Lobster is a tender, sweet seafood that is known for being rich, succulent and flavourful. It's often cooked in a rich sauce, or served with melted butter, as it is a very meaty fish, meaning that it works very well with other rich flavours. It also tastes delicious when cooked very simply with oil and lemon on a grill or BBQ - and it is equally as delicious when tossed in a tangy mayonnaise dressing in a simple prawn cocktail. Lobster is also easier to cook than you might think, and you can also buy lobster tails from your fishmonger - which are a much less fiddly than an entire lobster and they are also quicker to cook. We've got loads of recipes below for both whole lobster and lobster tail, from a chunky lobster soup to a deliciously fresh flavoured potato and lobster salad.

For ease of use, lobster tails are the best choice for the home cook - but if you want to prepare and cook a whole lobster, here's how.

If your lobster is fresh and live, it's recommended that you put into the freezer or under a pile of crushed ice for two hours before cooking it as this will render it unconscious. You can then either push a large, sharp knife or a metal skewer through the cross on top of its head to kill it, or place it into a pan of water and slowly bring to the boil. Either way will kill the lobster. To cook, you can boil the lobster until it turns a bright, brick red colour. Drain the water and leave to cool. Alternatively, once killed, you can bake the lobster or cook it under the grill. You can also buy lobsters that are fresh and uncooked from your fishmonger that have already been killed humanely for you. Often, fresh, cooked lobsters that have been split open will also be available from your fishmonger, which is also a good option.

If you've cooked your lobster at home, or if you've bought a whole cooked lobster, here's how to prepare it. Twist off the claws, then break the claws into sections. Crack the shell using a small hammer, then remove the flesh. Twist off the legs, crack the shell using a small hammer, then carefully extract the flesh using a small spoon, or the end of a spoon. Split in half by using a large, sharp knife, by cutting down the length of the body. Press down until you crack through the shell, then split the lobster into two halves. Remove the stomach sac, gills and intestines, and if you like, keep the liver (tomalley) as this is a delicacy. Remove any meat from the shells and shred. If the lobster contains roe, these can also be eaten.

When buying live lobsters, you should eat them on the same day that you buy them. Fresh lobsters should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper and kept in the fridge before you put them into the freezer, and cooked lobsters should be wrapped very thoroughly and eaten as soon as possible, within a day at the most.