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How to Grill Lobster Tails

The other day I was at the store and I happened to stop by the fish counter. What did I see, a big sale on Lobster tails. So I picked up a couple. Since it is so nice out, I wanted to grill them. But how does one grill a Lobster tail, read to find out.

Quick and easy to do.  The perfect summertime meal.

Quick and easy to do. The perfect summertime meal.

It is actually really easy to grill a lobster tail, all you need is a grill, some skewers and a little butter.

Grilled Lobster Tails

The first step is to light your fire.  If you have a gas grill light only half of the grill to high, if you are using charcoal place all of the coals to one side.  You want to cook the tails over medium heat or else the tails will dry out.  Also you don’t want to cook over direct heat as the garlic lemon butter that we are going to baste the tails with will catch fire.  Flame-ups will cook the tails too quickly and you will end up with dried out meat.

Since my smoker is so big, I placed the coals directly in the middle.

Since my smoker is so big, I placed the coals directly in the middle.

The next step is to make the garlic lemon butter.  I find that it is easiest to melt the butter in a microwave.  Feel free to melt it over the stove and clarify it.  Since we are going to baste the tails with the butter I find that a coffee cup is the perfect vessel to melt the butter.  Then you can use the handle when you are basting the tails.  Place the butter in the cup.

A coffee cup is perfect for basting, not just lobster tails but barbecue, etc.

A coffee cup is perfect for basting, not just lobster tails but barbecue, etc.

Finely chop the garlic and add it to the cup.

Dice the garlic as small as you can.

Dice the garlic as small as you can.

Roll the lemon so that you can break up the internal structures of the lemon.  This will allow you to easily juice it.  Then add the juice to the cup along with a pince of salt and a couple of cracks of fresh pepper.

Rolling lemons breaks down the internal structure of the lemon, making it easier to juice.

Rolling lemons breaks down the internal structure of the lemon, making it easier to juice.

Place in the microwave for a minute.  This will melt it nicely.  Mix it and return it to the microwave.  Right before you need it, zap it for another 30 seconds.

Next comes the lobsters.

Two 6oz Lobster Tails

Two 6oz Lobster Tails

Using a nice pair of kitchen shears, cut a slit down the back of the lobster tail all the way to the tail fan.

Kitchen Shears work amazing for cutting the shells.  After cutting the shells you can butterfly the meat with a knife.  To do this, cut about a 1/4 inch into the meat following the same cut as the shell.

Kitchen Shears work amazing for cutting the shells. After cutting the shells you can butterfly the meat with a knife. To do this, cut about a 1/4 inch into the meat following the same cut as the shell.

Flip over the lobster tail so that it is on its back.  Making sure that the lobster is flat, insert a skewer right underneath the tail fan.  Then push it through the center of the meat to the other end.

Place the skewer just infront of the fan part of the tail and push it through the center of the meat.

Place the skewer just infront of the fan part of the tail and push it through the center of the meat.

This will prevent the lobster tail from curling.  A straight tail is pretty tail.

Two skewered tails

Two skewered tails

Place the tails cut side down on the grill right on the edge of the heat zones.  Right between the hot and cool sides of the grill.  The first half of cooking is without the butter so flare-ups won’t be a problem.

Place right on the edge of the hot and cold zones of the grill.

Place right on the edge of the hot and cold zones of the grill.

Cook for 7-8 minutes and then flip the tails.  Move them over a bit just until they are not directly over the coals.  Cook with the lid closed.  While the tails are cooking, reheat the garlic lemon butter and bring it grill side.

Right after being flipped

Right after being flipped

Next baste the tails with the garlic lemon butter.  Make sure to get a lot of the butter into the sliced portion of the shell.

Baste with the butter, make sure to get it in the shell.

Baste with the butter, make sure to get it in the shell.

Cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Cook with the lid closed checking frequently for flare-ups.  If you see flare-ups, spray the fire with a little water. I keep a spray bottle near the grill for these instances.

Quick and easy to do.  The perfect summertime meal.

Quick and easy to do. The perfect summertime meal.

When the meat is opaque, it is done.  Remove from the grill.  Baste one more time with the butter and cover with aluminum foil.  Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Let the meat rest and finish cooking.

Let the meat rest and finish cooking.

Remove the skewers and serve.  I like to serve the tails over rice with a side of lemon.  Once the meat has rested, you can easily wiggle it out of the shell or leave it in the shell for a nice presentation.

If you are looking for a quick and easy method to cook tails try my other method that involves splitting the tail in half and grilling each side.  Check it out, How to Split and Grill Lobster Tails.

Remove the skewer, prop up the meat and serve over rice with lemon

Remove the skewer, prop up the meat and serve over rice with lemon

With resting time, the whole process took about 25 minutes.

How to Grill Lobster Tails
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Grilling
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
The easiest way to grill lobster tails.
Ingredients
  • Lobster tail(s)
  • Skewer(s) - one per lobster tail
  • ¼ stick of butter per lobster tail
  • 1 clove of garlic per tail
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice per tail
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. The first step is to light your fire. If you have a gas grill light only half of the grill to high, if you are using charcoal place all of the coals to one side. You want to cook the tails over medium heat or else the tails will dry out. Also you don't want to cook over direct heat as the garlic lemon butter that we are going to baste the tails with will catch fire. Flame-ups will cook the tails too quickly and you will end up with dried out meat.
  2. The next step is to make the garlic lemon butter. I find that it is easiest to melt the butter in a microwave. Feel free to melt it over the stove and clarify it. Since we are going to baste the tails with the butter I find that a coffee cup is the perfect vessel to melt the butter. Then you can use the handle when you are basting the tails. Place the butter in the cup.
  3. Finely chop the garlic and add it to the cup.
  4. Roll the lemon so that you can break up the internal structures of the lemon. This will allow you to easily juice it. Then add the juice to the cup along with a pince of salt and a couple of cracks of fresh pepper.
  5. Place in the microwave for a minute. This will melt it nicely. Mix it and return it to the microwave. Right before you need it, zap it for another 30 seconds.
  6. Next comes the lobsters. Try to use at least 6oz Lobster Tails
  7. Using a nice pair of kitchen shears, cut a slit down the back of the lobster tail all the way to the tail fan.After cutting the shells you can butterfly the meat with a knife. To do this, cut about a ¼ inch into the meat following the same cut as the shell.
  8. Flip over the lobster tail so that it is on its back. Making sure that the lobster is flat, insert a skewer right underneath the tail fan. Then push it through the center of the meat to the other end.
  9. Place the skewer just in front of the fan part of the tail and push it through the center of the meat. This will prevent the lobster tail from curling. A straight tail is pretty tail.
  10. Place the tails cut side down on the grill right on the edge of the heat zones. Right between the hot and cool sides of the grill. The first half of cooking is without the butter so flare-ups won't be a problem.
  11. Place right on the edge of the hot and cold zones of the grill.
  12. Cook for 7-8 minutes and then flip the tails. Move them over a bit just until they are not directly over the coals. Cook with the lid closed. While the tails are cooking, reheat the garlic lemon butter and bring it grill side.
  13. Next baste the tails with the garlic lemon butter. Make sure to get a lot of the butter into the sliced portion of the shell.
  14. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Cook with the lid closed checking frequently for flare-ups. If you see flare-ups, spray the fire with a little water. I keep a spray bottle near the grill for these instances.
  15. When the meat is opaque, it is done. Remove from the grill. Baste one more time with the butter and cover with aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  16. Remove the skewers and serve. I like to serve the tails over rice with a side of lemon. Once the meat has rested, you can easily wiggle it out of the shell or leave it in the shell for a nice presentation.
  17. Remove the skewer, prop up the meat and serve over rice with lemon
Notes
Note - If you purchased live lobsters, bisect the lobster head with a chef knife. This will instantly kill the lobster and sever all nerve fibers. The lobster will feel no pain. This will be the humane way of putting the lobster out of its misery. There really is no kind way to put this. Sorry. If you hate the sound of this, you can always throw it into a pot of boiling water for about 4 minutes. This is less hands on and still does the job.
 

Note – If you purchased live lobsters, bisect the lobster head with a chef knife.  This will instantly kill the lobster and sever all nerve fibers.  The lobster will feel no pain.  This will be the humane way of putting the lobster out of its misery.  There really is no kind way to put this.  Sorry.  If you hate the sound of this, you can always throw it into a pot of boiling water for about 4 minutes.  This is less hands on and still does the job.


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Comments
  • comment avatar Dar August 2, 2009

    Thanks for this perfect way to cook lobster tails…I was always too afraid to do them on the grill…wasn’t sure how..Now we know!

  • comment avatar Lizzi November 2, 2009

    Hi Rex,

    I sent you a message via the form on the About section of your site, but I haven’t heard back from you and now I’m thinking perhaps you didn’t receive it.

    I have a question about one of the photos in this lobster entry. Can you please email me so I have your address, and then I’ll send my email directly to you?

    Thank you very much.

  • comment avatar Mike Measells January 2, 2010

    Perfect! This is the most helpful posting I have found! We're grilling lobster tails (appx 4 oz tails on sale at Kroger today for $4.99 each) and did not have much of a plan. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the help!

    • comment avatar Rex January 5, 2010

      Mike – I picked up the tails on the cheap too. The grill is the ultimate way to cook the tails. The smokiness along with all of that butter give them a really nice flavor. Keep me posted on the results.

  • comment avatar Sigrid Fennig November 13, 2010

    Thank you , I’ll have to subscribe your site and read the rest I think. The first date my wife and I had nearly 20 years ago now was a lovely seafood restaurant in Napoli, so I’ve been spending ages trying to find a decent grilled like we had that night – our anniversary is next month so I’m hoping to surprise her!

  • comment avatar Gas Grill Propane March 8, 2011

    Great article. I really enjoy share for my friends and post on my blog.

  • comment avatar footstool_420 May 6, 2011

    Actually, the best way to prepare live lobster to grill, boil, bake, or broil is to place the live lobsters into freshwater until they have, how should I say, "passed away" The meat is softer and tastes much better this way!! Enjoy!

    • comment avatar joe June 18, 2011

      How come the live lobsters can't be placed directly on the grill?

      • comment avatar savoryreviews June 23, 2011

        You can cut them right up and throw them on the grill. I like to try to be humane, however there is no need. A quick tip would be to put the lobster to sleep and then cut him up so that there is little to no pain. To do that stand the lobster on its head or old it with the head down. Allow its tail to curl inward. Rub your hand up and down the carapace making sure to rub between the eyes. Within a few seconds it will be sound asleep. Then go for it.

  • comment avatar rob July 4, 2011

    We just made lobster for first time on grill last night using this recipe. Man was it great and very simple. Only way to eat them now……

  • comment avatar Martin July 4, 2011

    How/when do you remove the intestine if you only cut the top of the shell?

    • comment avatar savoryreviews July 5, 2011

      Martin after you cook the lobsters you crack open the shell all of the way and then you can remove the intestine. The intestine runs the entire length of the tail-piece. The intestine is usually black but sometimes it is colorless.

  • comment avatar Chris September 4, 2011

    I like to make two parallel cuts about 1/4 inch apart, as opposed to just one as shown here. If you remove that 1/4 piece of shell prior to grilling, the garlic butter is easier to deploy. Plus I think it’s easier to get the tail from the shell after grilling. Also, if you follow “Good Eats” – Alton Brown shows a great way to dispatch the buggers.

  • comment avatar Ballistic Knife For Sale November 5, 2011

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include approximately all vital infos. I’d like to peer more posts like this .

  • comment avatar temporary email December 27, 2011

    I’m extremely impressed along with your writing abilities as neatly as with the structure to your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it?s rare to look a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  • comment avatar Lynn January 1, 2012

    Grilled these last night….absolutely delicious and extremely moist. Your post was spot on and most helpful. This will be the only way we cook these from now on.

  • comment avatar Varvara February 15, 2012

    This recipe is absolute hit!Thank you for such precise details and an excellent explanation! Our surf and turf dinner was a total success bc of your recipe. Perfect timing on cooking the lobster! just awesome, no other words!

    • comment avatar savoryreviews February 15, 2012

      I am glad that you enjoyed the recipe Varvara. I try list each and every step along with pictures to take the guess work out of cooking. Thanks for the wonderful comments.

  • comment avatar Georgia March 24, 2012

    LOBSTERS ARE YUMMY…….. I LIKE TO EAT LOBSTERS!!!!!! ITS SAD WHEN THEY DIE THOUGH

    • comment avatar Red March 24, 2012

      SHUT UP

  • comment avatar Bob May 29, 2012

    Spam?

  • comment avatar Plumber Draper December 30, 2012

    I never knew that lobster can be cook grilled. . nice idea.

  • comment avatar Gaddys February 16, 2013

    Followed this recipe and the directions to a tee tonight. Lobster came out wonderfully. Thanks for the info. :)

  • comment avatar Patricia F. Brown April 19, 2013

    I miss eating lobster. But I never had that grilled recipe. Most of the time it was steamed.

  • comment avatar Rudolph May 25, 2013

    I just used your method for grilling lobster for my wife's birthday dinner and she was AMAZED!!! I paired it with a $30 Chenin Blanc, and it couldnt have been any better. thank you, and I will definitely recommend it

  • comment avatar roni g. June 16, 2013

    Thanks for the photo play by play recipe! Very helpful for a first time lobster griller.

  • comment avatar Orlando Griller July 13, 2013

    OMG! I followed your recipe with only slight modification and it was amazing! This has ruined restaurant lobster for me.

    I used 2 tablespoons of margarine, 1 green onion piece, really made sure to smoosh the garlic, and skipped the lemon. It was awesome. I used some of the butter on asparagus, too.

    Thank you. I got the lobster BOGO and was scared to ruin it.

  • comment avatar park July 15, 2013

    surely different taste by charcoal grilling .

  • comment avatar Dee November 18, 2013

    Have never cooked lobster tails on my own, but had a craving and Fresh Market had a 6 oz. for $6.99. (Also, with a couple 1-1/4" rib steak). Your post with pictures was SO helpful, including metal skewer and grilling time. Yea! It was not dried out! My personal taste is only melted butter rather than with the minced garlic and lemon. My husband & I so enjoyed. Thank you.

  • comment avatar Alvin December 4, 2013

    Kroger 3.99 lobster tail just got 4 glad I google it

  • comment avatar Alisa December 17, 2013

    I would really appreciate a recipe for that delicious-looking rice on which the lobster is sitting in the photo.

  • comment avatar Pau February 24, 2014

    Grilled lobster is the only way now for me Wow. I once threw a live crawfish on the grill while bbq ing ribs and it was delicious

  • Pingback:How to Split and Grill Lobster Tails | SavoryReviews by Rex BBQ

  • comment avatar James Ward March 25, 2014

    I have enjoyed this recipe with my gf several times now and will continue to do so. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    • comment avatar Rex March 25, 2014

      Glad you enjoy it James. Grilled lobster tails are the best!

  • Pingback:Week 19: Seafood Frenzy Friday~The Grilling EditionCarrie’s Experimental Kitchen |

  • comment avatar Nancy November 24, 2012

    Have you tried Luke’s Lobster?? It is hands down the best roll in the city! I found it using after I heard about the site in NY Mags approval maritx. I now love the site almost as much as I love the Lobster rolls

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