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How To Cook Lobster Tails at Home Recipe image by Get Maine Lobster

How To Cook Lobster Tails at Home

If you are looking to learn how to cook lobster tails, use this resource for the best way to cook lobster tails. We provide multiple methods for cooking lobster tails.

First things, First: Always thaw lobster tails if they are frozen. The most effective way to do this is by placing them in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to cooking. If you need them faster, you can thaw at room temp for a few hours, and if you need them right away thaw under running cold water.

Frozen Lobster Tails Thawing & Refreezing Guidelines: Refreezing lobster tails is no problem as long as safe thawing practices are followed. Thawing lobster in the refrigerator allows you a few days leeway for cooking or refreezing. As long as the lobster tails thaw within refrigerator temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, refreezing them is OK within two days.

According to the USDA’s Food Safety website: “Once frozen food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting.”

Baking Maine Lobster Tails

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Using a sharp, heavy chef’s knife, allow the lobster meat to sit on top of its shell by cutting all but a small amount of the meat out of the shell, lifting it up, and placing it on top. Be careful not to cut the shell the entire length. To do this, leave the tail flap and one inch above the shell intact. You and your dinner guests will appreciate this presentation!
  • Separate all of the meat from the shell, except for the intact area at the tail
  • Close the shell under the meat, allowing the meat to rest on top of it
  • Season the tail any way you like it. You can use butter or olive oil, or even lemon and dill
  • Cook the lobster tails 1 ½ minutes for every ounce of meat. This converts to eight ounces for 12 minutes, 10 ounces for 15 minutes, and 12 ounces for 18 minutes at 375 degrees
  • Serve immediately with warm olive oil or warm butter with lemon, or eat plain!

Grilling Maine Lobster Tails

You can cut the lobster tail in half for this method or leave it whole.

  • Set the grill to medium heat. If using charcoal, scatter the coals to create one area of intense heat and one cooler area
  • Brush the lobster tails with olive oil or butter. You can also season with your favorite flavorings, such as lemon, minced garlic, salt, pepper, etc.
  • First, with the meat side down, grill for three to five minutes. Flip tail over for another three to five minutes, being sure to remove the tail from any open flames to prevent burning. The lobster tails are done when the meat becomes opaque.
  • Serve with hot butter or olive oil and season with your favorite accent flavors or eat plain!

Boiling Maine Lobster Tails

Leave the lobster meat in the shell for this method until it is finished cooking. Once it’s cooked, cut the lobster shell from tip to tip to access the meat.

  • Use six to eight cups of salted boiling water for every four lobster tails
  • Place lobster tails into boiling water and turn temperature down to a simmer
  • Cook one minute for every one ounce of lobster meat. So, if you have four 10-ounce lobster tails in the pot, cook for 10 minutes
  • Remove lobster tails from water, dry with paper towel, and cut the shells in the center from end to end using a sharp, heavy chef knife
  • Serve with hot butter or olive oil and season with your favorite accent flavors or eat plain!

Broiling Maine Lobster Tails

  • Preheat broiler to high.
  • With sharp kitchen shears, cut the top of each tail shell down to the tip of the tail. You want to cut through the top, but not the bottom shell or the meat.
  • Spread open the shell on top and pull the meat upward, separating it from the bottom shell. Slightly push the shell together so it looks like the meat is sitting "butterflied" on top.
  • Place on a baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together (melted) butter and seasoning to taste.
  • Drizzle the butter mixture over the lobster meat.
  • Place on a middle-upper rack of the oven and broil until the lobster meat is opaque throughout and lightly browned, about 1 minute per ounce of individual tail.

Pan Searing Maine Lobster Tails

Remove the meat from the shell by cutting lengthwise from end to end with a sharp, heavy chef’s knife, being careful not to cut the meat in half.

  • In a pre-heated heavy skillet on medium-low heat, melt two Tbsp. butter (You can also use two Tbsp. olive oil)
  • Place the meat in skillet and cook for approximately three minutes on one side, or until the meat on that side of the lobster tail is opaque. Flip the tail over and cook until just opaque (this may take less than three minutes, depending on the size of the tails, skillet and heat)
  • Serve with hot butter or olive oil, lemon, and your favoring seasonings or eat plain!

Steaming Maine Lobster Tails

You can cut the lobster tail in half for this method.

  • Slip the tip of kitchen shears or heavy scissors into the middle of the hard rounded side of each lobster shell and cut down all the way to the tail fan, being careful not to cut meat. Place your hands on each side of shell and push down until tail pops about halfway out of shell. Rinse tails briefly under cold water to remove any grit or shell fragments.
  • Pour about 1 inch of water in the bottom of a large pot and bring to a boil. Add salt and place a steamer insert inside the pot so that it is just above the water level. Put the lobster tails on the rack and cover the pot. Cover and steam for 6-8 minutes.
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