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How To Cook Lobster Tails

Before You Cook Lobster Tails Learn How to Bake Lobster Tails
Learn How to Boil Lobster Tails Learn How to Broil Lobster Tails
Learn How to Steam Lobster Tails Learn How to Grill Lobster Tails

Ever since Maine Lobster Now™ first opened its doors, our customers have been asking us how to perfectly boil, broil, bake, steam, or grill their lobster tails. Cooking lobster tails at home is part of the fun! We recommend that you start by searching for the perfect lobster tail within our huge inventory of regular or jumbo lobster tails and our mouth-watering lobster dinner side dishes!

Maine Lobster Tails

Maine Lobster Tails

Giant Lobster Tails

Giant Lobster Tails

Live lobster side dishes

Lobster Tail Dinner Side Dishes

Lobster cooking supplies

Lobster Tails Cooking Supplies

With our easy-to-use lobster tail boiling, grilling and broiling guides below, you’ll find that cooking lobster tails is a rewarding experience the whole family will want to experience again and again. Check out our lobster tail recipes section to find out better techniques on how to butterfly a lobster tail! We intentionally only stock cold-water lobster tails, if you are interested in learning the difference between cold-water and warm-water lobster tails check out our blog for more information.

How To Prepare Lobster Tails - What to do first

Upon Arrival:

Your lobster tails are shipped frozen in dry ice. Depending on the time in transit, lobster tails may begin to "sweat" or have beads of water on the outside of the tails. This is common and does not mean your lobster tail has thawed. Place your lobster tails in the freezer right away until you are ready to use.

If you ordered the tails with live lobsters, they will not be packed in dry ice as this would kill the live lobsters. Expect them partially thawed if you ordered with live lobster. These can be frozen but we recommend that you use them right away and do not refreeze.

If they are frozen, you can put them in the freezer for a future date.

Common Misconceptions:

It is common to have tomalley in the center of the tail. It appears black and sometimes green and sometimes will startle customers. Do not worry. This is a natural part of the lobster tail. It is actually the liver and is totally edible and is considered a delicacy. If you do not desire to eat this it can be rinsed off with water once the lobster is fully cooked.

Most lobster tail meat is white but it is also common to have a light pink tint to the meat for lobsters that are preparing to shed. Once again, this is a totally natural process and is totally edible.


If they have thawed, we recommend not refreezing the tails. They may be placed in the refrigerator for a day or two.

The tails must be thawed prior to cooking. For best results, keep tails in sealed bag and soak in cold water for 30-60 minutes.

How To Boil Lobster Tails

Lobster Tails Thawing Instructions:

The tails must be thawed prior to cooking. For best results, keep tails in sealed bag and soak in cold water for 30-60 minutes.

Lobster Tails Boiling Times:

To get consistently perfect results, the best way, is to boil your tails in water. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to a soft boil and add Maine sea salt. Drop tails in one at a Time and set your timer. Follow times below for best results!
Lobster Tail Boiling Times
Tail Quantity Tail Size Cooking Time
2-6 4-6 oz 3-4 Minutes
2-6 6-7 oz 4 Minutes
2-6 8-12 oz 5-6 Minutes
2-6 12-14 oz 6-9 Minutes
2-6 14-16 oz 9-12 Minutes
2-6 16-20 oz 12-15 Minutes
2-6 20-24 oz 15-18 Minutes
2-6 24-28 oz 18-21 Minutes

How To Prepare Exploding Lobster Tails

Want some tails like the picture below? Who doesn't?! Check out our instructions on how to cook exploding lobster tails.

How To Steam Lobster Tails

Choose a large pot with a tight-fitting lid that is large enough to fit the lobster tails with enough room for the steam to circulate around them. Place a steamer basket or an upturned colander in the pot, and pour in cold water to a depth of about 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil.

When the water is boiling, quickly add the lobster tails to the pot and cover. Steam the lobster tails, for approximately one minute per ounce. For example 10 minutes for 10 ounce tails. Remove from pot and cool slightly prior to serving. Serve with drawn butter and your favorite seasonings.

How To Grill Lobster Tails

  1. Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire.
  2. Brush olive oil on both sides of the lobster tails and set them bottom side down on the cooking grates.
  3. Grill until the shells are bright red and the protein in the juices that seep from the shells turns white and coagulates. (There’s no need to turn the lobster tail over.)
  4. A thawed lobster tail will take about 8 minutes to grill.
  5. Remove the lobster tail from the grill and let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Serve warm with the dipping sauce of your choice

How To Store Lobster Tails

  1. Lobster tails will arrive frozen unless they are shipped with live lobster.
  2. If they are thawed, we do not recommend refreezing and they should be cooked that day.
  3. If they are packed in dry ice and arrive frozen, they can be put right in the freezer for a future date.
  4. Like any food product, don’t store in the freezer more than a few months.