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.

Grilling Lobsters on the Grill

Grilling lobsters on the grill is a delightful way to enjoy the sweet, succulent flavors of this seafood. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to grill lobsters on the grill:


  • Live lobsters
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: Lemon wedges, minced garlic, fresh herbs (such as parsley or thyme)


  1. Prep the Grill:
    • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 350-400°F (175-200°C). Ensure the grill grates are clean and well-oiled to prevent sticking.
  2. Prepare the Lobsters:
    • Place the live lobsters in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes before grilling. This will help to numb them and reduce their activity.
  3. Split the Lobsters:
    • Using a large, sharp knife or kitchen shears, split the lobsters in half lengthwise from head to tail. Be cautious when doing this, as the lobsters may still have some movement.
  4. Remove the Veins:
    • Use a spoon to remove the dark green tomalley (liver) and the black intestinal vein from the center of each half. Some people prefer to keep the tomalley, but it’s a matter of personal preference.
  5. Season the Lobsters:
    • Brush the lobster halves with olive oil or melted butter. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and any optional seasonings, like minced garlic or fresh herbs.
  6. Grill the Lobsters:
    • Place the lobster halves, cut-side down, directly on the grill grates.
  7. Cover and Grill:
    • Cover the grill and cook the lobsters for about 5-8 minutes, depending on their size. Larger lobsters may take a bit longer. The meat should turn opaque and firm when they’re done.
  8. Flip and Grill:
    • Carefully flip the lobster halves with tongs and grill for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until they’re fully cooked.
  9. Check for Doneness:
    • To check for doneness, insert a sharp knife or meat thermometer into the thickest part of the lobster meat. It should register at least 140-145°F (60-63°C).
  10. Remove and Serve:
    • Once the lobsters are grilled to your liking, remove them from the grill and transfer them to a serving platter.
  11. Garnish and Enjoy:
    • Serve the grilled lobster halves with lemon wedges, additional melted butter, or your preferred sauce or dressing. Enjoy!

Grilled lobster is a real treat and makes for an impressive dish at gatherings or special occasions. It’s best enjoyed with some crusty bread and your favorite side dishes, such as a fresh salad or grilled vegetables. Don’t forget the bibs and plenty of napkins, as lobster can be messy but oh-so-worth it!

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