Grilling Lobster Tails

Grilling lobster tails is a special treat for any meal. They cook quickly and can be served with a salad for a lighter meal.

Start with a fresh or frozen lobster tail. Frozen tails should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Use kitchen shears to butterfly the lobster tails. It helps them to cook evenly.

Cooking Time

Lobster tails can be cooked on the grill without boiling. They cook very quickly under direct heat so you must be careful not to overcook them. If you do, the lobster meat will dry out and taste rubbery.

A good way to test for doneness is to use a meat thermometer. A fully cooked lobster should have an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

To grill lobster tails, brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. You can also add a pinch of paprika for a little extra flavor and color.

If using frozen tails, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. You can also thaw them in cold water for 30 minutes. You will need sharp kitchen shears to cut the top of each shell down to where the fans used to be. This allows you to flip the tails over easily for a more appealing appearance when serving them. Butterflying the tails lets the meat cook more evenly.


You’ll need to have a pair of sharp kitchen shears on hand in order to cut through the soft underside of the lobster shell. Using a knife could result in damaging the meat or the bottom shell.

If you are using fresh tails, they should be fully thawed before cooking. If you are using frozen tails, you should defrost them overnight in the refrigerator or let them sit covered on the counter for a few hours at room temperature.

Once the lobsters are cooked, remove them from the grill and serve with melted butter brushed over them. If you wish, you can also sprinkle them with lemon juice and kosher salt or coarse ground black pepper.

If you prefer, you can cook the lobster tails in the oven or steam them in a pot of water. The oven or steaming method will take longer, so plan accordingly. A digital meat thermometer will come in handy to ensure that the lobster tails are thoroughly cooked, as they should reach an internal temperature of 135degF – 140degF.

Brushing With Butter

As they cook, lobster tails will be brushed with a seasoned butter mixture that adds a delicious flavor. The basic butter mixture includes the melted butter (you can use salted or unsalted depending on your preference), lemon juice, garlic and parsley. You can also add paprika or other seasonings such as chili flakes, onion powder and salt to spice up the recipe if you like.

You can serve these grilled lobster tails with just about anything, but they are perfect for special occasions such as date night or a birthday dinner. This is also an easy dish to make for a crowd, making it a great choice for entertaining.

If you are using frozen lobster tails, make sure to thaw them completely. This can be done in a Zip-top bag by pressing out the air to kind of create a vacuum seal, or by placing them in cold water and allowing them to thaw. The goal is to avoid freezer burn which can dull the lobster tails’ color and cause them to taste chewy or rubbery.


It’s a good idea to serve the lobster tails with some easy, light sides. Some examples include sauteed broccoli or roasted asparagus. Alternatively, you could try mashed potatoes or baked rutabaga for a more substantial option. This dish also pairs well with a quality steak for an indulgent surf and turf dinner.

For best results, grill the lobster tails with the shell side down first, for a few minutes, then flip them over and finish cooking the flesh side for a couple more minutes. This allows the lobster to char with a nice bbq flavor. Then, brush them with the melted garlic butter sauce.

Make sure your grilled lobster tails are cooked through before serving, using an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature for doneness. If your lobster tails aren’t cooked through, return them to the grill and continue basting them with the seasoned butter until they are finished. You can top them with chives, parsley or other herbs for extra flavor.

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