How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (2024)

  • Categories
  • Food and Entertaining
  • Recipes
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Lobster

Download Article

From thawing to serving and everything in between

Co-authored byEd Kuohaand Luke Smith, MFA

Last Updated: February 27, 2024Fact Checked

Download Article

  • Ingredients
  • |
  • Thawing Lobster Tails
  • |
  • Broiled Lobster Tails with Garlic and Paprika
  • |
  • Grilled Lobster Tails with Herb Butter
  • |
  • Boiled Lobster Tails with Pepper Butter
  • |
  • How Do You Cook Lobster Tail?
  • |
  • Lobster Tail Recipes
  • |
  • Video
  • |
  • |
  • Tips
  • |
  • Things You'll Need

ARTICLE

VIDEO

Lobster tails make a decadent appetizer or entrée, and using frozen tails means you can prepare and enjoy them any time of year. They’re also endlessly versatile! Cook them any number of ways, and season them however you like—browned butter is a lobster staple, while smoked paprika can add a tantalizing Cajun flavor. In this article, we’ll show you how to properly defrost those tails, then season and broil, grill, or boil them for a deliciously simple and elegant seafood meal.

Things You Should Know

  • Thaw lobster tails by placing them on a plastic-wrapped plate in the fridge 24 hours before cooking, or by submerging them in cold water for a few hours.
  • Season the lobster tails with paprika, garlic powder, and white pepper, then broil them under high heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Skewer the lobster tails and grill them for 5 minutes on each side, slathering them with butter and herbs periodically.
  • Boil the lobster tails for 5 minutes per 1lb (16oz), then serve them with lemon wedges and browned butter.
  • Note, if you skip thawing your lobster tails, your meal will turn out too tough and chewy.

Ingredients

Broiled Lobster Tails with Garlic and Paprika

  • 2 defrosted lobster tails
  • 1 1/2 (21 g) tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) of white pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Clarified butter, for serving

Makes 1 to 2 servings

Grilled Lobster Tails with Herb Butter

  • 4 defrosted lobster tails
  • 8 tablespoons (112 g) of salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (6 g) of chives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (2 g) of fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 dash of hot sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for grilling

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Boiled Lobster Tails with Pepper Butter

  • 4 defrosted lobster tails
  • 8 tablespoons (112 g) of unsalted butter
  • 412 teaspoons (22ml) of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (5 g) of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon (5.5 g) of salt
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) of freshly ground black pepper

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Method 1

Method 1 of 4:

Thawing Lobster Tails

Download Article

  1. 1

    Remove your lobster tails from the freezer 24 hours in advance. Take out as many tails as you plan on cooking, and start thawing the night before, at least. Keep in mind that by defrosting them in the fridge, you can always refreeze them again if you change your mind and need to hold off on cooking them.[1]

    • Cooking lobster tails straight from frozen results in tough or overly chewy meat, so it’s best to thaw the tails before cooking.
    • Browse the seafood section of your grocery store's freezer aisles for lobster tails. They may also be available at the deli or meat counter.
  2. 2

    Arrange the tails on a plate and cover them with plastic wrap. Place the tails on a plate or in a bowl so they're not stacked, which will allow them to thaw evenly. Then, wrap them with plastic wrap so they don't absorb flavors mingling in the fridge’s air as they defrost.[2]

    • If the tails are already in a single layer and in a package, you can leave them in the package. The wrapper will prevent juices from leaking in your fridge as the tails thaw.
    • Alternatively, place the lobster tails in a single layer inside a large food storage bag.[3]

    Advertisem*nt

  3. 3

    Refrigerate the tails for 24 hours or until they're completely thawed. Check on the lobster tails after you've defrosted them for 1 day.[4] Remove the wrapping and try to bend a tail. If it's defrosted completely, it will be flexible and will bend easily.

    • If the tail is still stiff or icy, refrigerate it for another 2 hours and check it again.

    Variation: If you're short on time, put the tails into a sealable plastic bag. Seal the bag shut and submerge it in cold water for 30 minutes. Change the water every 30 minutes until the tails are totally defrosted. Cook the tails right after they've finished thawing.[5]

  4. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (7)

    4

    Use kitchen shears to cut through the top shell of each tail. Place the defrosted tails on your work surface and get out a clean pair of kitchen shears. Hold the tail firmly while you cut lengthwise through the shell. Avoid cutting the meat, so that the tail remains in a single piece, and stop cutting before you get to the tail fin.[6]

    • If you don't have kitchen shears, use a sharp knife, and practice caution as you slice.
  5. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (8)

    5

    Pull open each shell to expose the meat. Use your fingers to gently pull apart the sides of the shells you just cut. Expose the meat of the lobster, but don't pull so hard that you tear the shell off completely.[7]

    • Ideally, pull away the shell so that the meat looks like it's sitting on top of the shell, which will protect the meat as it cooks.
  6. Advertisem*nt

Method 2

Method 2 of 4:

Broiled Lobster Tails with Garlic and Paprika

Download Article

  1. 1

    Raise your oven rack and turn the broiler to "high." Move your oven or broiler rack so it's about 6–7 inches (15–18cm) below the broiler element, or as high as possible in your oven. Then, turn the broiler on to its highest setting, or around 500°F (260°C).

  2. 2

    Mix the garlic powder, smoked paprika, and white pepper in a small bowl. Put 1 teaspoon (2 g) of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon (2 g) of smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) of white pepper into a bowl and stir with a fork or a spoon until the spices are evenly incorporated.[8]

    • Use garlic powder instead of minced garlic, since fresh garlic tends to burn under the broiler.

    Tip: If you prefer, use 2 1/2 (5 g) of your favorite dry spice seasoning instead, such as Old Bay or Cajun seasoning.

  3. 3

    Place the tails on a baking sheet and season them with spices and butter. Lay the tails on a baking sheet or oven-safe dish and sprinkle the spice mix over them. Then, place a square of about 1 tbsp (14 g) of butter on top of each tail, which will melt under the heat and absorb into the lobster meat.

  4. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (13)

    4

    Broil the lobster tails for 5 to 10 minutes. Set the sheet of seasoned lobster tails on the rack below the oven’s broiler element. Cook the tails until the meat is completely white, or for about 5-10 minutes.

    • To test if the tails have finished cooking, stick a skewer into the meat. Finished lobster will be tender and able to slide easily onto and off of the skewer.
  5. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (14)

    5

    Serve the broiled lobster tails with clarified butter. Turn off the broiler and wear oven mitts to remove the baking sheet. Use tongs to transfer the hot lobster tails to plates and serve them with clarified butter. Sprinkle a little salt over the tails according to your taste, and serve the tails with lemon wedges for a bright, citrusy addition.[9]

    • Store leftover broiled tails in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat them within 4 days.
  6. Advertisem*nt

Method 3

Method 3 of 4:

Grilled Lobster Tails with Herb Butter

Download Article

  1. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (16)

    1

    Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Turn the burners of a gas grill on to medium-high. If you're using a charcoal grill, fill the chimney with briquettes and light them with a match or grill lighter. Once the coals are hot and lightly ashy, dump them onto the grill grate.[10]

  2. 2

    Mix the butter, herbs, garlic, hot sauce, and pepper in a bowl. While the grill is heating, put 8 tablespoons (112 g) of softened salted butter into a bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons (6 g) of chopped chives, 1 tablespoon (2 g) of chopped fresh tarragon leaves, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 dash of hot sauce, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.[11]

    • Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap and set it aside at room temperature while the lobster tails cook.
  3. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (18)

    3

    Skewer the tails and brush them with olive oil. Insert a metal skewer through the length of each tail. Brush a little olive oil over the meat of each lobster tail and sprinkle them with salt according to your taste.[12]

    • The skewers prevent the tails from curling as the lobster cooks on the grill.
    • The olive oil prevents the lobster tail meat from sticking to the grill.

    Tip: If you don't have metal skewers, soak wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes before using them to keep them from burning on the grill.

  4. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (19)

    4

    Grill the lobster tails for 9 to 10 minutes. Lay the tails meat-side down on the grill and cover the grill. Cook the tails until the shells turn bright red—about 10 minutes. At the halfway cooking point, about 5 minutes in, use tongs to carefully flip the tails, then brush some herb butter onto the meat.[13]

    • Lobster meat is white and tender once it's finished cooking.
  5. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (20)

    5

    Take the tails off of the grill and serve them with the herb butter. Use tongs to transfer the tails to a serving plate. Set out wedges of fresh lemon and the herb butter that you mixed earlier.[14]

    • Grilled lobster is great served with grilled vegetables. While you’re at the grill, roast some asparagus or grill some peppers.
    • Refrigerate leftover tails in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  6. Advertisem*nt

Method 4

Method 4 of 4:

Boiled Lobster Tails with Pepper Butter

Download Article

  1. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (22)

    1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Set a large pot on the stove and fill it 3/4 full with water. Put a lid on the pot and turn the burner to high. Heat the water until it begins to boil and you see steam escaping from under the lid. Then, wear oven mitts to carefully remove the lid and add salt to season the water.[15]

    • Use about 1 tbsp (17 g) of salt for every 4 cups (0.95L) of water you add to the pot.
  2. How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (23)

    2

    Add 4 tails to the pot and boil them for 5 to 10 minutes. Slowly submerge 4 thawed lobster tails into the boiling water, keeping mindful of any splashing. Keep the lid off of the pot and boil the tails until they turn bright red. Test them for doneness by sticking a skewer into a tail—the meat will be tender once it's finished cooking, and the skewer will be easy to insert. Boil the tails for 5 minutes per 1lb (16oz).[16]

    Variation: If you have no time to defrost the tails, simply drop the frozen tails into a pot of boiling water. Simmer the tails for 15 minutes or until they turn bright red. Keep in mind that this method isn't preferred since the meat may become mushy or stick to the shells.

  3. 3

    Melt the butter with lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper. While the tails are boiling, make a simple dipping sauce. Melt 8 tablespoons (112 g) of unsalted butter in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat. Then, turn off the burner and stir in:[17]

    • 412 teaspoons (22ml) of lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup (5 g) of chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 teaspoon (5.5 g) of salt
    • 2 teaspoons (4 g) of freshly ground black pepper
  4. 4

    Use tongs to remove the tails and serve them with the pepper butter. Turn off the burner for the boiling pot of water and use tongs to take each tail out. Set them on a serving platter along with the pepper butter and your choice of sides, such as lemon wages.

    • Additionally bake a couple of potatoes, or steam some broccoli to serve as sides.[18]

      How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (25)

    • Refrigerate leftover lobster tails in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  5. Advertisem*nt

How Do You Cook Lobster Tail?

Lobster Tail Recipes

Sample Simple Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe

Sample Classic Grilled Lobster Tails Recipe

Sample Lemon Herb Boiled Lobster Tails Recipe

Community Q&A

Search

Add New Question

  • Question

    How can I save this recipe?

    How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (29)

    Michele

    Top Answerer

    Simply bookmark the page. Best if you set up a folder specifically for web recipes.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

    YesNo

    Not Helpful 6Helpful 41

  • Question

    At what temperature and for how long would I bake a small lobster tail?

    How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (30)

    Michele

    Top Answerer

    Preheat oven to 400 F and bake covered for 10 - 15 minutes. See wikiHow to Bake Lobster Tails for step-by-step instructions.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

    YesNo

    Not Helpful 9Helpful 19

  • Question

    Should I buy a frozen tail or one that has been defrosted, and is there a weight difference?

    How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (31)

    Michele

    Top Answerer

    Water has weight, but the amount when frozen is negligible. Buy whatever you can at the best price. All tails are frozen before shipping, so be careful of refreezing tails that have already been thawed.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

    YesNo

    Not Helpful 4Helpful 17

See more answers

Ask a Question

200 characters left

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Submit

      Advertisem*nt

      Video

      Read Video Transcript

      Tips

      • Double or triple each recipe if you'd like to make more lobster tails.

        Thanks

        Helpful1Not Helpful0

      • Lobster tails usually curl inward when they're cooked. Push a skewer into the tails before cooking them to keep them straight.

        Thanks

        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      • Although you can defrost lobster tails in the microwave using your microwave’s “defrost” setting, you'll need to watch them carefully so they don't begin to cook.

        Thanks

        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      Submit a Tip

      All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published

      Submit

      Thanks for submitting a tip for review!

      Advertisem*nt

      Things You'll Need

      Defrosting and Preparing the Lobster Tails

      • Plate
      • Plastic wrap
      • Kitchen shears

      Broiled Lobster Tails with Garlic and Paprika

      • Baking sheet or oven-safe dish
      • Measuring spoons
      • Small bowl
      • Spoon
      • Oven mitts
      • Tongs

      Grilled Lobster Tails with Herb Butter

      • Knife and cutting board
      • Metal skewers
      • Measuring spoons
      • Gas or charcoal grill
      • Tongs
      • Serving plate

      Boiled Lobster Tails with Pepper Butter

      • Large pot with a lid
      • Oven mitts
      • Small pot
      • Measuring cups and spoons
      • Tongs
      • Spoon
      • Serving plate

      You Might Also Like

      How toCook Lobster TailsHow toEat Lobster Tail
      How toGet a Lobster Tail out of Its ShellHow toEat LangoustinesHow toBoil Lobster TailsHow to Prepare and Cook Frozen LobsterHow toClean a LobsterHow toDefrost Lobster TailsHow toCook LangoustineHow toOpen a LobsterHow toBoil LobstersHow toSteam Lobster

      Advertisem*nt

      More References (9)

      About This Article

      How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (37)

      Co-authored by:

      Ed Kuoha

      Chef

      This article was co-authored by Ed Kuoha and by wikiHow staff writer, Luke Smith, MFA. Ed Kuoha is a Chef and the Owner of Kuoha Culinary based in Aiea, Hawaii. He has more than 20 years of experience in various culinary kitchens and settings such as Morimoto Waikiki, where he received hands-on training from Iron Chef Morimoto. Chef Ed specializes in small catering events and private chef requests. He holds an Associate’s degree from The Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College. This article has been viewed 1,023,466 times.

      How helpful is this?

      Co-authors: 17

      Updated: February 27, 2024

      Views:1,023,466

      Categories: Featured Articles | Lobster

      Article SummaryX

      To cook frozen lobster tails, start by defrosting them in your refrigerator 12-24 hours in advance. Once they are thawed, use a pair of kitchen shears to cut off the shell and remove any gelatin with your fingers. Then, rinse the lobster with cold water and set them aside while you heat up 2 tablespoons of water in a pan. Once that reaches a boil, reduce the heat and slowly add in 2-3 sticks of butter. Add your lobster to the pan and let it poach for 5 to 8 minutes or until the meat is firm and white. To learn how to select good lobster tails, read on!

      Did this summary help you?

      In other languages

      Português:Cozinhar Caudas de Lagosta Congeladas

      Русский:приготовить замороженные хвосты омара

      Deutsch:Tiefkühl Hummerschwänze zubereiten

      Français:faire cuire des queues de homard congelées

      Español:cocinar colas de langosta congeladas

      Bahasa Indonesia:Memasak Buntut Lobster Beku

      中文:烹饪冷冻的龙虾尾

      العربية:طهي ذيل السلطعون المجمد

      ไทย:ปรุงหางลอบสเตอร์แช่แข็ง

      한국어:냉동 랍스터 꼬리 요리하는 법

      • Print
      • Send fan mail to authors

      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,023,466 times.

      Reader Success Stories

      • How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (38)

        Brenda Fraser

        Jan 1, 2017

        "I found this article very helpful! I have only cooked live lobster. For my New Year's dinner I purchased two..." more

      More reader storiesHide reader stories

      If you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

      Did this article help you?

      Advertisem*nt

      How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails: 3 Simple Recipes (2024)

      References

      Top Articles
      Latest Posts
      Article information

      Author: Patricia Veum II

      Last Updated:

      Views: 6307

      Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

      Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

      Author information

      Name: Patricia Veum II

      Birthday: 1994-12-16

      Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

      Phone: +6873952696715

      Job: Principal Officer

      Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

      Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.