How to Cook Lobster Tails on the Grill

If you’re a fan of seafood, you know how rich and savory a lobster tail tastes covered in herbs and melted butter. You also know that proper preparation at restaurants can be hit or miss, and also that lobster can be extremely pricey. If you know how to cook lobster tails on the grill, you can save money and ensure that they’re cooked and seasoned to absolute perfection.


The key to cooking lobster tails on the grill lies in both preparation and timing. It’s also important to know how to pair the crustacean with the right toppings, sides, and drinks. Grilled lobster tails might not be the most kid-friendly grill recipe for picky eaters, but they’re sure to delight any seafood lover in the mix!

A Guide to Cooking Lobster Tails on the Grill

  1. How to Prepare Lobster Tails for the Grill

  • How to Cut a Lobster Tail

  1. How to Cook Lobster Tails on the Grill

  2. Helpful Tips When Grilling Lobster Tails 

  • Is Grilling Lobster Tails Better Than Steaming Them? 

  • Fresh Lobster Tails Versus Frozen Lobster Tails 

Photo by Andre Davis on Unsplash

How to Prepare Lobster Tails for the Grill

When you purchase lobster tails, try to buy ones that are similar in size so they cook at the same rate. You can buy either fresh or frozen lobster tails and there are several ways to prepare them before grilling. Whichever technique you choose comes down to personal preference. We suggest trying several of them out to find the method that works best for you, and using our must-know tips for cooking success

How to Cut a Lobster Tail

Regardless of how you choose to cut the lobster tail, make sure you have sharp kitchen scissors and a sharp knife on hand. Before you start, make sure the lobster tails are completely defrosted if you are using frozen tails. 


Cutting Technique #1


  1. Use sharp kitchen shears to cut down the top of each tail from end to tip.

  2. With the knife, cut into the slice you made with the scissors through the lobster meat and stop when the knife hits the bottom shell. 

  3. Flatten out the cut lobster tail with your hands. 

  4. Place a skewer through the meat to keep it from curling up as it cooks. 


Cutting Technique #2


  1. Repeat steps 1 and 2 from technique #1. 

  2. Cut through the bottom shell lengthwise so that one tail becomes two pieces.


Cutting Technique #3


  1. Use kitchen scissors to cut the top of the lobster shell lengthwise.

  2. Cut halfway through the meat with a knife. Do not cut all the way through. 

  3. Insert a skewer lengthwise to keep the lobster meat from curling up while cooking. 

How to Cook Lobster Tails on the Grill 

Regardless of how you decide to prepare the lobster tails, delicious herb and garlic butter will take any lobster tail to the next level. 


Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup of melted butter

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chives, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

  • Fresh cracked black pepper

  • 4 lobster tails around 8 ounces (~250 grams) each

  • Extra virgin olive oil 

  • Red pepper flakes 

  • Lemon wedges


Directions: 

  1. Set your grill up for direct cooking, and then preheat it to medium heat, about 350 to 375º F. 

  2. Cut the lobster tail with your preferred technique. 

  3. Combine melted butter, lemon juice, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside. 

  4. Brush the lobster meat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

  5. Place lobster tails flesh side down on the grill for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the meat is lightly charred. 

  6. Brush the lobster meat with half of the herb butter mixture. 

  7. Close the lid and cook for 3 or 4 minutes more or until cooked through. 

  8. Remove the lobster from the grill and season with extra salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

  9. Brush on the remaining garlic butter and serve with lemon wedges. 

Helpful Tips For Grilling Lobster Tails 

Use these tips for grilling the perfect lobster tails:

  • Be careful not to overcook the lobster, or else the meat will be tough. When the shell turns red, and the flesh is opaque, it is done. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure that it’s reached 140 to 145º F. 

  • Serve lobster immediately after it comes off the grill for the yummiest results. 

  • Use charcoal, gas, or a grill pan for lobster. They all give you charred and smokey results. 

  • Use whatever kind of lobster is easiest to come by, whether Maine lobster or warm water spiny lobster. The closer its origin is to you, the fresher it will taste. 

  • While you can’t go wrong with garlic and herb butter, don’t be afraid to experiment with other, more underrated seasonings and flavors

  • Lobster meat can be tough when it’s reheated, but you can use its leftovers in tasty meals like lobster mac and cheese– not that you're likely to have any leftovers!

  • Serve lobster tails with grilled or fresh vegetables, roasted potatoes, or an orzo salad. 

Is Grilling Lobster Tails Better Than Steaming Them? 

Absolutely! Grilling your lobster tails brings out the flavor and adds a smokey, charred flavor to them. On the other hand, steaming can cause the meat to become water-logged and dilutes the flavor, which is a mistake you want to avoid when making lobster. Additionally, grilling is much easier and faster than steaming lobster. If you haven’t tried grilling lobster tails yet, now’s the time!

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Fresh Lobster Tails Versus Frozen Lobster Tails

Unfortunately, we don’t all have access to fresh lobster at a moment’s notice. If it’s available, fresh lobster tails are always the way to go. They taste better and are healthier for you. However, frozen lobster tails can be just as good.


If you choose to go with frozen lobster tails, make sure you thaw them before putting them on the grill. Just like cooking lobster tails, there’s different methods to thawing lobster tails as well. You can thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or put them in a bowl of cool water if you need them to thaw faster. Do not put them under hot water or in the microwave, no matter how tempting it might be. 

Cooking Lobster Tails on the Grill

Now that you know how to cook lobster tails on the grill, give it a try! They are easy and fast enough for a quick midweek meal, yet elegant enough to prepare for special guests. For the ultimate lobster tail grilling experience, pair your seafood dish with the perfect wine and make sure to savor every last bite!