How to Cook Lobster Tails on the Stove

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Learn how to cook lobster tails on the stove to make a gourmet restaurant-quality meal at home for a celebration or even a regular weeknight meal!

Craving lobster tail but don’t want to go out to a restaurant to eat it? When most people want to eat lobster, they get in the car and drive somewhere to order it. But that doesn’t have to be you!

There’s no need to pay extra to get lobster tail from someone else. You can do it right at home in less than half an hour! Yes, cooking lobster can be that easy – and delicious!

How to do you cook lobster tails on the stove? Start by cutting the lobster tail down the middle, season the meat with butter and salt and pepper, and boil the lobster tail for 1 minute per ounce. The shells should be bright red and the meat will be pinkish or opaque.

What’s The Best Type Of Lobster?

Essentially, there are two different types of lobster tails: hot water lobster tails and cold water lobster tails. Here’s how they differ

  • Hot Water Lobster Tails are from warmer climates, such as Florida (USA) and the Caribbean. Unfortunately, this type of lobster tail is of lesser quality. In many cases, the meat has a poor, mushy texture that can be disappointing, especially because they’re not cheap!
  • Cold Water Lobster Tails come from places like the state of Maine, South Africa, and countries in Oceania. Cold water lobster tail has whiter-colored meat and is more tender than its hot water counterpart. Be sure to pick this type of lobster tail when you’re shopping around.

Always ask what type of lobster tail you’re buying. The seafood counter or fishmonger should be able to tell exactly where the lobster was harvested from.

Are Frozen Lobster Tails Good?

Despite how they might sound, frozen lobster tails can be delicious. The most important thing is to know what to look for when shopping for lobster tails, frozen or fresh.

Here are some tell-tale signs of wear an tear on your lobster to avoid:

  • Black spots or discoloration
  • The lobster’s tail has turned gray (it means that it was not handled properly)
  • Lobster soaked in preservatives

Also, make sure the lobster tails haven’t had a chance to thaw until they’re about to be cooked. If thawed too soon, they’ll lose a lot of their quality.

How to Cook Lobster Tails on the Stove

Once you’ve sourced the best-looking lobster tails to cook at home, here is how to do it:

Ingredients

  • 4 lobster tails
  • 2 teaspoons of salt, or to taste
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper

Prepping Lobster Tails

Get ready to cook those yummy lobster tails by doing some simple prep work.

Step 1: Defrosting

If your lobster tails are frozen, you have two options. You can start the night before and let the tails defrost in your refrigerator overnight. If you’re short on time, you can place your frozen lobster tails in cold water for 30 minutes before cooking.

If you have larger frozen tails, 30 minutes might not be enough. If the lobster tails aren’t flexible and thawed after 30 minutes, change the water and wait 30 more minutes.

Step 2: Turn the lobster into a butterfly

While “butterflying” lobster sounds fancy, it’s actually quite easy and fast to do. Simply place the lobster tails on a cutting board and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut down through the middle of the lobster tail towards the fin end. You can also do this with kitchen shaears. After cutting, pull most of the meat away from the shell. Just make sure it’s still attached at the tip of the tail. It’s that simple!

It’s best to cook the lobster tails with their meat attached to the shell but ready to be pulled out. This makes the tails easier to enjoy after cooking.

Step 3: Season the lobster

There are countless ways to season lobster meat. The classic option is to brush melted butter on the tail and add salt and pepper to taste. You can also choose to season after you’re done cooking the lobster as well. Either way, it’ll taste great!

Cooking the Lobster Tails

The actual cooking of lobster tails is easy. The most important thing is to pay attention to how long you cook them.

Step 1: Heat the water

Once you’re done seasoning, grab a pot and fill it with water. Add salt to the water. Turn the heat on and bring the water to a boiling point.

Step 2: Place the tails inside the pot

When the water is boiling, carefully place the tails inside the pot. The keyword here is “carefully”. You’re dealing with boiling water! Be extra careful so as not to cause the water to splash when placing the lobster in the pot. If possible, use kitchen tongs to avoid accidental burns.

Step 3: Watch the clock

Cook the lobster tails in the pot for 1 minute per ounce of lobster tail.

The seafood will be ready when the shell is red and the meat is pinkish or translucent. Remove the tails from the pot with tongs and let the meat cool off for a bit before removing the shell and serving.

Finally, grab some napkins and a plate up your masterpiece because now it’s time to enjoy some scrumptious lobster tail you made in your own kitchen! When you feel like making them again, remember all you need to do is defrost the lobster tails, cut them open down the middle, season them, and boil them until done.

What’s a Good Size For a Lobster Tail?

When it comes to lobster tails, many people find that smaller tails actually have more flavor. Anything from 5 to 12 ounces is optimal for the best flavor and texture. That way, you’ll get the most out of your money meat-wise. Bigger lobster tails tend to be more shell than meat.

How to Season Lobster Tail

Butter may be the go-to seasoning choice for lobster tail, but if you want to get creative, here are more options you can try.

  • Garlic
  • Paprika
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Lemongrass
  • Cayenne Pepper

Have fun experimenting with different seasonings to find your favorite combination that also highlights the delicious natural flavor of lobster.

What to Serve With Lobster Tail

Lobster tail is a delectable main dish, but you might want more with it in order to create a full meal. Many different foods pair well with lobster tail, so you have plenty of tasty options of side dishes to serve with your cooked lobster tails. Here are some popular side choices.

Other Ways to Cook Lobster Tails

There are some other ways to cook lobster tails other than on the stove. You can also roast lobster tails in the oven. If you do this method, brush the tails with melted butter and add your seasonings before roasting.

Another way to cook lobster tails is by seaming them. You can do this by placing a steamer basket in a pot with a few inches of water. Bring the water to a simmer, add the lobster tails, cover the pot, and simmer until the meat is cooked through and pink. this produces a tender, soft texture that many lobster eaters love. If you love lobster tails after cooking them this way on the stove, then have fun trying some other culinary techniques to make tender and delicious lobster at home.

Lobster Tail

Boiled Lobster Tails

How to cook lobster tails on the stove with boiling water.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Cuting board
  • Knife or sizzors

Ingredients
  

  • 4 lobster tails
  • 2 teaspoons of salt or to taste
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • If your lobster tails are frozen, you have two options. You can start the night before and let the tails defrost in your refrigerator overnight. If you’re short on time, you can place your frozen lobster tails in cold water for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Place the lobster tails on a cutting board and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut down through the middle of the lobster tail towards the fin end. You can also do this with kitchen shears. After cutting, pull most of the meat away from the shell.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the lobster tails to the pot and cook for 1 minute per ounce of meat.
  • Remove from the pot and let the lobster cool.
  • Brush the lobster tails with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Keyword lobster tails

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