Lobster Tail

There are few culinary dishes that conjure the kind of excitement that these beautiful crustaceans do.

Nothing spells “special occasion” much more than this.  Incredibly simple to prepare and over-the-top in deliciousness. For an unforgettable surf and turf meal, serve them alongside our Filet Mignon with Bordelaise Sauce. Epic and all easy to prepare!

Two fully cooked lobster tails with meat on top of the lobster tail, all sitting on a platter next to lemon wedges and melted butter.

How To Cook Lobster Tail

Cooking lobster tails is actually much easier than you might think.

For a beautiful presentation, we remove the meat from the tail, baste them, and then broil until perfectly cooked.

 

Tips On Buying Lobster Tails

Lobster tails are less expensive than buying a whole lobster, but, you’re still going to spend more than you would on say, a hamburger.

But this is a special occasion, right? Let’s just say any time you have a broiled lobster tail, it’s going to be a special occasion.

EXPERT TIP: When buying lobster tails, make sure you head to a respectable fish market or seafood monger. Coldwater lobster, in our opinion, is always going to be a better choice. They grow more slowly, and their flesh is typically firmer and just more delicious. Of course, coldwater lobster costs a little more, but those extra bucks are so worth it.

Our lobsters came off the coast of Canada. The black spots usually mean they come from cold water areas. This is good.

Two half-pound uncooked lobster tails sitting on a large wooden cutting board.

How To Remove the Lobster Meat

As mentioned, we think removing the bulk of the meat in the tail and placing it on top of the shell not only is impressive in presentation, but it also makes eating the lobster so much easier!

First, get a nice sturdy pair of kitchen shears, and cut through the top of the tail, right down the middle until you reach the small fins at the end of the tail.

Next, pry the tail open and use your hands to pull the meat from the tail out of the cavity.

EXPERT TIP: It may feel like the meat is going to get mangled as you are digging it out. Don’t worry, if the lobster is a quality one, the flesh will stay together. Simply place the piece of meat on top of the tail. When eating the cooked lobster, there is often even more meat that can be found at the very end of the tail that you might have missed initially.

A person using kitchen shears to cut down the middle of an uncooked lobster tail and then that person removing the lobster meat and placing on top of the tail.

There are several ways to cook lobster tails. Grilling is great, but we think the best way to cook lobster tail is to hit it with high heat under your broiler.

First, you’re going to want to baste the exposed lobster meat with garlic butter with smoked paprika. A few sprinkles of salt and pepper are the finishing touch before going under the broiler.

Liberally brush the butter mixture all over the lobster meat. The paprika will give it a slightly reddish hue, but this is what you want.

A person brushing melted butter with paprika onto the exposed flesh of a lobster sitting on top of the tail.

How To Make the Best Drawn Butter

Lobster is amazing on its own, no doubt.

But drawn butter with hints of garlic and lemon makes every single bite of the cooked lobster a taste sensation.

EXPERT TIP: Some cooks prefer clarified butter when serving with cooked lobster, others don’t. Clarified butter is butter that has been melted with the tiny solid bits skimmed from the surface. We don’t think this is necessary. We use a garlic press to add a couple of cloves of garlic, along with the juice from half of a lemon. Add 1/4 tsp of salt, and let simmer until aromatic. Heavenly.

A person using a citrus press to squeeze fresh lemon juice into a small saucepan filled with melted butter.

Now, it’s time to cook the lobsters!

Place the prepared lobsters on a baking sheet.

EXPERT TIP: Before you turn your broiler on HIGH, you’ll want to measure (or at least eyeball) the distance from the broiler to where the tops of the lobsters are. You’ll need about 5 to 6 inches between the heating element and the top of the meat on the lobster. For us, this means we place the oven rack on the 2nd to the lowest level. You’ll want to cook the lobsters for about 1 minute per ounce. Our lobsters are 8 ounces, so we cooked them for just under 8 minutes. They are ready once the meat is opaque and very white.

An 8 oz. fully cooked lobster tail with the meat sitting on top of the tail all on a white dinner plate with a lemon wedge.

When To Serve Lobster Tails

These lobster tails are a celebration of culinary excellence.

We love serving them for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or a birthday dinner feast.

But as you can see, they are so simple to prepare, they are great anytime you’re in the mood for an extra special meal.

A square white dinner plate filled with a fully cooked lobster tail with a small bowl of drawn butter and lemon wedges next to it, all next to a glass of white wine.

We went with ½-pound lobsters from Canada, so they are practically a meal all by themselves.

As mentioned, they are also divine when paired with a steak like our filet mignon, or wagyu chuck short ribs.

A final squirt of fresh lemon is all that’s needed before digging in!

A person squeezing a half of a fresh lemon over a cooked lobster tail sitting next to a small bowl of drawn butter.

A wonderful crisp white wine, such as a nice Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay pairs beautifully with the lobster tails.

Folks, seek out good-quality lobster tails and treat you and that special person in your life to a meal he/she won’t soon forget.

And that garlic butter sauce? Simply the best.

A large piece of cooked lobster meat on the end of a fork that has just been pulled from a bowl of drawn butter.

Ready for the best lobster tails this side of the great state of Maine? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of the lobster tails, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

Two fully cooked lobster tails with meat on top of the lobster tail, all sitting on a platter next to lemon wedges and melted butter.

Broiled Lobster Tail

Lobster tails are truly a celebration of culinary greatness. They require very little preparation, but the results are beyond delicious and the presentation is gorgeous. Seek out coldwater lobster tails as they are firmer and the most succulent.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broiled lobster tail, how to cook lobster tail, lobster recipe, surf and turf recipe
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 215kcal

Equipment

  • Kitchen shears and baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 4 6 oz. lobster tails from coldwater regions, preferably
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped, for garnish

FOR BASTING THE LOBSTER MEAT

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ lemon freshly squeezed
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt

FOR THE BUTTER DIPPING SAUCE

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ lemon freshly squeezed
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut down the middle of the back of each tail, until just before you reach the fins at the end of the tail. Use your hands to pry open the shell and pry the meat out of the cavity. Press the opened tail back together and set the meat on top.
  • Meanwhile, melt the 2 tbsp of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Use a garlic press (or mince the garlic) to add the 2 cloves of garlic to the butter. Simmer until aromatic, about 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice, smoked paprika, and salt. Turn off the heat.
  • Place the prepared lobsters on a baking sheet. Use a brush to apply the butter mixture all over the tops of the lobster. Sprinkle the meat on each of the lobsters with a little salt and pepper.
  • Turner your broiler onto HIGH.
  • Make the dipping sauce by melting the 6 tbsp unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Press the two garlic cloves into the butter and simmer until aromatic, about 30 to 60 seconds. Squeeze in the juice from half of a lemon and stir in the salt. Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowls.
  • Place the lobsters into the oven so the top of the lobster meat is 5 to 6 inches from the heating element of the broiler. Broil for about 1 minute per 1 ounce of the lobster (example: a 6 oz lobster tail should roast for about 6 minutes).
  • Remove from oven and carefully transfer each lobster to a dinner plate (or all of them onto a platter) and serve with butter dipping sauce, lemon wedges, and sprinkled with the chopped parsley.

Video

Notes

Fresh lobster is always best, however, you can use frozen lobster tails with no problem.  Allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight and then proceed with the recipe as written.
We prefer coldwater lobster from the Northern U.S. or Canada, but Floridian and Caribbean lobsters are delicious, too.  Dark spots on the skin usually mean they are from coldwater regions.
The butter basting mixture and the butter dipping sauce can all be made several hours in advance, however, you will need to reheat each of them once they have slightly hardened.
Before you turn your broiler on, place the baking sheet with the prepared lobsters in your oven.  The tops of the meat should be 5 to 6 inches from the heating element.   You may need to adjust the oven racks to find the optimal spacing. 
Be sure to check the very end of the tail before you throw anything away.  You'll probably discover another bounty of meat at the very end of the tail, just before the small fins. 
Cooked lobster meat can be frozen for up to 1 month.  

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 913IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
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5 Comments

  • This looks awesome. I am going to the fish market and buying Lobster Tails so I can make this!

    Thanks so much for ANOTHER fabulous recipe Kris and Wesley!

  • OMG …. nothing, I mean NOTHING “conjures” up memories as does staying at the Tidewater on Vinalhaven Island, Maine, which is a ferry ride from mainland Maine. This is (I heard and believe) the biggest lobster port in Maine. Vinalhaven Island Maine…. we went there 2 years ago, and our motel room was only a few feet (maybe 5??) above a channel that took the high tides in, and let the tidewaters out … literally right above a tidewater channel. Early morning, the lobster boats would start their engines and wake you up ….. but later that afternoon, you could walk 10 minutes down to the docks and buy fresh lobster right off the boats for a little over $5 a pound. Go back to your room, which had a kitchenette with lobster boiling stock pots, and just … live in heaven watching the sun go down over the port from your deck and pig out on really, REALLY fresh lobster. ABSOLUTELY … the best memory of our lives. And it cost a mere $75/night to have this most wonderful experience. Imaging rushing water all day long …. going out and then back in … literally feet from where you are sitting, standing or sleeping.
    I wish I could post a picture from our perch above the tide waters, in the evening, looking over the tiny port of lobster boats moored, ready to do it all again the next day, and freshly cooked lobsters on two massive plates. I think it cost $20 at most; including Bay’s seasoning. Could have cost $200 …. wouldn’t have tarnished the memory one bit. I have tears in my eyes typing this right now …. just wishing I could experience that again.
    Thanks for the memories, and especially thanks, for giving me the platform to remind myself of better times and share them with your readers.

    • Cobia!! Sounds absolutely wonderful and thank you SO MUCH for sharing your memories with us. It truly warmed our hearts and we are thrilled you experienced them while seeing our lobster tails!!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • Looks wonderful. I believe there is an error in the nutritional data however. Lobster has 19 grams of protein per 3.5 Oz. Not 1 gram as the info shows.

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