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Grilled Lobster Tail Recipe

Everything you need to know to learn how to grill lobster tails perfectly, including tips & step-by-step photos! This grilled lobster tail recipe is soft and tender, with the best lemon garlic butter.

Full ingredients + instructions are on the recipe card at the end. Before you scroll or jump down, don’t miss the useful tips in the post!

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This grilled lobster tail recipe is the perfect alternative for warm weather. No need to be intimidated by grilling lobster — it’s actually very easy! I’ll walk you through the whole process (prep included) so that you’ll know exactly how to grill lobster tails, from butterflying them to seasoning to the right technique once they are on the grill.

If you want to take this grilled lobster up a notch, turn it into surf and turf! Add a side of New York strip steak, a reverse sear steak, perfect filet mignon, or even steak bites.

Why You’ll Love This Grilled Lobster Tail Recipe

  • Soft and tender
  • Flavorful garlic butter topping
  • Easy to make
  • Ready in less than 20 minutes
The perfect grilled lobster tail recipe with lemon wedges and parsley

How To Butterfly Lobster Tails For Grilling

The first step in any grilled lobster tail recipe is to prep the lobster. You can butterfly lobster tails for grilling by bringing the flesh over the shell the same way you would for broiled lobster tails, but below I’ll show you a different, slightly easier method.

  • Cut the lobster shell. Cut down the center of the shell lengthwise, starting from the end opposite the tail fins and going down the the tail, but do not cut the tail.

TIP: Cut the top shell only. You want to cut the top shell and some of the flesh, but not all the way through the bottom shell.

Using kitchen shears to cut lobster tail
  • Cut. Use a knife to cut lengthwise along the center ridge, but again don’t cut through the bottom shell.
  • Flatten. Use your hands to pry open the tail and then press with your palm to flatten, so that it opens up.
  • Skewer. Run the skewer lengthwise through the center of the flesh. This helps to prevent the lobster tail from curling up on the grill.

TIP: Soak your skewers in water first, so they don’t start a fire on the grill. Simply place them in a shallow pan filled with water for 30-60 minutes and weigh down with a bowl to keep them submerged.

Flattened lobster tails with skewers

How To Season Lobster Tail For Grilling

We’re keeping the seasoning really simple…

  • Before grilling: Brush the lobster tails with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • While grilling: Brush with the seasoned garlic butter after flipping. To make it, whisk together melted butter, crushed garlic, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Garlic butter for grilled lobster tails

How To Grill Lobster Tail

Let’s get to the good stuff – how to cook lobster tails on the grill!

  • Grill flesh side down. Place lobster tails on the grill flesh side down and cook without moving for 5-6 minutes, until the flesh is starting to brown and the shells start to turn red.
  • Add lemon garlic butter. Flip the lobster tails and brush the melted seasoned garlic butter over the lobster meat. Close the grill and cook until opaque. (See below for a time chart!) Serve with more of the seasoned butter.

TIP: Be careful when brushing on the butter. Try to apply it to the flesh only and don’t let it drip through the grates, as this can cause the grill to flare up.

Lobster tails on grill
Brushing lobster tail with butter sauce on grill

How long to grill lobster tails?

Grilled lobster tail cook for 5-6 minutes flesh side down, followed by 1-6 minutes flesh side up, depending on the size.

TIP: A good rule of thumb for grilled lobster tail is about 60-75 seconds total time per ounce of individual tail. For example, if your lobster tails are 8 ounces each, you’ll grill them for 480-600 seconds total, which is 8-10 minutes. Out of that total time, 5-6 minutes would be flesh side down and the remaining time would be after flipping.

Individual Lobster
Tail Weight
Minutes Flesh
Side Down
Minutes After
Flipping
4 oz 4-5 minutes 30-60 seconds
6 oz 5-6 minutes 1-2 minutes
8 oz 5-6 minutes 3-4 minutes
10 oz 5-6 minutes 4-6 minutes
Overhead view of lobster tail cooked on the grill

How To Grill Frozen Lobster Tails

While it’s fine to buy your lobster tails frozen, it’s best to thaw them before cooking. See below for options.

Can you grill lobster tails from frozen?

Cooking lobster tails that are still frozen is not recommended, because they will cook unevenly and come out tough.

How to thaw lobster tails before grilling

Thawing lobster tails for grilling is the same as if you were broiling lobster tails. There are two methods you can use:

  • Fridge: Thaw the lobster tails in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure to check your tails an hour or so before you plan on cooking them, to ensure they are fully thawed!
  • Cold Water: Place lobster tails in a zip lock bag and submerge in water for 30-60 minutes, until thawed completely.

Can You Grill Lobster Tail In Advance?

Grilled lobster is best cooked fresh, as seafood generally doesn’t reheat very well. However, you can butterfly the lobster tails in advance and wrap in plastic before refrigerating, to prevent drying out.

Grilled lobster tails close up
Grilled lobster tails on a cutting board

Grilled Lobster Tail Recipe

Everything you need to know to learn how to grill lobster tails perfectly, including tips & step-by-step photos! This grilled lobster tail recipe is soft and tender, with the best lemon garlic butter.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 7 minutes

Total Time 22 minutes

Instructions

Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. If tails are frozen, thaw them overnight in the fridge, or in a bag submerged in cold water on the counter for about 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the grill for about 15 minutes, or a grill pan for 5 minutes, over medium heat.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the lobster tails. Using kitchen shears, cut down the center of the shell lengthwise, starting from the end opposite the tail fins, continuing down until you reach the tail but without cutting the tail. You want to cut through the top of the shell, but don’t cut through the bottom shell. Use a knife to cut lengthwise along the ridge in the center, cutting through the lobster meat but not through the bottom shell, then your thumbs and fingers to spread open the shell. Run a skewer through the center of the flesh lengthwise to prevent curling.

  4. Brush the lobster tails with olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, garlic, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Set aside.

  6. Place the lobster tails on the preheated grill, flesh side down. Cook undisturbed for 5-6 minutes, until the flesh underneath is starting to brown and almost cooked through.

  7. Flip the lobster tails and brush half of the melted garlic butter over the lobster meat. Close the lid and grill for an additional 2-4 minutes for 8-ounce tails, or until opaque. Serve with remaining garlic butter.

    (If your tails are a different size, a good rule of thumb for lobster tail grill time is about 60-75 seconds total time per ounce of individual tail. For example, if your lobster tails are 8 ounces each, you’ll grill them for 480-600 seconds total, which is 8-10 minutes. Out of that total time, 5-6 minutes would be flesh side down and the remaining time would be after flipping.)

Serving size: 1 8-ounce lobster tail

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories 322

Fat 16.7g

Protein 40.3g

Total Carbs 0.9g

Net Carbs 0.7g

Fiber 0.2g

Sugar 0.2g

Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.

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© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂

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