Lobster is easy to prepare yet so delicious and elegant. This grilled lobster tail recipe with tips will make you a lobster cooking pro!
Lobster is one of those meals that tend toward the pricey side of things when you dine out. Yes, it’s an awesome experience to enjoy one at your favorite steak and seafood house, but that price tag! Making lobster at home might seem a bit daunting (at first) but you might feel better about the whole experience, budget-wise!
Some–including me–decide to become a lobster grilling pro. You CAN make an amazing lobster dinner at home. Sometimes you just need a few tips and tricks to get started. The first of those being where to get your lobster.
Where to buy lobster tails
There are many sources for lobster tails. A high-end fish market that sells sushi-grade fish is an excellent source and you don’t have to live on the East Coast to take advantage. Google “sushi-grade lobster near me” and you may find some good results, but not all cities have a high-quality fishmonger.
Did you know there are online fish sellers who ship lobster tails? Much may depend on how you feel about using frozen lobster, but some markets may ONLY have access to the frozen variety.
You can also order live lobsters if you are a stickler for freshness, but keep in mind that you will have to boil live lobsters before grilling for best results. Some may be squeamish about this and that is OK–cooking the freshest lobster isn’t for everyone and there is no shame in wanting your food to be grill-ready before preparing it.
Yes, we understand the Andrew Zimmerns and Anthony Bourdains of the world and the viewpoint that our food should not be divorced from its sourcing. But we don’t have to do it ourselves.
Live, fresh, or frozen, you may choose whole lobsters or just lobster tails, or even just lobster meat. If you order online be sure to know the shipping times if you are planning an event or a dinner party–don’t get burned by delays in shipping!
And you always have the option of going to the best grocery store you can find and trying their lobster options. It’s not so much a last resort as an ace in the hole in case you need the convenience of buying your lobsters locally.
How To Buy Lobster Tail
Check the meat for any discoloration. If you are buying live lobsters, avoid the sluggish lobsters on the bottom of the tank or container. Look for active lobsters, not motionless ones. Some prefer cold-water lobster over warm-water types, and avoid gray lobsters and those with spots on the tail.
You will want to be sure you buy enough lobster to serve your entire guest list, where applicable. Note the serving size on this recipe and multiply the number of lobster tails you need accordingly!
How to Prepare Lobster Tails
- Cut the top of lobster shell lengthwise down the center with kitchen shears, taking care to keep tail fin intact.
- Following the cut in the shell, take a knife or kitchen scissors and cut a slit in the meat about half an inch deep.
- Pull apart shells slightly from meat to ready for seasoning.
Cutting is easier with kitchen scissors, rather than using a knife.
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)
Tips for Grilling this Lobster Tail Recipe
- If you place a skewer lengthwise through your lobster tails they’ll stay flat while cooking. This makes them cook more evenly as well as make a better presentation once they’re done.
- Keep a spray bottle nearby to quickly put out flareups. This is a great general grilling tip but especially for lobster tails and other seafood that cook very quickly.
- If your lobster tails are frozen, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. If you’re short on time, place them in a well-sealed plastic bag and place them in a bowl of cold (never warm or hot) water. Don’t cook them from frozen or they won’t be nearly as tender.
- Always grill over indirect heat. Lobster cooks quickly and the heat should be gentle as it’s very easy to overcook them.
- Don’t remove the lobster’s shell completely. The shell helps protect the meat from cooking too quickly and drying out.
- Whatever lobster tail recipe you use, be sure it includes basting halfway through cooking. This not only adds great flavor but will help to keep your lobster moist and succulent.
If you have any grilling tips or a great lobster tail recipe to share, I’d love to hear it! Here’s my own lobster tail recipe below. I like to keep things simple with just a bit of melted garlic butter for basting (and sometimes add a little chopped fresh tarragon). I know you’ll love it!
- 4 lobster tails (thawed, 10 ounces each)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (more for dipping, if desired)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Melt butter and garlic together, add salt and mix thoroughly.
- Cut the top of lobster shell lengthwise down the center with kitchen shears, taking care to keep tail fin intact. Following the cut in the shell, take a knife and cut a slit in the meat about half an inch deep.
- Carefully loosen meat from the shell, keeping the fin end attached. Brush some garlic butter over the meat.
- Place lobsters cut side down on cool side of grill. Grill for 5-7 minutes, until the shells are bright in color.
- Turn the tails over and generously baste with garlic butter. Grill for another 4-6 minutes, basting occasionally until the lobster meat is an opaque white color. (Watch the meat very carefully – the difference between succulent, tender meat can be as little as one minute too long on the heat.)
- Serve with additional melted butter, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 342mgCarbohydrates: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 23g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.