How to Cook Lobster In an Air Fryer

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What do you get when you combine modern convenience of an air fryer and sweet and succulent lobster? An easy and memorable meal you’ll want to recreate again and again. Learn the best way to cook lobster tails in the air fryer.

Air fryer lobster tail recipe

The idea of cooking lobster in an air fryer might initially give you pause. You’ve probably eaten or cooked boiled lobster, broiled lobster, or let the kiss of charcoal flicker at your tails. But have you tried using that sleek kitchen gadget sitting on your counter? It’s not just for your frozen French fries and party wings!

Looking for more ways to cook the king of crustaceans? See our guides for steaming, grilling, broiling, in the oven and even Sous vide.

Why Cook Lobster In an Air Fryer?

Air fryers are essentially small compact convection ovens. They heat from the top and a fan circulates the hot air around the food causing it to cook. While this allows foods traditionally submerged in bubbling vats of oil to get crispy without the excess fat, it also produces a cooking environment with even consistent heat.

Cook Lobster Air Fryer
A jumbo lobster tail cooked in just 6 minutes in the air fryer.

Lobster is traditionally a celebratory food. The tender sweet meat is synonymous with special occasions. While this little kitchen powerhouse won’t give you the pyrotechnics of grilling, it will give you the one thing most important, time. Unlike a traditional oven, it doesn’t require the same amount of time to preheat. And forget waiting for that pot of water to come to a boil for boiled lobster.

In addition to giving you the gift of time, air fryers are also a great and easy way to reheat cooked lobster. While the idea of leftover lobster is as rare as a blue lobster, the even heat and quick cooking time allows you to heat the meat through while preventing it from drying out and becoming tough. We do recommend wrapping the tails in foil though to prevent the outer shell from burning.

How to Prepare Your Lobster

You’ve picked out your wine, you have your playlist singing sweet music in the background. Now what? When deciding to cook your lobster in the air fryer you always want to start with the freshest, cold-water, hard-shelled Maine lobster tails.

  1. Allow your lobster tails to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. For the best flavor and texture you want your lobster fully defrosted before placing it into your air fryer.
  2. Butterfly your lobster tails.
    • Using kitchen shears carefully cut down the middle of the top shell, stopping just at the tail.
    • Use your fingers to loosen the shell away from the meat.
    • Carefully pull the meat up and allow it to rest on top of the shell. This will expose all of the meat to the heat for even cooking while the shell keeps it stable.

How Long to Air Fry Lobster Tail

Cooking times are never exact, especially with air fryers. Average lobster cooking times will vary depending on the size and kind (species) of lobster tails and specific make and model air fryer. Cooking times can range between 5-10 minutes.

Lobster Tail SizeAir Fry Lobster Cooking Time
Small (4-5 oz.)3-4 minutes
Medium (6-7 oz) tails5-6 minutes
Extra Large (8-10 oz) tails6-8 minutes
Colossal (16-20 oz) tails9-10 minutes
Lobster tails air fryer cooking times

The best way to be sure you have air fry perfection is the check the temperature with an an instant read cooking thermometer. Quickly open the air fryer and insert the thermoter in the thickest part of the tail. The internal temperature read 135 degrees Fahrenheit.   

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air fry lobster tails

How to Cook Lobster In an Air Fryer

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5 from 2 reviews

With just four simple ingredients, including the star of the show, and ten minutes, you will be serving sweet, succulent, buttery lobster.

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lobster tails, butterflied
  • 23 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine the melted butter, garlic, and parsley in a small saucepan. Reserve some for dipping if desired.
  2. Rub the herbaceous garlic butter onto the meat of your lobster tails. Hands work best but use a basting brush if desired.
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Place the lobster tails into the basket of the air fryer, meat side up.
  5. Cook for approximately 4 minutes.
  6. Combine the melted butter, garlic, and parsley in a small saucepan. Reserve some for dipping if desired.

Notes

First off do not overcrowd the basket with lobster tails. Be sure there is anough space for the hot air to circulate. Also, do not stack the tails. If you want an easy clean up, line the basket with parchment paper to catch some of that delicious garlic butter. 

  • Author: Lobster Louie
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: American
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Cooking Lobster in an Air Fryer Made Easy

Recipe Variations:

Below are a few recipe variations that will bring your air fryer lobster tails to the next level.

Classic New England Lobster Lemon Butter Sauce

You can never go wrong with cooking or serving lobster using a delightful New England-inspired lemon butter sauce. It contains melted butter, lemon juice, and a quarter-sized lemon grind. We recommend clarifying stick butter and removing excess fat to attain the optimal texture.Feel free to incorporate fresh herbs in the sauce for added brightness and flavor. Herbs like parsley, dill, smoked paprika, and tarragon pair well with lobster and other seafood dishes.

Lobster Fra Diavolo in the Air Fryer

This delicious Lobster Fra Diavolo is packed with flavor and the perfect amount of heat. The spicy sauce originated in Italy and is often featured in seafood dishes.

In a preheated saute pan, combine olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Allow that to heat up for approximately 2 minutes on medium heat before adding the red wine to deglaze the pan.Once the wine has been reduced by half, pour crushed tomatoes in the pan along with kosher salt and black pepper. Toss your air fried lobster tails into the saucepan to soak up all the sauce’s flavors. Then, garnish your completed lobster dish with finely chopped fresh parsley.

PRO TIP: We suggest using a dryer wine like Cabernet for this recipe to avoid clashing with the lobster’s organic flavors and the sauce’s heat. You may also incorporate a dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, if that is all you have on hand. See our lobster pairing guide for wine lovers.

Stuffed Baked Lobster Tails in the Air Fryer

Our team shared a yummy baked stuffed lobster tail recipe awhile back that was a hit amongst readers. However, you can obtain a similar effect in the air fryer with even less effort and time.

The stuffing features sea scallops and shrimp from our online shop. It also includes breadcrumbs, cubed white bread, diced onions, minced garlic, parsley, butter, water, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and loads of Old Bay seasoning.

Using butcher sheers (scissors), slice down the top of the shell to expose the flesh. Then, add your stuffing mixture underneath the opening you made on the lobster’s body. Then, cook your lobster in the air fryer for approximately 18 minutes. The required time may vary based on the size of the crustacean.

Looking for More Ways to Cook Lobster at Home?

Checkout our recipe How to cook Lobster Tails; we have guides for different ways of cooking live lobsters as well. There are lots of ways to prepare live lobster at home. See our succinct overview of all the best ways to cook Maine lobster.

Comments

  1. This was so easy to make and absolutely delicious. The lobster was very tender and flavorful. I will definitely refer to this recipe again whenever I decide to splurge on such a treat. Thank you so much for sharing!






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