What’s the Best Tasting Part of Lobster: Lobster Tails vs. Claws?

You have a craving for Maine lobster, so you go ahead and order a whole lobster at a restaurant and it is brought to your table. What do you do first? Some people are uncomfortable with the beady eyes of the lobster staring at them and the whole creature taking up their plate, but have experienced the rewards of it taking apart and eating it. They move their focus elsewhere, such as to the tail or claw meat, and tackle it first.

Lobster Claws for Sale
Crusher Claw from a 6 lb. Live Lobster!

But what is the best part of the lobster? Mild and sweet, lobster meat is firm and somewhat fibrous. The tail meat is firmer than the meat from the claws. For some, the lobster tail meat is the best part of the lobster, but others really enjoy pulling the meat out of the claws and savoring the legs. Or perhaps something else?

  • On sale
    Lobster Claws
    From $79.95
  • On sale
    Fresh Frozen Lobster Tails

Why We Love the Tail the Best

If you are hungry and can’t wait, there is substantially more meat in a lobster tail, and it is easier to push out with a fork. Learn how to crack open and deconstruct a whole cooked lobster.

When lobsters flap their tails and move around in the water, the twisting movements tend to make the tail meat more fibrous than the claw.

Why We Love the Claw the Best

Customers may favor lobster claws for the sweeter and tender meat, and there are two to devour. The claw muscles, which are used less, are softer than the tail.

One claw is sharp like and used cutting. The other is bony and looks like human molar teeth. This claw is used for crushing. The crusher claw is tougher than the pincher claw that pulls underwater prey apart.

Lobsters Left Right Handed

Lobsters can Be Left or Right Handed!

Huge Lobster Claw
Crusher claw from a colossal live lobster

On most lobsters, these specialized hands tend to be on the same side. However, some lobsters are “left handed” and the crushing and cutting claws are switched. Some are even ambidextrous! Whichever claw is larger tends to be the claw  of favor.

One Clawed Bandit: A Cull

Who do some lobsters have only one claw? Lobsters will drop claws as a defence mechanism. Lobsters are known for fighting with other lobsters for territory. If another aggressive lobster seizes the claw first, that lobster may drop the claw to escape. Or sometimes the more aggressive lobster will rip, break or tear the claw of the opponent off with its powerful crushing or cutting claw.

Crusher Claw Pincher Claw

Lobsters that have dropped one of its claws is called a “Cull“. A lobster that lost both claws is called a “Pistol.” A lobster will grow back a claw if it looses one. It will take 3-4 molt cycles for the claw to grow back to full size.

Since claws can be puny in terms of meat, most people rely on the tail meat to satisfy their appetites. Others enjoy the inside body of the lobster: the vein, intestine, roe (or eggs). If you do consume these parts, it is recommended to wash them out.

The Knuckle Meat is the Best!

Perhaps you eat other parts of the lobster that others never taste: the body, legs, or tail flipper. The tail and claws are easy to eat, but don’t forget the knuckle meat within the shell between the claw and the body of the lobster.

You may just wish to order lobster tails and save the trouble. Large lobster tails are sold by weight comparable to 2-6 pound lobsters and may be ordered either fresh or frozen, or out of the shell from LobsterAnywhere.com. Even easier, LobsterAnywhere offers lobster claws pre-cooked and ready to enjoy.

What’s your favorite part of the lobster? Send us your comments – we would love to hear from you.


  1. HELP. After reading the above now I’m TOTALLY CONFUSED. A “so-called” seafood “expert” told me when you buy a LOBSTER TAIL RETAIL, FROZEN, let’s say at SAM’S you are buying a totally SEPARATE CRUSTACEAN FROM AN ACTUAL LOBSTER. IT IS NOT THE TAIL OF A WHOLE LOBSTER, BUT A TOTALLY DIFFERENT ANIMAL.
    If this is incorrect, the “lobster tails ” in Sam’s must have been attached to mighty large lobsters. Some “tails” at Sam’s weigh over 10 oz.

    1. Hi Ken– thanks for stopping by. Yes, this seafood expert sounds confused. When you buy a frozen lobster tail it is from a lobster. But the question is, “What kind of lobster?”

      Typically the big club stores will sell the warm water variety called spiny lobsters. They are produced by countries like Brazil, Bahamas, Venezuela, Honduras and Belize. These tails are much cheaper than the Maine tails and frankly not as good in my humble opinion.

      Check the label on the bottom of the package to see the country of origin and species of lobster. Look for Homarus americanus, Maine or Canadian cold-water tails. The shell should be a greenish brown or black color. The Caribbean tail, on the other hand, will have a lighter color tail with spots.

    1. Howdy. Is the lobster meat already cooked or raw? If the meat is raw (uncooked)–you can poach the lobster meat. And yes,the tail, knuckle and claw meat will cook about the same time. As with any meat, the thicker pieces will take a minute or two more.

      If the meat is already cooked, then you should NOT poach it. You can simple toss the meat in a heated saute pan with some butter or olive oil and warm it up. Do not cook or you will make it tough. Here are some instructions and recipe for how to butter poach lobster.

    1. It’s a matter of preference. If you enjoy the different parts of the lobster, especially the claw meat, go with a whole lobster.
      If you really love the tail meat, you can’t go wrong with buying a frozen lobster tail. Plus, the big advantage of the tail is that it is frozen raw and ships frozen, so you can stick in your freezer and enjoy when it is most convenient.

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