Grilled Lobster Tails

Chef's notes:

Lobster tails are fairly simple to cook. The easiest way is a combination of steaming and broiling, which is covered in my article Broiled Lobster Tails. But if you want to grill lobster tails—and who wouldn’t?—this article should prove useful. There are a couple ways to grill lobster tails, including cutting them in half, a common approach that works very well. Cutting them in half exposes the meat to the grill, cooking the lobster evenly, quickly, and efficiently.


  • 6 lobster tails
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter
  • Lemon

Lobster Tail Recipe: Fresh or Frozen Lobster Tails Cut in Half, Grilled, and Served with Butter and Lemon

  1. Pick up some lobster tails to grill. These lobster tails are from cold water lobsters caught in Canada, which are the same as those caught in Maine; I was unable to find Maine lobsters for this article. Lobster tails come in a variety of sizes and species. In short, there are two types: cold and warm water. I prefer cold water lobsters.
  2. Cut the lobster tails in half to be grilled. Use a large sharp chef knife to cut the lobster tails in half. Stick the blade in at the tip of the tail and push down through the meat until you hear a crunch. Use your other hand to help push the blade all the way through the shell. Give the meat a rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove any “vein” that you find.
  3. Season the lobster tails before grilling. Brush the lobster meat with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay them in a tray, on a paper towel, meat-side up. Keep the lobster tails cool before grilling. Begin heating up the grill, make sure it is nice and clean; brush it quickly with a little vegetable oil before you add the lobster tails.
  4. Grill the lobster tails. Lay the lobster tails on the grill, meat-side down. Lower the heat to medium and shut the grill lid. After a minute, lift the lid, flip the lobster tails over, and close the door again. Then, after another minute, lift the lid and check the meat’s internal temperature using a digital thermometer. The target temperature is 145 degrees F. If the lobster is done, serve immediately.

Tips & Tricks

  • Buy cold water lobsters if you can, even though they are more pricey. Most people prefer the taste of cold water lobster.
  • Use a sharp knife when cutting your lobster tails in half. And be careful to not cut off your thumb.
  • Unless you catch the lobster yourself, or you know someone who does, your lobster tail has already been frozen. You may as well buy frozen lobster tails and thaw them yourself.
  • Thawed lobster should be cooked within a day or so.
  • You can par-cook the lobster tails before grilling by steaming or boiling them for a couple minutes. Use a skewer to keep the tails from curling up while they cook. After cooking, cut them in half and finish them on the grill.
  • Just because the shell turns red doesn’t mean the lobster is done. Use a digital thermometer to make sure.