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What is Lobster Butter?

Lobster butter is a rich, decadent spread made by infusing melted butter with the essence of lobster shells, often including bits of the succulent meat. This culinary delight captures the ocean's bounty, elevating dishes with its luxurious flavor. Curious about how to incorporate this exquisite ingredient into your cooking? Let's dive into the possibilities that await in your kitchen.
Tracey Parece
Tracey Parece

Lobster butter is butter than has been infused with the flavor of lobster by processing it with discarded lobster shells. It is bright orange in color and can be used in the preparation of many soups and dishes, spread on bread or crackers, and used in various recipes. Commonly, it is an ingredient in lobster bisque and lobster butter sauce. Making lobster butter is an efficient way of using almost every part of the lobster.

Since lobster can be expensive, preparing lobster butter from the shells and carcass of the lobster can be an economical alternative to throwing it away. After the lobster meat has been removed, the carcass can be boiled to make a rich and flavorful lobster stock. Once the stock has been made, there is enough flavor left in the remaining shells to flavor the butter. The crusher claws are the only part of the lobster carcass that is considered unsuitable in the making of lobster butter because they are too difficult to break.

Butter before being infused with lobster flavor.
Butter before being infused with lobster flavor.

After all of the shells have been strained from the liquid, the shells are generally pulverized with a rolling pin or mortar and pestle before being added to the desired amount of butter. The mixture of crushed lobster shells and butter is then mixed in a mixing bowl with the mixer's paddle attachment until thoroughly combined. This process can be messy — it is generally recommended that the cook place a towel over the mixing bowl to confine any splatter.

Lobster butter can be used to make lobster bisque.
Lobster butter can be used to make lobster bisque.

The mixer should not be left unattended while the butter is being combined with the lobster shells. There is a possibility that larger pieces of shell may lodge in the paddle attachment of the mixer. These pieces will need to be dislodged as necessary. The butter and lobster shells need to be churned until the shells stop breaking into smaller pieces. Then, the resulting mixture is transferred to an oven-safe container where it is simmered for approximately 40 minutes.

Once the lobster butter has been infused with the flavor from the lobster shells, the mixture is combined with equal parts water and strained through a sieve until all the pieces of lobster shells have been separated from the butter. The resulting product is refrigerated overnight. After hardening, the butterfat will have risen to the top of the container while the water remains at the bottom. It should be easy to remove the lobster butter from the water and store in a fresh, clean container.

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Discussion Comments


Burcidi- have a dollop of it on mushroom risotto with pan seared scallops- my favorite thing in the world.


@burcinc-- Yes, you can find it in stores. I found some at the organic store, you might want check there.

I actually don't know what to make with this butter. I have looked at some lobster butter recipes but I feel like the flavor of the butter would disappear with all the other ingredients.

I'm looking for something simpler where the flavor of the lobster butter can really come through. Any recommendations?


I went to stay with my roommate's family over the holidays. We had a dinner of lobster one night and the next day I watched my roommate's mom make lobster butter.

I have never seen such a messy food before! She covered the blender with a towel when she was mixing lobster pieces and the butter. But despite that, the butter was literally everywhere. The towel was soaked in it, some butter and lobster pieces still managed to get on the counter.

The simmering part was interesting because the butter first became red and then an orangish color and it remained orange after becoming solid.

I admit, it turned out really good. She made some lobster butter sauce and used it to make pasta. It was so delicious. But I agree that it's hard for someone like me to make. Experienced cooks will love it and it really does make use of all parts of lobster.


Ah, so really, it's not "lobster butter" but rather butter with the flavor of lobster! It actually sounds delicious but difficult to prepare. Why can't they just make a lobster powder or take pieces of lobster meat and mix it into butter? I guess it wouldn't taste the same, huh?

Is it possible to get this in grocery stores? I don't ever remember seeing it. Or do I need to find specialty stores and markets that may carry it?

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    • Butter before being infused with lobster flavor.
      By: Elena Schweitzer
      Butter before being infused with lobster flavor.
    • Lobster butter can be used to make lobster bisque.
      By: Monkey Business
      Lobster butter can be used to make lobster bisque.