Lobster Tails

Cooking Lobster Tips and Recipes

Grilled lobster tails are an elegant way to delight your guests. Once you know how, they are a snap to prepare

lobster tails

Frozen lobster tails are generally available in all parts of the country and can be 2-8 ounces in weight. Most frozen lobster tails are uncooked and probably from the spiny or rock lobster.

Plan on about a 2 4-ounce lobster tail per guest, depending on what else is being served. If you prefer, serve one tail per guest along with filling starches or other seafood or meat. The Surf and Turf Dinner Party Menu is a good example of how to do this.

Cooking Methods

Frozen lobster tails tend to be more tender if thawed (except for boiling, see below) and that takes about 8 to 10 hours. They also tend to be tougher than fresh. It is very important to carefully watch cooking time. They cook quickly so stay close to the grill or stove. Otherwise, you might as well eat pencil erasers.

Whichever cooking method you choose, you might like to run a metal or wooden skewer through the length of each tail to prevent excessive curling and to create a nicer presentation

Boiling: Drop 4-ounce frozen lobster tails in rapidly boiling water to cover. When water returns to the boil, reduce heat and simmer tails about 6 minutes or until meat just turns white (adjust time based on weight of lobster). Drain excess water from tails. With a scissors cut away the thin underside membrane. Serve hot, at room temperature or cold. For greater flavor add lemon, tarragon and white wine to the water. Allow this water to boil for a few minutes before adding the lobster

Broiling: With a scissors cut away the thin underside membrane. Bend tail backwards toward shell side to crack and prevent curling or insert skewers, or do both. Brush tails with melted butter and place tails shell side up about 5 inches below flame. Broil 2 minutes, turn and spread flesh with additional melted butter and broil 3 more minutes or until meat just turns white.

Steaming: In a larger steamer, for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the lobster meat becomes opaque. Remove tails and brush with melted butter or olive oil, if desired

Grilling: See recipe below. For all grilling recipes, serve simply with lemon juice and melted butter

The butter mixture can be doubled to serve as a sauce. Reserve 1/2 of sauce before brushing uncooked lobster

Lemon-Grilled Lobster Tails Recipe
Serves 4-8

8 4 to 6 ounce frozen rock lobster tails

1/2 cup butter

2 tablespoons garlic or shallots, finely minced (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon each salt and paprika

Thaw lobster tails in refrigerator for at least 10 hours.

Cut each side of soft shell underneath tails with kitchen scissors and remove. Bend tail backwards toward shell side to slightly crack in 2-3 places. Make 2-3 shallow incisions into lobster meat on each tail. Run a skewer through the length of each tail to keep them flat.

Melt butter in a small pan and sauté the garlic or shallots, if using, for 1-2 minutes or until soft. Mix in the lemon juice, parsley and salt. Brush some of the butter mixture onto lobster meat.

Place lobster tails, shell down, on barbecue grill and cook until shells turn red - about 5 minutes. Brush meat again with butter mixture, turn and grill for 5 minutes or until flesh just turns white. Turn meat side up, brush once more with butter and sprinkle lightly with paprika. Cook for further 1-2 minutes if necessary. Remove skewers and place on a warm platter.

Spoon on any remaining butter mixture, garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley sprigs.