As winter gives way to spring, we all find ourselves wanting to get outside and enjoy the blue skies and sunshine. What better way to celebrate the new season than firing up the grill to smoke lobster tails.
Why smoke lobster tails? Aside from it’s fun to get outside and play with fire, the process of cooking lobster tails low and slow on the grill adds a smoky dimension to their already sweet and succulent flavor while keeping their texture tender.
For this article we will be discussing how to smoke lobster tails on a kamado style grill. Whether you’re firing up your Big Green Egg or getting your charcoal going for your Kamado Joe, the process will be the same.
Types of Grills and Smokers for Lobster
Before we begin however, let’s discuss what a kamado grill is. A kamado style grill is a usually ceramic based grill. Unlike metal grills, ceramic conducts and retains heat more evenly. This style grill is ideal for both hot and fast cooking, such as searing a steak, and also slow and low. It’s suited for all types of cooking and recipes, from sizzling up your favorite shrimp skewers to wood fired pizzas.
Like other types of charcoal grills, you can use lump charcoal, briquettes, and wood to provide the fuel.
Tall Tail: What Size Should I Choose to Smoke Lobster Tails
All great cooks start with a game plan and the right ingredients. What size lobster tails you decide on depends on how many people you will be cooking for. In addition, what is your cooking goal? Are you serving this as part of a surf and turf dinner? Or are these spectacular smoked stars of the sea going to be the main event?
6-7 oz medium lobster tails make an ideal companion to all of your turf favorites. To wow your family and friends our 8-10 oz jumbo lobster tails will be a feast for all of your senses. Chris Sussman of The BBQ Buddha recommends picking tails that are around 6-7 oz for a cook like this.
Along with your lobster tails, you will need just a handful of ingredients to compliment this recipe. Have fun playing with flavors and customizing it to your favorites.
- Butterflied Lobster Tails
- Butterflying your lobster tails will allow you to season all of the meat, expose it to that kiss of smoke, and also make for a beautiful presentation.
- Two chunks of wood for smoking
- You want to pick a lighter flavored wood that will complement the natural sweetness of the lobster meat and not overpower it. Chris Sussman recommends using applewood.
- Remote probe thermometer
- This tool of the trade is completely optional but will allow you to monitor the internal temperature of your lobster tails without opening up your grill.
- Olive oil
- The olive oil will help your seasoning of choice adhere to the lobster meat.
- Simple: sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Classic: seafood seasoning
- BBQ: favorite barbecue rub
- Either salted or unsalted butter will work but keep in mind how much seasoning you add when using salted butter. Try our small batch butter made in Maine.
- chopped parsley for serving
- lemon wedges for serving
How To Smoke Lobster Tails on a Kamado Grill
Time needed: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Smoking lobster tails on the grill allows you to add the extra dimension of sweet smoke to your lobster as it cooks low and slow, intensifying its natural flavor while keeping it tender.
- Prepare Your Tails for Smoking
Trim the legs on the bottom of the shell for presentation before flipping the lobster over to butterfly.
Use kitchen shears to carefully cut down the middle of the top part of the shell stopping at the fin. Gently run your fingers inside the shell and ease the meat free. Pull it up and over to rest on top of the shell.
- Season Time
Either brush or rub olive oil onto your tails. Season your tails with your desired spices or rub.
- Preparing Your Grill for Smoking
Prepare your grill for indirect cooking, adding two chunks of wood. You want to heat your grill to 250 degrees.
- Grill Time!
Place your lobster tails on the grill, shell side down. If using a remote thermometer place the probe in the thickest part of the meat at this time.
- Butter Makes Everything Better
Allow your lobster tails to grill uninterrupted for 30 minutes. Remember every time you open your grill it drops the temperature, adding to the cooking time.
After 30 minutes melt your butter on the grill. Allow the lobster tails and butter to continue to smoke for an additional 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the tails are 140 degrees.
- Dinner is Served
To serve your lobster tails you can either remove them from the shell or serve them with the shell for presentation. Serve them with the melted smoked butter, lemon wedges, and fresh parsley.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Smoke Lobster Tails
Smoking lobster tails cooks the succulent lobster meat at a lower temperature while infusing it with the sweet flavor of smoke.
You want to pick a wood that will complement the natural sweetness of the lobster meat and not overpower it. Applewood, maple, and pecan are all good options.
You can keep it simple with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, go classic with your favorite seafood seasoning, or play up the barbecue flavors with a barbecue rub.
This is a guide for a hot smoke, so we recommend smoking your lobster tails at 250 degrees, indirect.
In order to keep the lobster meat tender we recommend cooking your lobster to 140 degrees.
When it comes to grilling and smoking you are cooking to the internal temperature of the meat more than by time, but it should take about an hour.
See our cooknig guides for more grilling ideas for lobster tails.