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How to Grill Lobster Tails: A Quick Beginner’s Guide [2021]

by Outdoor Cooking Pros May 29, 2021

lobster with lemons on white plate

Grilled lobster tails come with a hefty price tag in fine dining restaurants, but did you know that they’re inexpensive to make at home?

You can easily enjoy buttery, silky, and ABSOLUTELY scrumptious lobster meat for less than half the price—all you need are the right grilling techniques to get started.

So, bring out your fancy dinnerware, dust off your formalwear, and start firing up that big ol’ grill. Let our team show you how to grill lobster tails perfectly!

Preparing Lobster Tails

First, prepare your lobster tails for the grill. For this step, grab a large bowl, a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a pair of kitchen shears!

Thawing

If you bought your lobster fresh, you can skip ahead, but frozen lobster tails need to be thawed in the chiller overnight.

Running short on time? Submerge the frozen lobster tails in a bowl of water until the meat is soft.

Cutting

Now, there are a few ways to cut your lobster tails depending on how you want your final presentation to look like.

The first option is to completely remove the lobster meat from the shell.

  1. Simply turn the tail over so that the underside of the lobster is facing you. 
  2. Using your kitchen shears, cut along each side of the tail and remove the soft tissue covering the meat. 
  3. Then, pull the lobster tail out of the shell!

Another option is to cut the lobster tail in half with the shell intact.

person cutting lobster

All you have to do is make a lengthwise cut along the top shell’s middle, then slice all the way through with a knife. There you have it: Two equal halves of a lobster tail!

The last option is also the most popular: A butterfly cut with the shell on.

  1. Use your shears to cut the top shell down the middle, but DON’T cut all the way through! 
  2. Stop before you reach the tail fin. 
  3. Then, open up the shell and pull the meat out so that it rests beautifully on top.

How to Grill Lobster Tails

  1. ALWAYS preheat the grill before cooking! Start at medium heat, which is around 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Brush the lobster meat with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper before placing it on the grill.
  3. Grill with the flesh side down for around 5-7 minutes, depending on its size. Once you flip it over, the meat should have a beautiful char.
  4. Turn the lobster tail over and baste with your sauce of choice.
  5. Close the lid and continue grilling until fully cooked, around 3-5 minutes more. It’s done once it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit! You’ll also notice that at this point, its tail will be slightly curled.
  6. Remove from the grill; serve with your condiments and herbs of choice, and enjoy!

Grilling Tips for the Most Delicious Lobster Tails

To achieve maximum flavor, perfect tenderness, and beautiful presentation, follow these tips:

  • Purchase your lobster tails from a trusted supplier. Fresh lobster might not be accessible to everyone, but frozen tails are still VERY delicious, especially if grilled properly! For the best results, though, buy from a source that sells good quality lobster.
  • Keep your eyes on the grill. Watch the heat and make sure your lobster tails are cooking evenly on all sides. Every grill has colder and hotter spots, so be aware of where these positions are while cooking.
  • Use a skewer to prevent curling. If you don’t want your lobster tails to curl up on the grill, stick a skewer through them before cooking so they stay in place.

lobster meal in the daytime

  • Use a thermometer. It’s difficult to tell if your lobster is underdone or overdone, especially if you’re working with a large cut of meat. If your thermometer registers 135 degrees Fahrenheit at the thickest part, though, then you’ll immediately know it’s done! If you have a fear of RUBBERY, overcooked lobster, this is a great tool to have.
  • Remember that seasonings and sauces[1] TRANSFORM the dish. Don’t forget your oil, butter, salt, pepper, and aromatics—these will turn a bland-tasting lobster into a powerful punch of flavor.

Grilled Lobster Tail Recipe

Use this buttery basting mixture while grilling your lobster tails. Trust us, your stomach (or your significant other) will love you for it!!

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives or green onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and chili powder to taste

Conclusion

Ready to start grilling? We sure hope so!

Just remember our tips and tricks and you’ll definitely grill lobster tails like a pro in no time. Enjoy!

Increase your grilling knowledge with more of our guides below:

Outdoor Cooking Pros
Outdoor Cooking Pros


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