Grilling Frozen Lobster Tails at Home

Memorial Day marks grilling season’s opening day here in the Northeast. What’s better than dogs and burgers on the grill? You guessed it—Maine lobster! 

One of the best things to kick off the grilling season is to learn how to grill lobster tails at home. Because summer and lobster go hand in hand… or should we, say claw in claw.

In this quick grilling guide, we’ll show you… 

  • The fundamental—can’t skip these—steps of grilling lobsters
  • The 4 most common lobster grilling FAQs
  • Lobster grilling recipes we live by

And more! Take the plunge and discover how deliciously simple it is to grill lobster tails at home.

grilling frozen lobster tails
Grilling Lobster Tails

Grilling lobster tails is a snap. The beauty of grilling lobster tails is that they are more convenient than working with pinching and snapping crustaceans. Grilling lobster takes about the same prep time as the conventional boiling and steaming methods, but it can take the tail in a whole new direction. The grill will imbue the smoky flavors of the coals and any marinades or butters. Barbecue lobster has a nice charred, somewhat smoky flavor that is difficult to match. 

To Clean Your Grill: Turn the heat up to high, close the grill and in 10 minutes turn off the grill and scrape clean.

What you Need for Grilled Lobster Tails

  • Four 8-10 oz. Lobster Tails, or four 1 1/2 to 2 pound live lobsters
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Learn how to Boil, Bake, Broil & Poach Frozen Lobster Tails.

Directions Grilled Lobster Tails at Home

Time needed: 20 minutes.

If you can light a grill, you can grill lobster tails. Our simple recipe will walk you through grilling frozen lobster tails butterfly style. Be careful! You do not want to overpower the sweet, delicate flavor of the lobster meat.

  1. Thaw tails in the refrigerator.

    Be sure your lobster tails are fully defrosted. It’s best to defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

  2. Prepare the grill.

    Prior to starting the grill, pour a small amount of vegetable oil on a paper towel and lightly coat the grill rack (or lightly spray grill rack with cooking spray). Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. As the grill heats, prepare lobster tails.

  3. Prep Lobster Tails

    Set each lobster tail on a cutting board with the translucent membrane down, curve shell facing up. With kitchen shears or a heavy knife, cut through the curved shell and meat, leaving the membrane intact. Open the tail gently like a book so it’s hinged in the center.

  4. Season Lobster Tails

    Use about 1 teaspoon of olive oil for each lobster tail; rub onto the cut surfaces of the lobster meat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. The olive oil keeps the lobster from drying out on the grill.

  5. Grill Lobster Tails

    Place lobster tails on the grill, meat-side up. Grill tails with grill lid closed, until the meat is opaque, about 6-8 minutes, turning once. Be careful not to overcook!

  6. Serve Tails

    Squeeze fresh sliced lemon half over lobster and drizzle and serve with melted unsalted butter. Try pairing grilled lobster with a nice steak or fresh shrimp!

Try pairing grilled lobster with a nice steak or fresh shrimp!

Don’t have a grill? Here are directions for how to steam or boil lobster tails at home.

See our detailed instructions for how to cook a whole, live lobster on the grill.

Perfect Lobster Tails
The 4 lobster tails, I ordered, arrived @ 10:19 PST – on time and in frozen condition…! They are perfect and we are delighted with the size and the quality of the tails. Thank you so much!
The Taylors, Murrieta, CA
Order Lobster Tails Direct

The 5 Grilled Lobster Recipes We Live By

Recipes for Grilling Lobsters
Grilled Lobster with Tequila Lime Butter Photo & Recipe by Rhonda Adkins

Here we’ve curated some of our top recipes for grilling lobsters. 

Barbecue master and certified judge of Dirty Smoke, Dru Chai, offers some foolproof tips for grilling tails, plus a simple marinade to kick up the flavor. Take a look.

Rhonda Atkins, aka, the Kitchen Witch, grilled some of our gi-normous lobster tails with tequila lime butter. Her tails were split and cooked on medium heat.

Food stylist and chef, Jeff Parker, grilled our tails West Coast style with drawn butter, citrus zest, lime juice. In Rosarito Beach, Baja California, lobster is split in half. Jeff, however, prepared the tails piggyback style and unlike New England lobster, served our tails with lime wedges.  Check out the recipe for Grilled Lobster Tails with Baja butter.

We’ve also worked with Maine chefs to create a stunning New England-inspired recipe that’s easier to make at home: Lobster Tails with Balsamic Dressing.

You want the meat to turn completely opaque and for the shell to transform into a bright orange-red color. This is the part where you do NOT leave the grill. No matter what.

Grilling Live Lobsters Instead of Frozen Tails?

For grilling live lobsters please review our live lobster grill guide. It contains tips on selecting the right lobsters and explains how to prep them for the grill. Although not a grill recipe per se, we include a clambake recipe you can make on your backyard grill! Are you more of a purist? Learn how to boil and steam whole, live lobsters.

Live lobster grilling recipes:

Finding the Perfect Lobster Tails for the Grill

Make a big splash this grilling season with our ready to grill lobster tails. All the work is done, just defrost, add your favorite rub or marinade and grill! Be sure to check out our Lobster Tails line up featuring 6-7 oz. cold-water tails all the way up to our huge colossal tails (16-20 oz. each)

If you love lobster tails, and you love barbeque, be sure to take a look at our one-of-a-kind BBQ lobster tails. What’s so special about these lobster tails?

  1. First, they are split and cleaned, so you do not need kitchen shears, or a chef’s knife to butterfly the tails.
  2. Second, only hard shell, cold water tails are used so you are guaranteed a tail full of meat.
  3. Finally, each tail is tunnel frozen, locking in the fresh taste and flavor of lobster.

In short, these special lobster tails were made for the grill.  To learn more about our barbecue lobster tails and have them shipped to you click here.

The 4 Common Lobster Grilling FAQs

Grilling lobster tails can be intimidating but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard. In fact, it’s quite easy when you know what you’re doing! Here are some of our frequently asked questions about grilling frozen and live lobster.

What’s the Best Way to Butterfly Lobster Tails for Grilling?

This method is great for the hotter cooking methods as it allows the tail meat to absorb the complementary smoky tastes from grilling. Butterfly lobster tails also make it easy to marinade in advance, and baste while cooking.

  1. With kitchen shears, cut the upper shell down the center from the big end to where it meets the tail fan, but be sure to leave the fan-tail and the bottom shell intact.
  2. Use your fingers to pull apart and spread the shell halves apart so you can see the tail meat in the shell.
  3. Lift the top part of the meat through the split in the shell while leaving the rest of the meat nestled in the partially open shell. The end result will look like its sprouting wings!

Interested in the other ways to prepare lobster? Read our article on the different ways to cook and prepare lobster.

How Long Does it Take to Grill Lobster Tails?

Depending on the size of the lobster tail, you want to grill the tail for a minute a pound. This would mean if you had 6-8 pound lobster you would grill for about 6-8 minutes. We recommend basting the lobster halfway through the cooking process to keep it nice and moist. 

When the lobster tail is ready to serve, the shell will be a bright red color and the meat will be opaque. Another way to check if the lobster is completely cooked is by using a meat thermometer to see if the internal temperature is 140℉. 

You always want to go on the doneness of the lobster tail rather than the time. This is a good way to not overcook your tail. For more tips see our in-depth lobster grilling guide.

What Sides Should I Serve with Lobster Tails?

Some popular sides that go well with lobster tails are actually more meat. Lobster goes well with steak, shrimp, or other seafood dishes like clambakes. 

Check out how we do surf and turf in the north east.

If you’re looking for the lobster tail to be the main dish, vegetable sides like mashed potatoes or grilled asparagus make for a great side dish and recipes are easy to find. If you want to boost your presentation, lay the lobster on a bed of lemon rice. We don’t recommend grilling the rice.

Should I Grill Lobster on a Gas or Charcoal Grill?

A charcoal or wood fired grill is best as it allows the smoky flavors to be added to the tails, but a gas grill is a convenient option. The good news is that Lobster tails taste delicious on both!

Master Grilling Lobster Tails with our Ready to Grill Tails

Check out our deals on our fresh lobster tails, live lobster, and other seafood delicacies that can be shipped right to your doorstep, without losing flavor or freshness because we…

  • Only sell hard-shell lobsters for maximum meat in every tail
  • Never add chemicals or preservatives — 100% natural
  • Source only the juiciest lobster from the icy waters of the North Atlantic

These tails are ready to be put to the ultimate grilling test. Check them out

Comments

  1. The lobster tails are such excellent quality that I use a simple method of opening tails like a book, seasoning with salt and olive oil. Then serving with lemon and melted unsalted butter.
    Close the grill top, but never leave the grill for even one second! Salty tears are never a seasoning. ?

  2. Lobster Anywhere 20-24 oz is my favorite.. Love it!! Have ordered it many times..yummy with heated garlic butter..just keep on dip to warm the meat!!..<3 Faye Hensley Ohio

  3. Actually we love them in the oven! Butterfly them open over the shell, baste with top with top quantity olive oil high temp and there you go! They look like clouds so white and beautiful. Too good to eat, not!!!!

  4. I love my lobster tails grilled with butter and tons of chopped garlic. Just split it down the middle and spare no butter or garlic. When pink and done remove from grill and pull meat out with fork. Love LOBSTERANYWHERE.

  5. I have grilled lobster for years, and your instructions are right on…Especially the butter…Good luck to everyone trying it… You will be famous when the word gets out that you know=what you are doing..

    1. Hi,
      I too cook lobster as often as possible either grilling or oven baked. But what I am frustrated with is that membrane around the meat that is between the meat and shell. When I butterfly the lobster this member is intact on the meat when I pull it up and out and lay it on top of the shell. I usually end up trying to cut it off the meat and then waste good lobster meat. Last week I grill 2 tails on the grill by just opening the shell a little and they cooked great BUT one of them came out of the shell just beautifully and the other seemed like it was stuck to the shell and of course pulled that membrane out with it causing a mutilated lobster. My reason for bothering you is to ask how you guarantee that tough membrane stays in the shell and off my wonderful lobster meat.

      I live in White Bear Lake, MN and love my Weber charcoal grill.

      Thanks for you time and possible response.

      Bill

      1. Yes, this has happened to us a few times when grilling lobster tails! Here’s a few tips that have worked for us. Always make sure your tails are fully thawed. Even with partially defrosted lobster tails the meat will stick on a hot grill. Try blanching them first. Boil them first for a couple of minutes, cool in ice water, and then put on the grill. For more ideas for grilling lobster tails, see our tips here. And please keep us posted!

  6. After I thaw, I simply cut them open on the membrane side, split them open, lay them on the grill, and am super careful not to overcook! With Plenty of butter.

  7. 4 lobster tails (4 to 5oz/115g to 140g)
    2 tbsp butter (melted) (28g)
    2 cloves garlic (minced)
    1 tsp fresh thyme (coarsely chopped)
    1/8 tsp ground pepper
    ½ tsp salt

  8. Slide a skewer from tail to top to keep them from curling. Slice them on top, add butter and a little lemon juice and BBQ in tin foil. Come out perfect every time!

  9. I split down the back of the shell, pull the meat above the shell, sprinkle with old hay and drizzle with butter. Broil until done…. OMG!!!!!!! there is nothing better with a cold beer.

  10. Lobster is my favorite! I grill lobster tails at home with the following way:
    2 whole lobster tails
    125g butter, melted
    1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
    salt to taste
    ground white pepper, to taste
    1 lemon – cut into wedges, for garnish
    Preheat the grill. Place lobster tails on a medium baking tray. With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, carefully cut top side of lobster shells lengthways. Pull apart shells slightly, and season meat with equal amounts butter, paprika, salt and white pepper. Grill lobster tails 5 to 10 minutes, or until butter is melted and lightly browned, and lobster meat is opaque. Garnish with lemon wedges to serve.

  11. We cut the meat down the middle, careful not to cut all the way through. We insert a metal skewer down the lobster tail so the tail stands straight. We then brush the meat with extra virgin, good quality olive oil and sprinkle with just a little salt. We place them on the grill cut side down over medium high heat for 4 or 5 minutes, until the color of the shells are bright.

  12. Grilled Lobster is our favorite. I brush with a mixture of melted butter, garlic, pepper and fresh lemon juice. Hubby grills them perfectly but the secret he says is not to grill too long because this makes the meat tough!

  13. We have tried boiled and grilled and by far the best has been grilled, lightly seasoned, dont add too much or it will over power the tast of the lobster meat

  14. How can I prep 50 lobster tails ahead of time & what’s the best & easiest way to cook them? I’m hoping I can partially remove them from the shells to make eating at a picnic easier?

    1. Your best bet is to par cook the lobster tails (boil tails for about 3-4 minutes depending on size). Let the cool, and butterfly/or piggyback tails and store in your refrigerator until your ready to cook. To cook preheat your grill to about medium heat and grill your tails for just a few minutes. Temp should reach a little under 140 degrees. You can also bake/broil on a cooking sheet in the oven.

  15. We recently began exploring the world of grilling/smoking now that we have a BGE. I’ve only tried grilling lobster once, but I think it turned out pretty well! I used avocado oil, Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning, AND Slap Ya Mama for some kick!

  16. I leave the shell intact, but loosen just enough of the meat around the shell and I coat with a bit of olive oil, garlic and coconut oil. I make sure that I am basting frequently with marinade and when it is firm it is done.

  17. I wish I could say I have a great technique for grilling lobsters, but I’ve never tried it before, I’ve lived in apartments where we couldn’t have a bbq until this year.

  18. My favorite way is to make my special compound butter for both the steak & tail. There’s also a special rub for the steak and that grills over flames until rare. Then the tails go on shell down for a few minutes…flip & kiss the flames…serve!

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