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Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or just want an impressive dinner without too much work, eating a grilled lobster tail will hit the spot. This seafood recipe is surprisingly easy to make, and they’re sure to be a hit with everyone at your table. Dabbed with homemade garlic herb butter, these grilled lobster tails are a delicious way to enjoy seafood this summer!
Grilling season is here, and you can’t go wrong with a light and tasty seafood dish. Lobster tails are a great option for grilling because they cook quickly over direct heat. This means you don’t need to babysit them on the grill too much- just enough time to get that crispy exterior and juicy grilled flavor!
Plus, all you really need to season the lobster tails is some salt and pepper to bring out their sweet, natural taste. And when you brush them with garlic herb butter, you’ll get a nice flavor boost without overwhelming the delicate lobster flavor.
Let’s get grilling!
Here’s everything you need to make these grilled lobster tails…
- Lobster tails
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
Garlic herb butter
- Unsalted butter
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic cloves
- Italian flat-leaf parsley
Need to keep this recipe dairy-free? Swap out the unsalted butter for its dairy-free version!
Now that you have a list of everything you need, let’s get started with grilling these juicy, meaty lobster tails doused in homemade garlic butter!
Taking the time to properly prep the lobster tails for grilling is super important! Preparing and cleaning the lobster tails beforehand makes it easier to grill them evenly and cook them more quickly.
Here’s how to prep the lobster tails:
- Lay the lobster tail on a cutting board with the fins fanned out. Locate the spot where the tail meets the fins and insert a sharp chef’s knife straight down at a 90-degree angle. (Please be careful inserting the knife so it doesn’t slip.)
- Once the knife point breaks through the shell, bring the knife down, splitting the lobster tail in two (I use my spare hand to press down on the top of the knife to help press through the shell).
- After you have cut the tail all the way, separate the two halves so that the meat of the lobster is visible on top while keeping the tail fins attached.
- Repeat these steps with the rest of the lobster tails. Then you will salt and pepper the lobster tails.
Use your second hand to press the top of the knife to help you break through the shell. And if you don’t have a sharp knife, feel free to use kitchen shears!
My go-to spot to pick up fresh lobster is from the local fish market. It’s always best to buy the freshest ingredients available, so it’s a good idea to check out different seafood stores and compare prices before making your purchase.
Yes, you can totally use frozen lobster tails for this grilled lobster tail recipe. However, make sure to thaw them completely before grilling.
To do so, transfer the frozen tails to a bowl and submerge them in cold water. Change out the water every 10 minutes until it’s completely thawed!
For the garlic herb butter, I use a small cast iron skillet on the grill to prepare it. If you do not have a grill safe vessel, you can make the garlic herb butter on the stovetop!
Absolutely! Feel free to switch out the Italian parsley for other herbs like dill, cilantro, chives, or tarragon.
If you want to get an extra punch of flavor, it’s best to use fresh herbs. However, if that’s not available at the moment, you can also use dried herbs as a substitute. Just make sure to reduce the amount used since dried herbs have more concentrated flavors!
Red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or a bit of turmeric work great in this garlic herb butter. For a cajun flair, toss in some creole cajun seasoning!
Now that all of your lobster tails have been prepped and cut open, it’s time to start grilling.
Here’s how to cook lobster tails on the grill:
- Start by preheating the grill to 400°F for about 10 minutes. About 5 minutes in, place the cast iron or grill safe vessel with your butter on the grill to melt.
- Brush a little of the melted butter, over the lobster meat. Once you have pre-buttered the lobsters, add the rest of the garlic herb butter components to the melted butter and stir.
- Place the lobster, meat side down, flat on the hot grill grates, and grill for 4 1/2 minutes. Place cut lemons on grill grates to get char marks along side lobsters.
- Then, lower the grill temperature to 350°F and flip the lobster tails over so the meat is facing up.
- Use a brush to apply garlic herb butter to them, but be cautious of the butter dripping, which may cause flames on the grill. Keep basting the lobster tails for 4-6 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. Time can vary due to size of lobsters
You can always cook these lobster tails in the oven! Preheat your oven to 375°F and place the prepped lobster tails onto a baking sheet. Then, bake for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F.
The best way to add butter to the lobster tail is by melting it and brushing it onto the meat while grilling. This will help keep the lobster tender and give it even more flavor! You can also use a spoon or a baster.
Once the lobster tails are cooked through, it’s time to serve them!
Carefully remove the lobster tails from the grill. Now you can leave them in their shell or remove the meat from the shell (It’s totally up to you!). I like to pour some of the garlic butter sauce right over the lobster or you can serve it on the side for dipping!
If you left the meat in its shell, then all you have to do is crack open the lobster shells and pull out the delicious meat. You can also use a pair of kitchen shears or scissors to help you remove the lobster meat from its shell.
Serve the lobster tail warm with a side of grilled lemon wedges and the leftover garlic butter sauce.
You can save the lobster shells and use them to make a delicious lobster stock for soups or sauces.
Now that the grilled lobster tails are ready, it’s time to dig in!
While the grill is still hot, cook up a slab of marinated flank steak to enjoy a homemade version of surf and turf. Serve with some garlic parmesan smashed potatoes and Brussel Sprouts Caesar salad for the most delicious dinner of the summer!
For a decedent dish, make this 3-cheese baked mac and cheese and top it with some of the buttery lobster meat.
This grilled lobster recipe is also a perfect start to making some summer lobster rolls! Butter up a few New England style split rolls and toss the lobster meat with herbed mayonnaise, some crunchy lettuce, and fresh lemon juice for a delicious seafood sandwich.
If you have any leftovers, let the grilled lobster tails cool completely and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The cooked lobster will stay good for up to 3 days.
Yes, you can freeze the cooked lobster tails for up to 6 months. Just make sure to let them cool completely before transferring them into an airtight container or a ziplock bag and sticking it in your freezer.
So there you have it – your perfect guide on how to grill lobster tails! Enjoy this delicious dish with friends and family while making some summer-worthy memories.
Garlic Herb Butter
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (chopped)
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- Place lobster tail on a cutting board and fan the tail fin out. Find the point where the tail meats the tail fins and insert a sharp chef's knife straight down into that point at a 90 degree angle. Please be careful inserting that the knife does not slip. Once the knife point breaks through the shell, bring the knife down splitting the lobster tail in two (use your second hand to press the top of the knife, to help you break through the shell).
- Once you have completely cut through the tail, open the tail so that the lobster meat is facing upwards, but the tail fins are still attached and intact.
- Repeat with remaining lobster tails.
- Once all 4 lobster tails are cut open, sprinkle kosher salt and ground black pepper over the lobster meat.
- Preheat grill to 400°F for 10 minutes
- In a small cast iron or grill safe saucepan, place sticks of butter, and allow to melt in the saucepan on the grill.
- Take the melted butter and brush a little on the meat of the lobster. Place the lobster, meat side down, flat on the grill grates. Grill for 4 1/2 minutes. Place the cut lemons on the grill grates to char alongside the lobsters.
- Add in the garlic, paprika, and parsley to the butter in the saucepan on the grill and mix to combine.
- Lower the grill temperature to 350°F and flip the lobster tails over, so the meat is facing up. Begin brushing garlic herb butter onto the lobsters (careful the butter dripping will cause the grill to flame a bit). Continue basting the lobster tails for 4-6 minutes until the internal temperature is 135°F *time can vary depending on size of lobster tails*
- Carefully remove the lobster tails, lemons, and butter sauce from the grill. Serve while still warm with the extra garlic butter herb sauce on the side (or you can pour it over the top of the tails prior to serving). Enjoy!
Garlic Herb Butter
- If you do not have a grill safe saucepan, you can make the herb butter sauce on the stovetop over medium heat, then bring it over to the grill for basting
- Cook time will depend on size of lobster tails. A digital thermometer is recommended to test for doneness, which will be 135°F.
- If you have any leftovers, let the grilled lobster tails cool completely and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The cooked lobster will stay good for up to 3 days.
- Yes, you can freeze the cooked lobster tails for up to 6 months. Just make sure to let them cool completely before transferring them into an airtight container or a ziplock bag and sticking it in your freezer.
- You can always cook these lobster tails in the oven! Preheat your oven to 375°F and place the prepped lobster tails onto a baking sheet. Then, bake for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F.