Grilling Lobsters on the Grill

Bring a large pot of water to boil and season it generously with salt. Working quickly dispatch the lobster with a sharp chefs knife, just below its head.

Blanch the lobsters for about 5 minutes and transfer to an ice bath. This removes the bruising factor and will help the lobster cook more evenly on the grill.


Lobster tails make an easy and impressive main dish for a summer grill out. Served with grilled corn and salad, these smoky lobster tails will definitely elevate your backyard barbecue. You can use either fresh or frozen lobster tails for this recipe. If using frozen, it is important that you thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. This prevents “freezer burn,” a dull, off-white color that makes food chewy and unpleasant to eat.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. Brush the grill grate with oil, then rub with a small amount of salt. Place the lobster tails on the grill, flesh side down. Grill for 5-6 minutes, then turn and baste with the melted garlic butter mixture. Cook until the lobster meat is opaque and reaches an internal temperature of 140F on an instant-read thermometer. Serve warm with more melted butter and garnish with chives or parsley, if desired.


Many recipes call for grilling whole lobsters, which is not only fun but also very tasty. You can do this but you must be very careful as live lobsters can snap at you if they feel threatened. A good way to dispatch a lobster is by “pithing” it. Using a sharp heavy chef’s knife, place the tip behind the head and working quickly cut through the head severing all major nerves (it might twitch a little but it is dead).

To prepare the lobster, remove the rubber bands from the claws and set aside. Cut the lobster in half lengthwise with a chefs knife and clean out the tomalley, grain sac, and jet black roe from the body cavity. Make small slits in the claws to allow them to vent while cooking.

When the grill is hot, add the lobsters flesh side down, and baste liberally with butter or olive oil. After 4-5 minutes flip and baste again. The lobsters are ready when the meat is opaque and firm to the touch.


Using kitchen shears, cut a line lengthwise through the top shell of each lobster tail and then twist to open them slightly. Remove the dark stomach sac behind the head and the black roe, if present, as well as the soft green tomalley (liver).

Brush lobster shells and exposed meat with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place lobster tails, flesh side down, on the hot grill and cook until lightly charred, about 6 minutes. Flip and dollop each lobster with a spoonful of the butter mixture; grill until just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes more.

Serve lobsters on platters with an ear of corn and lemon wedges alongside the lemon-chive butter sauce. To make ahead, the lobster butter can be made up to 2 hours ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. To ensure that the lobster is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to measure its internal temperature.


Grilling lobsters is an easy way to serve a gourmet seafood main course without the fuss and time of boiling or steaming. Pair the lobster with a simple side dish like asparagus or a bright salad for a refreshing contrast.

A grilled lemon butter sauce, made with melted butter, garlic, lemon zest and parsley is the classic accompaniment. To make the sauce more versatile, try swapping the parsley for thyme or rosemary and the lemon zest for lime juice.

Lobsters cook very quickly, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the grill when their meat turns opaque and firms up. Overcooked lobster is rubbery and tough.