How to Cook Lobster Tail

How to Cook Lobster Tail

Publish Date November 15, 2022 2 Minute Read

We’re all guilty of thinking of lobster tail as a dish reserved only for special occasions. But it’s not just for dining out at a fine restaurant—lobster tail is easy to make at home.

Achieving a light yet meaty, buttery lobster tail might seem intimidating at first, but our Broiled Lobster Tail recipe is simple enough to make on a hectic weeknight and elegant enough to serve for an anniversary at home.

Broiled Lobster Tails

Watch and learn how to cook lobster tail to tender, buttery perfection.

Cooking Lobster Tail at Home

The tail of this shellfish has the most meat, typically providing a 3- to 10-ounce portion if each person gets their own tail. The meat has a slightly sweet, briny flavor, much like shrimp, and it’s lovely when accompanied by melted butter.

If using frozen lobster tails, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Or, if you need to use them the same day, place the tails in a zippered plastic big and submerge them in a bowl with cold water for 30 minutes. Before cooking, rinse and dry the tails.

Different Ways to Cook Lobster Tail

You can cook lobster tails using any method you could use for other meats, but these are some of the easiest and fastest ways:

  • Boiling: Cooks lobster quickly, but the water can dilute the meat’s flavor.
  • Steaming: Preserves the natural flavor of the lobster and can easily be cooked with asparagus or other veggies to complete the meal.
  • Broiling: Adds a slightly caramelized flavor to the meat, especially when basted in butter prior to cooking.
  • Baking: An easy way to cook lobster at a consistent temperature. Adding a bit of water or wine to the pan essentially steams the shellfish.
  • Grilling: Telltale grill marks add a pleasant char to the sweet meat.

How to Butterfly Lobster Tail

Most methods of cooking lobster tail start with butterflying them. This is when you cut open the shell and pull the tail meat up on top of the shell. When it cooks, the meat beautifully puffs up and the shell turns bright red, giving that classic lobster tail look we’re all familiar with. It also helps the meat cook evenly. See Step 3 below for easy-to-follow directions on how to butterfly a lobster tail.

When you’re ready to branch out beyond the broil, check out some of our other favorite lobster recipes below. For more meal inspiration, visit our Blog, The Fresh Lane.

Lobster Recipes