How to Cook a Lobster Tail

Lobster Tailslobster tails
Photo Credit digitonin / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

A  lobster tail can be baked, broiled, boiled, steamed or grilled. The most fool proof method is steaming. Boiling is usually done only if you want to use the meat in a different recipe, like salads. Boiling is a little harder to time which makes it too easy to over- cook. If the meat is not going to be used right away put it into ice water for a couple minutes to stop the cooking. Have the tails thawed before cooking. The best way is 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. They can be done under cold running water but the taste is not quite as good.

Lobster tails
NomadicEntrepreneur / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

How to bake lobster tails
With a heavy scissors, cut through the top of the shell from the thick part to the tail. Do not cut the tail. Separate the shell and work your fingers around the meat to separate the meat from the shell, leaving the tail end as is. You can either leave the meat in the shell or you can pull the heavy end of the lobster meat on top of the shell, leaving the tail tip attached. With a sharp knife put a slit down the middle of the meat about ¼ inches deep. This will give the lobster a puffed out appearance like ones served in a restaurant.
Place the tails in a baking dish and baste with melted butter. If you left the meat in the shell make sure you add butter between the shell and the meat.
Place the tails in a pre-heated 450 degree oven.

Lobster Cooking Times
2 ounces = 12 minutes
4 ounces = 18 minutes
6 ounces = 22 minutes
8 ounces = 26 minutes
12 ounces = 30 minutes
Add about 2 minutes per ounce for any tail larger than 12 ounces.
I f you are baking larger tails, wrapping them in aluminum foil will prevent them from drying out.
Don’t ruin an expensive meal! Use a meat thermometer. Lobster is done at 140 degrees.

How to boil lobster tails
Place enough water in a pan to cover the lobster tails.
Add 1 tablespoon of salt for every quart of water.
Bring the water to a boil and add the thawed lobster tails.
After the water returns to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and start timing.
Simmer the tails for 1 minute for each ounce of weight.
If you are cooking more than one tail use the individual weight not the total weight.
For example, if you are cooking two-12 ounce tails, cook for 12 minutes, not 24.
Don’t ruin an expensive meal! Use a meat thermometer. Lobster is done at 140 degrees.

Lobster tails
Josiah Lau Photography / Food Photos / CC BY-ND

How to broil lobster tails
With a heavy scissors, cut through the top of the shell from the thick part to the tail. Do not cut the tail. Separate the shell and work your fingers around the meat to separate the meat from the shell, leaving the tail end as is. Pull the shell open to expose the meat. With a sharp knife put a slit down the middle of the meat about ¼ inches deep. This will give the lobster a puffed out appearance like ones served in a restaurant.
Place the tails on a broiling pan and baste with melted butter. Make sure you add butter between the shell and the meat.
Broil about 4-6 inches from the heat for about 1 minute for every ounce of tail.
If you are cooking more than one tail use the individual weight not the total weight.
For example, if you are cooking two-12 ounce tails, cook for 12 minutes, not 24.
Broiling is a touchy way of cooking lobster tails, so watch them closely so they don’t burn. It’s best to leave the oven door open when cooking.
Don’t ruin an expensive meal! Use a meat thermometer. Lobster is done at 140 degrees

How to grill lobster tails,

Lobster tails
Another Pint Please… / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

With a heavy scissors, cut through the top of the shell from the thick part to the tail. Do not cut the tail. Pull the shell open to expose the meat. Run a skewer lengthwise through the tail to help keep the tail straight. If you are using wood skewers, soak them in water for about an hour before cooking to prevent them from burning.
Have the grill ready at medium heat.
Grill the tails away from the direct heat for 5-8 minutes, top side down.
Turn the tails over and baste with melted butter every couple minutes. Grill for another 5-8 minutes. Total cooking times should be about 1 minute per ounce of tail. If you are cooking more than one tail use the individual weight not the total weight.
For example, if you are cooking two-12 ounce tails, cook for 12 minutes, not 24.
Have a spray bottle of water handy. There will probably be flare ups to put out.
Don’t ruin an expensive meal! Use a meat thermometer. Lobster is done at 140 degrees

How to steam lobster tails

Lobster tails
TheGirlsNY / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Steaming is the most reliable means of cooking lobster.
With a heavy scissors, cut through the top of the shell, stopping before you get to the tail. Do not cut the tail. Separate the shell and work your fingers around the meat to separate the meat from the shell, leaving the tail end as is. You can either leave the meat in the shell or you can pull the heavy end of the lobster meat on top of the shell, leaving the tail tip attached. With a sharp knife put a slit down the middle of the meat about ¼ inches deep. This will give the lobster a puffed out appearance like ones served in a restaurant.
You will need a pan with a cover, large enough to hold the lobster without crowding. Add 2 inches of water to the pan and bring it to a rapid boil. Put the tails on a rack above the water and cover the pan. Start timing when the steam begins to escape from the pan.
Total cooking times should be about 1 minute per ounce of tail. If you are cooking more than one tail use the individual weight not the total weight.
For example, if you are cooking two-12 ounce tails, cook for 12 minutes, not 24.
Don’t ruin an expensive meal! Use a meat thermometer. Lobster is done at 140 degrees

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