Tips For Grilling Lobster
Following these tips will make the cooking process easier and enhance the flavor of your lobster.
- Prepare your ice bath before you boil the lobster.
- Use sea salt. Anything that comes from the sea tastes better with sea salt.
- When you grill, start with the flesh side down. Then when you finish, the flesh side will be up so you can add a small amount of additional compound butter.
- After the lobster is off the grill, and just before serving, add a final squeeze of fresh lemon and a dash of sea salt.
Options For Cooking Lobster Tails At Home
Cooking lobster tails is a fairly simple process. When you buy lobster tails, you can steam them, boil them, grill them, bake them, broil them or even smoke them.
If you arent sure which method to use, we strongly recommend boiling your lobster tails because its your best bet to avoid the tails sticking to the shell.
To get started, click on your cooking method below. To learn how to store and thaw lobster tails, continue reading.
|Lobster Cooking Supplies|
Once your tails arrive, you can follow our instructions to cook them like a pro! Don’t worry, for most people, cooking lobster tails is a new experience. When your lobster tails arrive, they will be brown in color and the inside of the tail will be a gray color. This is a lobster’s natural color and lobster tails do not turn red until they are fully cooked!
Shopping For Lobster Tails: Buying Tips
When looking for a lobster tail at the store, it helps to have a bit of information to buy the best tails!
You want a high end lobster tail with no discoloration on the meat, no fishy smell , and not look slimy.
Lobster tails should not be soaked or rinsed with sodium tripolyphosphate or other preservative chemicals – and should be fresh-frozen if not live or freshly caught.
How Lobster is Weighed and Sized
Despite being sold by the pound, a single 1-lb. lobster will weigh approximately 14 oz. when cooked.
Lobster will yield 3.5 to 4 oz. of meat when the shell is removed – and this holds true for tails too, as a decent amount of a Lobster tails weight is in the shell
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Boil Frozen Lobster Tails In 10 Minutes
Boiling is the quickest and most foolproof method for cooking lobster tails. Its important not to overcook the lobster, so timing is key.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then carefully add the lobster tails. Boil lobster tails for 10 minutes to ensure that they are cooked through.
Overcooking the lobster can result in dry, rubbery meat, so its important to time it correctly.
After boiling the lobster tails, remove them from the water and let them cool slightly before removing the meat from the shell.
When Is Lobster Tail Cooked
You can tell a lobster tail has fully cooked when it turns opaque, white, and the shell turns bright red – and the meat has reduced slightly and become firmer.
How To Tell When Lobster Tail is Cooked:
- To ensure your lobster tail is perfectly cooked, insert a digital meat thermometer into the fattest part of the lobster tail
- Fully cooked lobster will be 140-145 degrees internal temperature.
- Your lobster shell will turn bright white and red when cooked, but look to the meat inside for the most reliable indication.
- If your lobster still looks grey it’s not cooked – if it is white and pink, it’s done.
Do NOT overcook lobster – it will result in tough, gummy meat and a fishier flavor.
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How Each Cooking Method Varies
- Boiling Quickly cooks the meat in hot water, but the flavor can get diluted.
- Steaming Rapidly yields a clean flavor for those who like to customize their toppings
- Baking Gives a delicate texture due to gentle steaming at a consistent temperature in the oven.
- Broiling Lightly browns the shell and meat for more depth in flavor.
- Grilling Adds a bit of smokiness and char to the meat and shell.
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Serve Grilled Lobster Tail
Melt unsalted butter to serve with lobster tail meat, and the butter will make the prawns richer. Lemon slices sand and squeezed into the cut lobster tail meat to serve.
So you’re done with the delicious home-grilled frozen lobster tail!
In addition to the lobster tail, you can also grill a lobster through the “How to grill whole live lobsters?” blog that Fishermen’s Net instructed in the previous.
Thaw Your Tails Thoroughly To Avoid Meat Sticking To The Shell
If you want to avoid your tails sticking to the shell, thaw your tails 24 hours prior to cooking in a refrigerator inside a leak-proof container. Your tails are defrosting so they will leak fluid. If your tails are frozen and you are planning on cooking them today, that is not a problem. Put your lobster tails in a sealed bag and soak them in cold water for at least 30-60 minutes. Larger lobster tails will take longer to thaw. If you want to butterfly a lobster tail, thawing your tails will be critical because you will have to cut the meat, and you won’t be able to do so if the tails are not thawed all the way.
It is common to have tomalley in the center of the tail. It appears black and sometimes green and sometimes will startle customers. Do not worry. This is a natural part of the lobster tail. It is actually the liver and is totally edible and is considered a delicacy. If you do not desire to eat this it can be rinsed off with water once the lobster is fully cooked.
The most lobster tail meat is white but it is also common to have a slight pink tint to the meat for lobsters that are preparing to shed. Once again, this is a totally natural process and is totally edible. If you want to remove the pink tint, you can rinse most of it off with warm water after you have cooked your tail.
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How Long To Cook Lobster Tails
Cook times for lobster tails range from 3 minutes to 30 minutes. This will vary based on the method of cooking you choose and the size of the lobster tails youre cooking. Boiling and steaming are faster processes, whereas baking and grilling take a bit longer. More detailed instructions can be found on the specific cooking method pages linked to above and at the bottom of this page. Start with the low range of these recommendations. Overcooking your lobster tails will leave them dry. Our lobster tails are precooked, so the cook times are really just to reheat them!
Directions Grilled Lobster Tails At Home
Time needed: 20 minutes.
If you can light a grill, you can grill lobster tails. Our simple recipe will walk you through grilling frozen lobster tails butterfly style. Be careful! You do not want to overpower the sweet, delicate flavor of the lobster meat.
Be sure your lobster tails are fully defrosted. Its best to defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Prior to starting the grill, pour a small amount of vegetable oil on a paper towel and lightly coat the grill rack . Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. As the grill heats, prepare lobster tails.
Set each lobster tail on a cutting board with the translucent membrane down, curve shell facing up. With kitchen shears or a heavy knife, cut through the curved shell and meat, leaving the membrane intact. Open the tail gently like a book so its hinged in the center.
Use about 1 teaspoon of olive oil for each lobster tail rub onto the cut surfaces of the lobster meat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. The olive oil keeps the lobster from drying out on the grill.
Place lobster tails on the grill, meat-side up. Grill tails with grill lid closed, until the meat is opaque, about 6-8 minutes, turning once. Be careful not to overcook!
Squeeze fresh sliced lemon half over lobster and drizzle and serve with melted unsalted butter. Try pairing grilled lobster with a nice steak or fresh shrimp!
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How Long Does It Take To Grill Lobster Tails
Depending on the size of the lobster tail, you want to grill the tail for a minute a pound. This would mean if you had 6-8 pound lobster you would grill for about 6-8 minutes. We recommend basting the lobster halfway through the cooking process to keep it nice and moist.
When the lobster tail is ready to serve, the shell will be a bright red color and the meat will be opaque. Another way to check if the lobster is completely cooked is by using a meat thermometer to see if the internal temperature is 140.
You always want to go on the doneness of the lobster tail rather than the time. This is a good way to not overcook your tail. For more tips see our in-depth lobster grilling guide.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Frozen Lobster
Steam the lobster. Put the lobsters in the pot. Cover the pot, and, if whole, let them steam for 10 minutes for a 1-pound lobster or 7-8 minutes per pound. Tails may take less time. You can also steam lobsters by placing them on a rack. Boil about two inches of water in a pot that is below the rack holding the lobster.
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Pro Tips For Making The Grilled Lobster Tail
Making grilled lobster tail might sound difficult, but its actually quite straightforward. A few tips will help you bring it all the way home.
- Dont slice through the base. To keep your beautiful lobster tails intact, dont slice through the tail.
- Pick the freshest lobster possible. When youre hunting for fresh lobster tails at the market, there are a few things to look for:
- A brownish shell and grayish flesh
- No fishy smell or pungent odor
- No slimy texture.
- Use an instant-read thermometer. To make sure the lobster tail is at a safe internal temperature to eat, use a meat thermometer to take the guesswork out. Once it hits 140°F its good to go!
How Do You Boil 4 Oz Lobster Tails
How to Boil Four 4 Ounce Lobster Tails Thaw frozen lobster tails in the refrigerator for the best results. Add the water, salt and seaweed to the pot and bring it to a boil. Add the lobster tails to the boiling water and cover the pot when it boils again. Boil the tails for five to eight minutes, or until the shells turn red.
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How To Choose Lobster To Grill
If you’re grilling a whole lobster, you must buy it alive. That’s because lobster meat begins to degrade quickly as soon as they die.
The size of the lobster is also important. Buy lobsters that are at least 1½ pounds smaller ones cook too quickly on the grill. That same size is also a good guideline for how much lobster to serve per person.
Your local seafood market will sell you the lobster in a special storage bag. Once you get them home, they will stay alive in the fridge for as long as 24 hours.
How To Cook Frozen Lobster Tails On The Grill
To cook frozen lobster tails, you must fully defrost them. Then, follow the preparation steps above.
Once the lobster tails are prepared, the cooking is simple. Preheat your Traeger grill to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, place the lobster tails directly on the grill, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the meat is firm to the touch.
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How Long To Broil Lobster:
I love to broil lobster tails because it is quick and easy plus you still have that beautiful coloring over the meat. It is easy to over cook lobster tails so you will want to be paying close attention to them as they are being broiled. It is best to broil the lobster tails for about one minute per ounce and having the lobster tail about 4 to 5 inches from the heat on the top rack in the oven. The lobster will turn a beautiful opaque in color with a white center. It is best to use a meat thermometer to make sure it doesnt overcook. The center of the lobster will reach 145*F for best results.
How To Steam Lobster Tails
Whole lobster tails, butterfly or split lobster tails work best for steaming.
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On Preparing Grilled Lobster Tail
Now that weve covered how to butterfly the lobster tail, its time to season and grill.
- Make the Butter Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter with pressed garlic and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Season the Lobster Tail: Using a grill brush, spread oil on top of the lobster meat. Sprinkle the tops with salt.
- Grill the Lobster Tail: Place the tails on a grill preheated to 400°F flesh side down. Grill the flesh for about 5 minutes, or until grill marks form. Next, flip the tail over and grill until the flesh turns opaque .
- Finish the Lobster Tails with Butter: Finally, brush the lobster tails with the butter mixture. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Other Lobster Recipes You’ll Love
If you love this delicious, easy lobster recipes, be sure to check out our favorites below.
- The Best Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe Ever
- Instant Pot Lobster Brie Pasta
- The Best Easy Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Easy Lobster Pasta Recipe
- The Best Easy Instant Pot Lobster Tails Recipe
- Garlic Butter Naked Lobster Rolls Recipe
- The Best Easy Lobster Risotto Recipe
- The Best Lemon Garlic Butter Broiled Lobster Tails
How To Serve Lobster Tails
Lobster tail can look a little wimpy on its own sometimes, so if youre going for a romantic presentation of your lobster dinner for a special occasion and want to know how to wow guests, I have some great tips and tricks for you!
- Placing lemon wedges to cook under lobster meat also helps make tails look larger and prettier for a better presentation.
- Make sure to have plenty of lemon wedges on the side to squeeze on top for even more lemon juice if youd like it!
- Brush melted butter over the top of lobster as it cooks for a gorgeous golden red appearance.
- Serve with melted butter, a butter mixture with old bay stirred in, or lemon juice sprinkled on top.
If youre looking for some delicious side dishes to serve with lobster tail, find our complete side dish recipe archive here, or find some of our favorites below:
- Brown Butter Bacon Baked Brussels Sprouts Recipe
- The Best Yeast Rolls Recipe
- The Best Easy Air Fryer French Fries Recipe
- Garlic Butter Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing
- Easy Baked Tomato Pie Recipe
- Crispy Roasted Potatoes
What Temperature Should I Cook Lobster At?
Set your ovens broiler on high or between 400 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your oven rack in the middle of the oven, so lobster tails dont touch broiler or get so close they burn.
What Should I Season Lobster Tails With?
I use a little paprika, butter, salt, or Old Bay Seasoning to season lobsters. Use just a pinch, but feel free to try other herbs and spices to your taste.
Z Grills Wood Pellets
Even if you dont have a Z Grills pellet smoker at home, you can still use Z Grills wood pellets. They deliver great smoke because they:
- are American made
- contain 100% all-natural hardwood with no additives
- have a low moisture content
- burn cleanly and efficiently
For this lobster tail recipe, we recommend using oak pellets.
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How To Grill Lobster Tails
Lets get to the good stuff how to cook lobster tails on the grill!
- Grill flesh side down. Place lobster tails on the grill flesh side down and cook without moving for 5-6 minutes, until the flesh is starting to brown and the shells start to turn red.
- Add lemon garlic butter. Flip the lobster tails and brush the melted seasoned garlic butter over the lobster meat. Close the grill and cook until opaque. Serve with more of the seasoned butter.
TIP: Be careful when brushing on the butter. Try to apply it to the flesh only and dont let it drip through the grates, as this can cause the grill to flare up.