How to cook lobster tail

Mar 12, 2008 at 4:58 a.m. ET

Many people only eat lobster tail if they are out at a restaurant. However, lobster tails are actually very simple to make at home.


Defrosting Lobster Tails

Broiled Lobster TailIf you need to defrost you lobster tails, do so in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours.

Try to avoid defrosting lobster tails in hot water or by using the microwave. These methods will make the lobster meat too chewy.

After thawing, remove the meat from the shell by carefully cutting vertically to open the back of the lobster shell. Then open it up to reveal the meat. You don't have to remove the shell completely. You can leave the meat attached to the shell for presentation. Remove the vein with a small knife.

Here are three great methods for cooking lobster tails. Do not overcook or else your lobster will taste rubbery.

Boiling Lobster Tails

  • Boil 3 quarts of water with 3 teaspoons of salt.
  • Drop the tails into the boiling water.
  • Cook 1 minute per ounce of thawed lobster.
  • For example, if you have 12 ounces of lobster, you will need to boil the lobster for 12 minutes.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan with too many tails.
  • Remove lobster from boiling water with tongs.
  • Brush with melted butter.
  • Serve immediately.  


Broiling Lobster Tails

  • Set your oven to broil.
  • Brush the tails with melted butter or olive oil.
  • Place tails on broiling rack.
  • Broil about 5 inches from the heat.
  • Broil 3-5 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn.
  • Serve immediately with melted butter and lemon juice.  

Grilling Lobster Tails

  • Spray your grill with cooking spray.
  • Grill lobster tails over medium heat when the flames have died down.
  • Brush the tails with melted butter.
  • Grill on each side 3-4 minutes.
  • Do not overcook - grilling dries out lobster tails very quickly.
  • Remove promptly and serve immediately with lemon juice.
Some of this information written by Kori Ellis was previously published at