How to Grill Lobster Tails

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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?  Keep reading 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 a charcoal grill, 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 in.  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 for 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.  Add the juice to the cup along with a pinch 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 it’s 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 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 a 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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42 thoughts on “How to Grill Lobster Tails

  • August 2, 2009 at 2:53 pm
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    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!

    Reply
  • November 2, 2009 at 11:56 am
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    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.

    Reply
  • January 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm
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    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!

    Reply
    • January 5, 2010 at 6:36 am
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      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.

      Reply
  • November 13, 2010 at 9:46 am
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    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!

    Reply
  • May 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm
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    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!

    Reply
    • June 18, 2011 at 9:50 am
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      How come the live lobsters can't be placed directly on the grill?

      Reply
      • June 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm
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        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.

        Reply
  • July 4, 2011 at 7:46 am
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    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……

    Reply
  • July 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm
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    How/when do you remove the intestine if you only cut the top of the shell?

    Reply
    • July 5, 2011 at 8:39 am
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      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.

      Reply
  • September 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm
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    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.

    Reply
  • November 5, 2011 at 11:19 pm
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    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 .

    Reply
  • December 27, 2011 at 11:39 am
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    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..

    Reply
  • January 1, 2012 at 10:09 am
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    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.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2012 at 12:25 am
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    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!

    Reply
    • February 15, 2012 at 9:03 am
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      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.

      Reply
  • March 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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    LOBSTERS ARE YUMMY…….. I LIKE TO EAT LOBSTERS!!!!!! ITS SAD WHEN THEY DIE THOUGH

    Reply
  • February 16, 2013 at 11:19 pm
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    Followed this recipe and the directions to a tee tonight. Lobster came out wonderfully. Thanks for the info. 🙂

    Reply
  • April 19, 2013 at 12:39 am
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    I miss eating lobster. But I never had that grilled recipe. Most of the time it was steamed.

    Reply
  • May 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm
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    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

    Reply
  • June 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm
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    Thanks for the photo play by play recipe! Very helpful for a first time lobster griller.

    Reply
  • July 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm
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    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.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2013 at 2:57 am
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    surely different taste by charcoal grilling .

    Reply
  • November 18, 2013 at 8:29 am
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    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.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm
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    Kroger 3.99 lobster tail just got 4 glad I google it

    Reply
  • December 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm
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    I would really appreciate a recipe for that delicious-looking rice on which the lobster is sitting in the photo.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2014 at 9:19 am
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    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

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

  • March 25, 2014 at 7:22 pm
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    I have enjoyed this recipe with my gf several times now and will continue to do so. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    Reply
    • March 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm
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      Glad you enjoy it James. Grilled lobster tails are the best!

      Reply
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  • January 1, 2015 at 10:20 pm
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    I followed your recipe tonight and my lobster tails came out perfectly! So yummy!! My family loved them! Thank you for the fabulous detailed recipe, the pictures were very helpful as well! 🙂

    Reply
  • March 28, 2015 at 10:30 pm
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    Cooked them tonight for mother in laws bday turned out awesome thanks for tips. Split a ribeye with the two lobster tails u really can’t get any better food.

    Reply
  • October 27, 2015 at 12:15 pm
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    You ought to get involved in a contest personally of the finest blogs on-line. I will recommend this page!

    Reply
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