How to Cook Lobster Tail

5 from 12 votes

Learn how to cook lobster tail four ways: steam for tenderness, bake for simplicity, air fry for a crispy kick, or grill for a smoky char.

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Ever thought lobster was just for fancy restaurant menus? Think again! In this easy-to-follow guide, I’m breaking down how to cook lobster tails at home in not one, but four ways. Whether you’re looking for a different way to prepare lobster tail or trying lobster for the first time, this easy how to recipe is your ultimate resource. From oven-baking, grilling, air-frying, and steaming lobster tails, each method brings out a different, aspect of lobster’s rich flavor.

Lobster tails on a cutting board cooked 4 different ways: baked, air fried, steamed, and grilled.

Table of Contents

  1. Why learn how to cook lobster tail at home
  2. Ingredients you’ll need to cook lobster tail
  3. How to cook lobster tail 4 ways (Air Fryer, Stove Top, Grill, Oven)
  4. Tips for making the best lobster tail
  5. Recipes to make with cooked lobster tail
  6. How to reheat and store cooked lobster tail
  7. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  8. More cooking tutorials:
  9. How to Cook Lobster Tail Recipe

Now, let’s debunk the idea that cooking lobster tail is hard. It’s really not as intimidating as it might seem. Just follow the recommended cooking times, and you’ll have a pillowy soft piece of meat. With a few simple ingredients like unsalted butter, fresh parsley, and lemon, you can add flavor to your lobster tail, taking it to a whole new level of yumminess. And the best part? You can choose your cooking style based on what you love or what you have at hand. Whether it’s the comfort of your oven, the smoky charm of the grill, the quick convenience of the air fryer, or the gentle steaming on the stovetop, each method will give you a juicy piece of lobster meat.

Why learn how to cook lobster tail at home

  • Enjoy cost-effective luxury. Want that restaurant-quality lobster but don’t want your wallet to hurt? Learning how to cook lobster tail gives you a taste of luxury without breaking the bank.
  • Know versatile cooking options. Learning different techniques – oven, air fryer, stove, and grill, gives you versatility in preparing this delicious seafood to suit your lifestyle and preferences.
  • Impress your guests. Make any occasion extraordinary by serving an elegant dinner featuring a perfectly cooked lobster tail.
  • Celebrate special occasions the right way. Knowing how to cook lobster tail means you can easily celebrate special occasions with a gourmet touch. Whether it’s an anniversary, milestone, birthday, or holiday, lobster tail turns your feast into a memorable celebration.

Ingredients you’ll need to cook lobster tail

Ingredients for recipe before prepping: butter, salt and pepper, lobster tails, fresh parsley, and lemon.
  • Lobster tails: Opt for fresh lobster tails that weigh approximately 4 ounces each. If they have been previously frozen, be sure to thaw them completely for the best flavor and texture.
  • Butter: Softened unsalted butter is used as a rich and flavorful base, complementing the sweet lobster meat during cooking. It also helps to adhere the lemon zest and parsley to the lobster.
  • Lemon: Lemon zest provides a bright and citrusy flavor that pairs well with lobster meat.
  • Fresh parsley: Offers a fresh and herby element to the butter mixture. Chopped parsley also adds a pop of green, making it visually appealing.
  • Salt and pepper: A simple blend of salt and black pepper is enough to give flavor and enhance the overall taste.

How to cook lobster tail 4 ways (Air Fryer, Stove Top, Grill, Oven)

This easy tutorial will show you how to cook lobster tail in the oven, air fryer, on the stove, and grill to get perfectly juicy and tender lobster meat. You’ll start with slathering a herbaceous butter mixture onto butterflied lobster tails. From there, just select your cooking method of choice!

Make the herb butter (if using)

  1. Add the butter, chopped parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper to a small bowl.
  2. Mix until well-combined.
2 image collage making herbed butter to go on top of recipe.

How to prepare a lobster tail for cooking

  1. Butterfly the lobster tails by placing them hard shell side up on a cutting board.
  2. Using kitchen shears, cut lengthwise down the center of the tail, stopping until you reach the tail fins.
  3. Use your fingers to gently loosen the meat from the tail, then prop it on top of the shell.
  4. Add a spoonful of butter mixture and loosely spread it on top of each prepared lobster tail.
4 image collage preparing lobster tail for cooking: 1- tail on surface, 2- kitchen sheers cutting the back of shell down the center, 3- hands pulling back shell to lift up meat, 4- herbed butter added on top.

How to cook lobster tail in the oven

  1. Place prepared lobster tails on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Bake until the lobster meat is firm and white.
Before and after collage making lobster tail in the oven.

How to cook lobster tail in the air fryer

  1. Add prepared lobster tails to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Work in batches if needed.
  2. Cook the tails until the lobster meat turns firm and white.
Before and after collage air frying lobster tails.

How to steam lobster tail on the stove

  1. Bring the water in a steaming pot to a boil. Add the lobster tails to the steaming basket and reduce heat to simmer. Cover the pot.
  2. Simmer until the meat is firm and white.
Before and after collage steaming lobster tails.

How to cook lobster tail on the grill

  1. Wrap each lobster tail tightly in a foil packet, then place it on a preheated grill.
  2. Grill until the meat is firm and white.

Tips for making the best lobster tail

  1. Select quality lobster tails. When buying lobster tails at the grocery store, look for tails that are firm, moist, and free from discoloration. Look at the shells to make sure they are intact with no cracks or chips.
  2. Start with dry lobster tails. After cutting the shells, give them a final rinse under cold running water and pat them dry. This will help the butter mixture adhere to the lobster tails better.
  3. Mind the water levels. If using the steaming method, make sure the water does not come up into the steaming basket to prevent direct contact with the lobster tails.
  4. If grilling lobster tails, you may need to open and close the grill to maintain a constant temperature of 450˚F.

Recipes to make with cooked lobster tail

Lobster tails on a cutting board with a hand lifting up the meat from one.

How to reheat and store cooked lobster tail

Store leftover lobster tails in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Lobster tails can be served chilled, but if you want to reheat lobster tails, you have several options. Reheat them in the microwave in 20-second intervals until warmed through. You can also warm them in a steamer basket on medium-low heat to avoid drying out the meat.

How long will cooked lobster tail last in the fridge?

Store cooked lobster tail in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Can I freeze cooked lobster tail?

Yes, you can freeze for longer storage. Make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and transfer them to a freezer-safe ziptop bag to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you have to cut the lobster tail before cooking?

Yes, it’s necessary to prep the lobster tail by cutting the shell back to expose the lobster meat. This is helpful for two reasons. One, the shell will harden during cooking making it difficult to remove afterwards. And two, it allows to get the butter mixture on the meaty part before cooking, ensuring maximum flavor.

How do you know when a lobster tail is done cooking?

The lobster meat should turn opaque white, and the shell will become vibrant red. The texture of the meat should be firm and no longer translucent. No matter the cooking method, you can accurately check for doneness by using an instant-read thermometer and cook until it registers 140˚F.

What is the best method for cooking lobster tails?

The best method often depends on personal preference and available equipment. Grilling, baking, steaming, and air frying lobster tails are all popular choices that help preserve the natural flavors of the lobster while allowing for buttery seasonings to shine through.

How do you eat lobster tail?

Gently remove the meat from the shell by pulling it out with your fingers or using a fork. Dip the lobster meat into melted butter or your favorite sauce, and enjoy!

Fork lifting up a bite of lobster after dipping in melted butter.

Learning how to cook lobster tail takes your kitchen skills to a new level. It allows you to create a gourmet dish at home that rivals restaurant-quality lobster. And when you know how to cook lobster tail on the stove, oven, air fryer, or grill – it opens up so many opportunities to enjoy this fancy cut of meat wherever you are!

More cooking tutorials:

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How to Cook Lobster Tail

Learn how to cook lobster tail four ways: steam for tenderness, bake for simplicity, air fry for a crispy kick, or grill for a smoky char.
5 from 12 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 158
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon zested
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (4-ounce) lobster tails

Instructions

  • Add the butter, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper to a small bowl and mix until well-combined.
  • Butterfly the lobster tails by placing them hard shell side up on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut lengthwise down the center of the tail, stopping once you reach the tail fins. Use your fingers to gently loosen the meat from the tail, then gently prop it on top of the shell.
  • Add about 1 heaping tablespoon of the butter mixture on top of each prepared lobster tail.

To Cook in the Oven:

  • Place prepared lobster tails on a rimmed sheet pan and bake in a 425˚F oven for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is firm and white. If you have an instant read thermometer the temperature should be 140˚F.

To Cook on the Grill:

  • Wrap each tail tightly in a foil packet, then place on a grill that has been preheated to about 450˚F. Grill for about 15 minutes,or until the meat is firm and white. If you have an instant read thermometer the temperature should be 140˚F. You may have to open and close the grill as the lobster cooks to maintain a constant temperature of around 450˚F.

To Cook in the Air Fryer:

  • Add prepared lobster tails to an air fryer in a single layer, working in batches if needed. Cook at 400˚F for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the meat is firm and white. If you have an instant read thermometer the temperature should be 140˚F.

To Steam on the Stovetop:

  • Fill a steaming pot with 1 to 2 inches of water, then set the steaming basket inside, making sure the water does not come up into the bottom of the basket. Bring water to a boil, then add lobster tails into the steaming basket. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover the pot. Simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the meat is firm and white. If you have an instant read thermometer the temperature should be 140˚F.

Notes

Be sure to check the cooking time for each method as the vary slightly. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1tail, Calories: 158kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 110mg, Sodium: 561mg, Potassium: 176mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 444IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Entree, Tutorial

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