 lbs 10 mins
1.5 lbs 12 mins
1.75 lbs 13 mins
2.5 lbs 20 mins
3 lbs 25 mins


Bring Your Own Lobster Party

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