How to cook lobster tail

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red lobster served on silver platter
Lobster tail is considered a delicacy
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Know how to cook lobster tail for a simple and elegant seafood meal

When learning how to cook lobster tail, broiling is usually the first lesson, followed quickly by boiling. Both of these methods of cooking work well with many shellfish dishes. Steaming is also an excellent way to cook shellfish and other types of seafood.

Starting from frozen

All types of frozen seafood are available at most large supermarkets, but be prepared for the price to vary considerably season to season, whether fresh or frozen. Before you do or prepare anything, make sure that you buy from a reputable distributor. Thaw frozen lobster tails before cooking - they will be more tender than those cooked frozen. A faster thaw can be achieved by placing them in a plastic bag and immersing them in water while in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Prep work

Insert point of kitchen shears between meat and hard shell on back. Clip shell down center, leaving fan tail intact. Do not remove underside membrane. Gently open shell, separating it from the meat. Lift raw meat through split shell. Arrange them, membrane side up in shallow pan with a small amount of water in bottom of pan to prevent drying.


Broil 4 inches from heat for 2-5 minutes depending on size. Turn, brush with melted butter and broil according to chart. The same method can be used for outdoor grilling, except place directly on well greased grill rack, cook membrane side first, turn, baste,&cook according to chart.


Drop lobster tail, thawed, into large kettle of boiling water with 1 tsp. salt for each quart of water. When water returns to a boil, lower heat and begin timing.


Time Table For Broiling&Boiling Lobster Tails in minutes)
Weight 1-3 oz 4-6 oz 1012 oz 14-16 oz
Broiling 3-4 min 5-6 min 8-10 min 12-15 min
Boiling 3-5 min 5-7 min 10-12 min 15-20 min

the easy way!

Many people think this is the best way is to cook lobster; however steaming will curl the tails, so before steaming, run a wooden skewer through them to prevent that from happening.

Use 1 quart or 4-5 cups of water and bring water to a full boil. Place up to 4 average size tails in top steam colander and cover the pot. The shell will turn red and the flesh becomes white. Allow to steam 1 and 1/2 minutes per ounce . Once cooked, take the steam colander to the sink and run cold water over them which stops the cooking process and allow you to rinse-wash them.

Serve each person some melted butter in a small cup plus some lemon wedges.

* Optional; After you steam cook the lobster you can brush butter on them to barbecue grill or broil them keeping in mind they will dry out quickly and the flavor will be destroyed so only barbecue or broil them for a minute or so.

An important note: Seafood requires shorter cooking times than beef, lamb or chicken, and because most species of seafood have a low fat and high water content they can easily be overcooked. Only buy cooked shellfish if you intend to eat them without further cooking other then gently warming them using low heat, otherwise buy the seafood uncooked because double cooking only toughens the flesh.

Learning how to cook lobster tail is easier than you think, especially when you follow these simple steps. Once you learn, you'll be able to wow your guests with a true seafood delicacy.

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