Free: Healthy 5-Ingredient Meals EbookGet It Now
You’re here because you want to know how to cook frozen lobster tails for a healthy dinner, but I have some possibly bad news… You’ll need to thaw them first. But don’t give up — it’s easy to do and I’ll show you multiple methods depending on how much time you have. I’ll also show you 5 different methods for cooking frozen lobster tails after you thaw them!
Why Thaw Frozen Lobster Tails?
- Better texture – If you cook them from frozen, the meat usually turns out tough, dry, and rubbery.
- Even cooking – Cooking frozen lobster tails without thawing can cause some areas to get overcooked and others undercooked.
- Flavor – Thawing preserves the lobster’s flavor, natural sweetness, and tenderness. Frozen seafood also won’t absorb the flavors of your seasonings well, so it would taste blander.
- Safety – If cooking from frozen, it could take longer for the lobster to reach a safe internal temperature, so bacteria could start to grow.
How To Thaw Frozen Lobster Tails
There are several methods you can use for thawing frozen lobster tails before cooking them, and each has pros and cons. Choose what works best for you, but whatever you do, avoid thawing on the counter without cold water for food safety reasons [*]. I recommend cold water lobsters over warm water if you can get them.
- Fridge overnight – Place in fridge to thaw safely overnight, right in the package. It’s the easiest and safest method but requires advance planning.
- Bag submerged in cold water on the counter – Submerge lobster tails in a bag in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. This method is fairly fast (my tails were 5 ounces and took about 1 hour to thaw), but requires constant monitoring for safety.
- Bag submerged in cold water in the fridge – Place the bagged tails in cold water in the fridge. It’s safer than counter thawing and doesn’t need frequent water changes. It takes longer than the counter method, but is faster than doing it in the package.
- Bag under cold running water – Thaw frozen lobster under cold running water. It’s the fastest method, but wasteful in terms of water use and still takes some time.
- Microwave thaw setting – Use the microwave’s thaw setting for rapid thawing. This method is quick but can unevenly cook the edges and is not recommended for best quality.
IMPORTANT: With any of these methods, avoid warm water.
Use only cold water, as warm water can cause bacteria to grow.
How To Cook Frozen Lobster Tails
There are five main ways that you can cook thawed frozen lobster tails. For all of these, I use a combination of salted butter (or unsalted and add salt separately), garlic, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.
- Broil – Split the tails with a pair of kitchen shears, brush with butter, and place on a baking sheet. Cook under the broiler at 500 degrees F in the oven, until opaque and browned. It’s quick, but requires close attention to avoid burning.
- Boil – Cook the tails in a large pot with boiling water until the shell is red and meat is tender. It’s simple, but can dilute flavor.
- Air Fry – Brush the tails with butter and air fry at 400 degrees F until cooked through. This method is quick and healthy, but may not achieve the rich flavor of broiling.
- Grill – Brush the tails with melted butter and seasonings, skewer them, and grill over medium heat until meat is opaque. Grilling provides a smoky flavor, but requires careful flipping for even cooking.
- Poach – Gently poach the tails in butter or seasoned broth in a pan until tender. This method delivers a delicate, moist texture, but is more time-consuming.
- Frozen lobster: Store frozen lobster tails in the freezer, wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil and in an airtight container, for up to 6 months. If you purchased them frozen at the store, it’s fine to just pop the package straight into the freezer, as long as they are still frozen.
- Thawed lobster: Place fresh lobster tails in the refrigerator, covered or in an airtight container, and use within 1-2 days for best quality and safety.
- Cooked lobster: Store cooked lobster tails in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and eat within 2-3 days. You can also use leftover lobster meat to make lobster thermidor or lobster salad.
Lobster tail recipes pair well with a variety of quick and easy side dishes. Here are a few of my go-to choices:
- Vegetables – Roasted broccolini makes an elegant side for this elegant main dish. For quicker veggie options, try air fryer cauliflower or Instant Pot broccoli.
- Salads – Lobster makes a stunning holiday centerpiece, so pair it with a Christmas salad for the holidays, or a sweet and tangy pomegranate salad for any day of the week.
- Potatoes – For simple and classic sides, pair lobster tails with baked potatoes in the air fryer or oven baked sweet potatoes.
- Surf and Turf – If you want to make this meal even fancier, pair your lobster with a quality steak, such as sirloin steak or filet mignon, for a special-occasion surf and turf experience.
How To Cook Frozen Lobster Tails
Learn how to cook frozen lobster tails! Choose from 5 ways to cook them: broiling, boiling, grilling, air frying, and poaching.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Even if you’re cooking frozen lobster tails, you’ll need to thaw them first. Cooking them from frozen will make them tough and the meat tends to stick to the shell. There are 2 best ways to do thaw:
* Refrigerator – Place in the fridge overnight to thaw. Make sure they are in a bowl or sealed bag to prevent leaking.
* Bowl of cold water – Place the lobster tails in a zip lock bag and seal. Place in a large bowl, then fill the bowl with cold water. Make sure the tails are submerged; you can weigh them down with a heavy pot or plate if they float. Leave on the counter and change the water every 30 minutes, until thawed.
Did You Like It?
Leave a rating to help other readers (this also helps me continue to provide free recipes on my site), or get the recipe sent to your inbox.
Serving size: 1 lobster tail
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
© 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. 🙂