Quick-Step Overview: How To Prep For Grilled Lobster Tails
- Thaw meat in advance if you’re working with frozen lobster tails.
- Use kitchen shears to cut the top shell up to the point where the body used to be.
- Place a sharp knife into the cut you’ve made and cut through the meat until the bottom shell. You should now have one tail with two halves.
- Flip the lobster and cut the tail in half lengthwise, as this allows the tails on the grill to cook evenly.
- Insert wooden skewers at the center of the tail to prevent it from curling.
- Marinate lobster tails in your preferred marinade for 20-30 minutes.
- Place on the grill flesh down for 5-6 minutes until the meat turns opaque, or when the internal temperature reaches 425º degrees F or medium heat.
- Use a basting brush to apply a mix of herb butter or a mix of lemon, melted butter, and fresh parsley onto the tails.
- Serve lobster tail with garlic butter sauce and lemon wedges.
Lobster meat is like the wagyu beef of seafood. It might cost you a couple more dollars to buy, but it’s worth serving for special occasions. This humble meat can be used as an alternative to meats you cook every day such as chicken or fish. Grilled lobsters can be served as they are or with butter garlic sauce.
Lobsters can make excellent appetizers alongside a hearty main dish and there are plenty of options such as bacon wrapped lobster tails, low carb or keto lobster potato salads, and other air fryer recipes. So, don’t fret when it comes to this rich and delicate meat, and cook with abandon.
1. Preparing and Seasoning Lobster Tails
Seasonings and marinades make or break a dish, and lobster tails work best with classics like unsalted butter, lemon zest, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. When you’re working with frozen lobster tails, bringing it to room temperature is crucial, as it helps hold on to any other spices and seasonings you add to the meat. You can do this by running the tails under cold water.
If you’re working with fresh lobster tails, it is important to boil them in a stock pot for 4-6 minutes before cooking them on a grill. This is because lobster meat needs to be tended to before and while grilling to bring out the flavor profile. A classic blend of fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage never goes wrong.
You can add mint or basil with some tarragon to take it up a notch. Add these spices to a bowl with softened unsalted butter to make your rub or marinade. And, if you’re big on meal preps, you can refrigerate most marinades for up to 5 days.
2. How Long You Should Cook Lobster Tails
Grilling On Gas Grills, Charcoal Grills, Pellet Grills, or Electric Grills
Once you brush the lobster tails with some garlic butter, the grease will help bring a char quicker than it would if you were using a stovetop. You should grill lobster tails for about 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 425º degrees F. Seasoning your grill pan with olive oil before placing the tails flesh down to cook will speed up the cooking process.
When you flip the lobster, add another spoonful of the garlic butter mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the temperature reaches no more than 450º degrees F. If you cook for any longer than that, the delicate and rich texture of the tail will become overcooked and chewy.
For broiled lobster tails, broil for 5-10 minutes on your grill, and look for a light brown hue on the cooked tails. Once the temperature reaches 430º degrees F, take the lobster tails off the grill.
Grilling with Grill Pans
If you grease your grill pan with garlic butter or olive oil before placing your lobster tails, it will speed up the cooking time. This takes no longer than 5-6 minutes, and only 3-4 minutes when you preheat your grill pan on medium heat.
The technique is to cook for 3-4 minutes on the cut-side of the tails. Then, flip the lobster, reapply the garlic butter and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
3. Grilled Lobster Tails Recipe
Prep Time: 15 Mins
Cook Time: 10 Mins
Marinating Time: 30 Mins
Total: 55 Mins
- 7 lbs frozen lobster tails (Thawed) or 7 lbs fresh butterfly lobster tails
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Per lobster tail: 446 calories, 29 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 215 mg cholesterol, 869 mg sodium, 2g carbohydrates, 0 sugars and fiber, and 43 g protein.
- Remove vein. Place the lobster tails on a cutting board and hold the fleshy end of the tail where it connects to the body. Gently pull with cooking tweezers or a paring knife. Tip: Wooden cutting boards made with Teak wood are ideal when working with seafood, as they are bacteria resistant and will prevent cross-contamination.
- Gather all the ingredients listed above and pat dry the lobster tails with a paper towel if they’re slimy.
- Prepare the marinade. In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, chives, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
- Coat the lobster and cover. Use kitchen shears to cut the top shell up to the point where the body used to be.
- Place a sharp knife into the cut you’ve made and cut through the meat until the bottom shell.
- Cut the shell at an angle that is away from the center of the tail and at the base of the tail’s fin.
- Loosen meat from the walls of the shell, keeping the fin end attached; lift the meat and lay it over the shell.
- You should now have one tail with two halves.
- If you want to grill the lobster tails without laying them on the shell, make sure you insert wooden skewers in the middle to prevent them from curling.
- Preheat the grill to 425º degrees F. Grease the cooking grates with olive oil to prevent sticking or over-charring. Place the tails on the grill, cover and cook for 10 minutes with the lid closed.
If you want to enhance the butter garlic flavors, put the tails in a foil packet before placing them on the grill.
- Check doneness. Insert a thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- If the temperature has reached 425º degrees For a maximum temp of 450º degrees F, remove from the grill. If you don’t have a thermometer to check the internal temperature, take a thorough look at the tails. If they are opaque, they’re cooked.
- Remove the tails and place them on a cutting board and rest. Baste tails with a butter mixture like garlic butter or herb butter. Tip: Use unsalted butter and melted butter for a balance of flavors.
- Once you have reapplied the butter mixture, garnish with fresh chives and lemon wedges.
4. What To Serve With Grilled Lobster Tails
Since lobster meat is quite rich in taste, you can choose sides that enhance that umami goodness, or cut it with zesty and acidic foods. Here are some ideas:
- Steamed mussels or clams
- Potato Salads
- Pasta Salad
- Fresh salad
- Clam Chowder
- Corn on the cob
- Mac and cheese
- Cheesy biscuits
- Sourdough bread
5. Nutritional Facts About Grilled Lobster
- Lobster meat is a low-calorie food, which instantly makes a great alternative to red meat since it is quite heavy in calories.
- 1 cup of lobster meat contains 128 grams of calories. It is packed with 27 grams of protein, 1.2 grams of fat, and 0 carbs. It is also loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Lobster meat has 51% of vitamin B12 and 53% of Zinc. Lobster is gaining popularity more than ever, as it is healthier than its other seafood counterparts like crab, shrimp, and crayfish.
6. Dalstrong Tools You Will Need
Dalstrong is a workhorse when it comes to all things seafood. Here’s my recommendation on Dalstrong tools you will need to nail a delectable dish like grilled lobster tails.
Owning a cutting board that is made with Teak wood is the ultimate win, as this material is resistant to moisture and bacteria, preventing cross-contamination or spreading salmonella. It is perfect for those with very little kitchen space, since it fits comfortably over a kitchen sink.
- Highly resistant to bacteria, moisture, and water.
- Does not hold onto the strong aromatics of seafood like shrimp and crayfish.
- This cutting board has a higher price tag, but for all the right reasons.
- You may prefer a cutting board that is thinner in width, so I suggest this one instead.
These tongs have a scalloped silicone tip on each handle to give you an extra set of hands when working with delicate lobster meat. This kitchen tool is perfect to safely move lobster tails from the cutting board to your grill.
- The size of these tongs improves control and keeps you away from burns and bruises.
- It is compatible with grill pans, which makes it perfect to use anytime you want to channel your inner grill-master.
- If you’re just starting as a home cook, the size of these tongs can make it slightly difficult to gain control. I suggest these instead.
- You might prefer a stainless steel tong like this one.
This chef’s knife is a best-seller at Dalstrong for a reason! It is the perfect kitchen tool to pair with a cutting board. This knife is loved by home chefs, thanks to its high-carbon German ThyssenKrupp steel. The handle is made with premium quality wood and is a great addition to your knife block.
- A premium quality knife at a mid-range price, which makes this the perfect purchase!
- It has a full tang blade for strength and robustness.
- Although it is affordable, it may be better suited for a professional home cook, if not a chef.
- If you prefer a knife with Pakkawood or stainless steel, this knife may not be ideal for you.
Coming in with the perfect blade length to devein lobster tails, this paring knife with an icy-cold appearance is known for its precision. This knife won’t fail you at the grill, thanks to the blade’s expert heat treatment.
- Scalpel-like sharpness at a 16-18º degree angle on each side of the blade.
- Full tang for maximized robustness and usage for a lifetime.
- Some individuals may prefer a minimalist approach in terms of its appearance.
- The blade is notably shorter than the ones found on other paring knives. But, I suggest this length for deveining lobsters as you need to have a gentle and steady hand.
This 3-Quart stockpot is the perfect purchase if you’re working fresh lobster tails, as it is recommended to boil them before grilling. The perfectly fitting stainless steel lid allows you to store leftovers, sides, and other sauces. I would go ahead and make marinades and a garlic butter mixture in this versatile stock pot, too.
- Added protection with its 5-Ply Copper Forged Foundation and pot protector.
- Heats 5x and 20x quicker than its iron and stainless steel counterparts.
- Resistant to dents, it is gas and induction cooktop friendly.
- If you purchase store-bought frozen lobster tails, the idea of buying a stock pot may seem slightly overkill.
- It is used by professional chefs, which could seem slightly intimidating.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
How long should you grill a lobster tail?
You should grill a lobster for no more than 10 minutes, or until the meat becomes opaque and reaches an internal temperature of 425º- 450º degrees F.
How do you grill a 4 oz lobster tail?
When working with as little as 1 or 2 cups of lobster meat, it is best to grill for no more than 6 minutes.
Do you flip lobster on the grill?
If you’re cooking lobster meat for 3-4 minutes only, it is best to flip lobster meat with a pair of cooking tongs.
How do you know when lobster tails are done on the grill?
When the lobster meat turns opaque or reaches an internal temperature of 425º- 450º degrees F, it is done cooking.