Grilling Lobster Tails

If someone were to ask me what the most decadent grilled meal I could envision was, I think the answer would have to be grilled lobster tail.  Lobster tail is — by and large — the most prized portion of one of the most beloved luxe foods around. And, as has been stated by people wiser than myself, grilling make most everything better. So imagine the math on this one!

Grilled Lobster Tail

What Kind of Lobster Tail to Grill

You can grill any kind of lobster, as you can grill any kind of crustacean, and there are a couple of different lobster tails you might find on the market.  Maine lobsters have hard shells and are usually a deep reddish brown, turning a much brighter red when cooked.  Where I live, in the Northeast, this is the most commonly available lobster tail on the market.

Spiny lobsters, which might also be labeled rock lobsters or Florida lobsters, have sharp spines as the name suggests, and their shells tend to be more in the brown or tan range, with spots.  They actually have no claws — the tails are broader than Maine lobsters, and very firm and sweet.  

Lots more to read about buying, defrosting frozen lobster tail, and cooking lobster tail right here!

How to Split Lobster Tail

You can either split the lobster tail all the way before cooking, or butterfly them, but leave them attached in one piece.  To butterfly lobster tail, use sharp kitchen shears to cut the top shell from the open end of the lobster tail all the way to the end of the tail, but don’t cut through the end of the tail.  Then use a sharp knife to slice the lobster meat down the middle stopping a little over halfway though the meat, following the line where you cut the shell.  Then spread open the tail a bit; it will open further upon cooking.

How to Cook Lobster Tail

Or, to split the tail all the way though (as we’ve done here), follow the above directions, but slice all the way through the bottom of the shell so the lobster tail come apart into two long halves.  This is a good way to go if you are serving other things besides lobster, and want to make sure everyone gets a serving of lobster but has room for other grilled offerings.  Think of it for surf and turf meals (see How to Grill a NY Strip Steak!), or for mixed seafood grills (see Grilled Scallops!).

What to Brush Lobster Tail with Before Grilling:

You can brush lobster tail with olive oil, melted or softened butter, or a mix of both. Or try a compound butter, or seasoned olive oil.  I used a shallot compound butter for this grilled lobster tail and I may never use anything else again.

Grilled Lobster Tail

How to Grill Lobster Tail

Preheat the grill to medium high. Carefully oil the grill rack.  In a small bowl combine the butter, shallots, parsley and lemon juice until well blended.

Using kitchen shears, cut the top of each lobster shell from the open meaty portion of the tail down towards the end of the tail. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut through the meat down the center, and cut through the shell so that the lobster tail is now in two pieces.  Or use the knife to cut the meat about halfway down, and open the tail slightly.  Either way, insert a wooden or metal skewer lengthwise through the lobster to keep lobster tail straight while it’s cooking. 

Grilled Lobster Tail

Brush the lobster meat with half of the butter mixture. Grill meaty side down until it has nice light grill marks, about 5 minutes. 

Grilled Lobster Tail

Flip the lobster and brush more butter mixture on the meaty side. Cover, and grill until just cooked through, about 5 minutes more.  The lobster should be an opaque white throughout.

Remove the lobster from grill and serve hot or at room temperature.

Grilled Lobster Tail: In the warmer months, there is no better way to prepare everyone’s favorite luxury shellfish!

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Grilled Lobster Tail

If you want to cook lobster tail in the oven, click here!

What to Serve with Grilled Lobster Tail:

Grilled Lobster Tail

Other Grilled Seafood Recipes:

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Grilled Lobster Tail

In the warmer months, there is no better way to prepare everyone's favorite luxury shellfish!
Yield: 6 People
Diet: Gluten Free

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 (6 ounce) lobster tails , butterflied or split (see below)

Directions

  • Preheat the grill to medium high. Carefully oil the grill rack.
  • In a small bowl combine the butter, shallots, parsley and lemon juice until well blended.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut the top of each lobster shell from the open meaty portion of the tail down towards the end of the tail. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut through the meat down the center, and cut through the shell so that the lobster tail is now in two pieces. Or use the knife to cut the meat about halfway down, and open the tail slightly. Either way, insert a wooden or metal skewer lengthwise through the lobster to keep lobster tail straight while it’s cooking.
  • Brush the lobster meat with half of the butter mixture. Grill meaty side down until it has nice light grill marks, about 5 minutes. Flip the lobster and brush more butter mixture on the meaty side. Cover, and grill until just cooked through, about 5 minutes more. The lobster should be an opaque white throughout.
  • Remove the lobster from grill and serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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