Learn all you need to know about cooking lobster tails – how to prepare lobster tails (butterfly them), how to cook lobster tails, and a perfect broiled lobster tail recipe – all in just 15 minutes!
Lobster is the creme de la creme delicacy from the sea. Succulent and tender white meat dipped in garlic butter is the ultimate dinner when you want to treat your spouse, a date, or yourself to an extra special meal.
With a flavorful garlic butter sauce and a 5 minute cooking time, you can enjoy lobster for date night at home. We have a great recipe for grilled lobster on the blog, but if it isn’t grilling weather, the best way to cook lobster tails at home is to broil them.
While lobster can also be boiled, you miss out on flavor when you boil your lobster, so broiling or butter poaching is the way to go!
Safeway has lobster tails on sale – just $5 each with a digital coupon this week. The tails are small – just 4-5 oz, so plan accordingly if this is your main course as one tail per person may not be enough.
How to Butterfly a Lobster Tail
Before you can broil the lobster, you have to butterfly it or open it to expose the meat that will be broiled. While this looks difficult, it’s actually quite easy as long as you have the right tools. A good pair of kitchen shears or sharp, sturdy scissors will do the trick.
- Butterfly the lobster. Using kitchen shears, cut down the center of the shell, all the way to the tail, but not cutting the tail. You want to cut through the top of the shell, but don’t cut through the bottom.
- Split the shell. Using your thumbs and fingers to spread open the shell, gently push the lobster meat upward, separating it away from the bottom shell. Leave the end attached to the tail fin.
- Position the lobster meat above the shell. Gently push together the empty shell underneath and place the row of lobster meat on top of the shell.
How to Cook a Lobster Tail
Once you have the lobster butterflied, there are several options for how to cook the lobster tail.
- Broiled lobster – This method is prepared in the oven under the high heat of the broiler. Just one minute per ounce of lobster for a perfectly broiled lobster tail.
- Baked lobster – You can also bake lobster tails at medium-high heat in the oven for 10-1 5 minutes.
- Boiled lobster – This is one of the simplest methods, as it just involves cooking the tails in boiling water, but the lobster tails don’t get much flavor by being boiled.
- Butter Poached lobster –is when the shucked lobster tails are simmered in a butter bath until cooked through.
- Grilled lobster – You can even cook lobster tails on a hot grill if the weather cooperates.
How to Broil Lobster Tails
The next step in our broiled lobster tail recipe is the garlic butter sauce! It’s super quick and easy.
Here’s how to broil lobster tails with garlic butter sauce:
- Preheat the broiler to high heat.
- Whisk together melted butter, crushed garlic, lemon juice, and smoked paprika.
- Place the lobster tails on a baking sheet.
- Brush the lobster tails with the garlic butter sauce. Be sure to fully coat all the lobster meat so that it stays moist while broiling.
- Broil for one minute per ounce of lobster tail. So for the 4 oz tails, that is just 4 minutes, for the 5-ounce tails – I would take them out at 4 1/2 minutes.
How To Tell When a Lobster Tail is Done
The best way to be sure your lobster is cooked is to check the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature of lobster should be 135-140 degrees when cooked.
Lobster meat will turn white and no longer be translucent when it is cooked through.
Broiled Lobster Tails
- 4 lobster tails 4-5 oz
- 3 tablespoons salted butter melted
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- lemon wedges and parsley for garnish
- If the tails are frozen, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or place the package in cold water in the sink to thaw for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to broil (500 degrees F). Set the oven rack on the 2nd or 3rd rung so that it is about 7-9 inches from the broiler.
- Rinse the defrosted lobster shells.
- Cut or butterfly the lobster tails. Using kitchen shears or sturdy scissors, cut down the center of the top of the lobster shell lengthwise. Stop when you reach the tail fin and do not cut the fin. Use your fingers to gently remove the lobster meat from the shell, while leaving it intact and attached at the tail fin. Push the shell closed and lay the lobster meat on top of the shell.
- Place the butterflied lobster onto a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter, crushed garlic, lemon juice and smoked paprika. Brush the garlic butter sauce over the lobster meat.
- Broil the lobster tails until the meat is opaque and very lightly browned, about 1 minute per ounce of lobster tail. (For example, a 4-oz tail would take about 4 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and serve with lemon wedges, fresh chopped parsley for garnish and more garlic butter sauce.
What Do you Serve with Lobster Tail?
Depending on the time of year and how you are serving your lobster, the side dish options can vary. If you are going for a surf and turf, then mashed potatoes or a baked potato would be amazing.
Recipes Using Lobster
Lobster tail is a perfect meal on its own, or as part of a surf and turf dinner along with a steak.
You can also use lobster tail meat to make Lobster Newburg, Lobster Thermidor, lobster salad, lobster tacos, lobster rolls, lobster bisque, lobster mac, and cheese, and even lobster artichoke dip. The possibilities are endless – I’d even be game for some lobster ravioli!
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