This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep this content free. (Full disclosure)
This grilled lobster tail recipe has a lot in common with my air fryer lobster tails and broiled lobster tails, and 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 air fryer filet mignon!), or even steak bites.
Why You’ll Love This Grilled Lobster Recipe
- Soft and tender
- Flavorful garlic butter topping
- Easy to make
- Ready in less than 20 minutes
How To Butterfly Lobster Tails For Grilling
The first step in any grilled lobster 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.
- 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.
How To Season Lobster 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.
How To Grill Lobster Tails
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.
How long to grill lobster tails?
Grilled lobster tails 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 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.
|Individual Lobster |
|Minutes Flesh |
|Minutes After |
|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|
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.
What To Serve With Grilled Lobster
This easy grilled lobster tail recipe needs a few sides, here are some to try:
- Other grilled recipes – If you’re grilling for a feast, make it varied with other favorites like grilled bruschetta chicken, grilled salmon, grilled lamb chops, or grilled cabbage steaks.
- Salads – Salad recipes like spring mix salad, kale crunch salad, or creamy cucumber radish salad all pair well with the best grilled lobster.
- Vegetables – Try sautéed asparagus, bacon wrapped green beans, or sautéed zucchini.
- Starches – Oven roasted potatoes are a popular option. I like to make a healthier swap with cauliflower potato salad or mashed cauliflower.
- Lemon Butter Sauce – I originally made this to go with halibut, but it’s also my go-to dipping side for the best grilled lobster recipe!
Tools To Make Lobster On The Grill
- Kitchen Shears – You’ll need a high-quality pair of kitchen shears
- Bamboo Skewers – Use the skewers to prevent the lobster tails from curling!
The Best Grilled Lobster Tail Recipe
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.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
Like this video? Subscribe to my YouTube cooking channel for healthy recipes weekly! (Click the bell icon to be notified when I post a new video.)
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
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.
Preheat the grill for about 15 minutes, or a grill pan for 5 minutes, over medium heat.
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.
Brush the lobster tails with olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, garlic, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Set aside.
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.
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.)
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
Share your recipe picture by tagging @wholesomeyum and hashtag it #wholesomeyum on Instagram, or in our Facebook support group, too – I’d love to see it!
Serving size: 1 8-ounce 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.
Want to save this recipe?
Create a free account to save your favorite recipes!Sign Up To Save Recipes
© 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. 🙂
Made this tonight and it was super easy and delicious. I used good kitchen scissors to cut down the back of the shell (easy and safer than trying to use a knife – if I can find a way to cut myself, I will😂). Instead of the seasonings in the butter I just used the lemon and added some of the Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic seasoning blend. The grill directions were perfect. I have grilled lobster tails before but had always put the butter and lemon on the flesh and then placed them on the grill. It would all just burn off so doing olive oil first and then basting after turning kept the flavor on the lobster meat. I will be doing it this way from now on. Thank you for another great recipe!
Yummy, ordered lobster from Maine for valentines dinner, absolutely delicious recipe 👍🏻
Loved it, worked well, thank you.
The recipe is just fine, but for a newbie at preparing lobster, nothing went as well as was suggested.
For one, I could not get the shells open (on top) as you stated. We may have gotten smaller lobster tails.
My rating is a 1, not because of what you said, but because of how it worked for me
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Pete, Sorry to hear you had issues with it. I have step by step pictures in the post above for opening up the lobster tails, and the process is the same regardless of size. You can also watch the video for my broiled lobster tail recipe here (video is on the recipe card) to see how I open them up on video (but this grilled version does not require laying the meat on top like I do in the other recipe).
This is my go to and only recipe for lobster tails. Made them again tonight for Christmas with Prime Rib. Absolutely amazing and perfect every time. Grill exactly as indicated, they will be perfect.
Can this be broiled or baked (what temperature) in the oven? Thank you very much.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Mary Ann, Here is a recipe for broiled lobster tail.
So easy and delicious! I couldn’t find the cayenne pepper so skipped that ingredient, but did not miss it. I utilized this sauce on grilled salmon and it works very well to give salmon an interesting flavor. I utilized wood chips to smoke it a bit, and the result of the eight minute cook was nicely balanced flavors.
Tried this recipe and they were absolutely awesome!! Going to invite the family over and introduce them to these tails !!
I have never BBQ lobster tails before or cooked any lobster for that matter. I Googled lots of recipes and eventually came across this one. One of the best easy to follow ones on the web. Tried and tested. Perfect lobster tails. Thank you
I forgot to add olive oil and salt and pepper but added the buttery mixture while grilling. Honestly, it didn’t need those items. It was outstanding without it. Also, be sure to read the instructions carefully on cutting down the center of the shell and NOT FORGET to add the additional cuts lengthwise at the tail! The timing of the cooking was spot on. I also used my Yoshi copper mat which held them together beautifully and the buttery mixture was able to cook more intensely in the lobster meat and not get lost at the bottom of the grill. I will save this and try on shrimp next time, too. Just wonderful!
Nice if you gave a grill temp. Say 450?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Ric, medium heat or 300-400 degrees F.
Direct or indirect heat on the grill? What temperature should the grill be at?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Rich, Direct heat at medium heat or 300-400 degrees F.
Lobster is a favorite of mine. Especially if it is fresh! Easier to make than expected.
My mouth is watering!! This meals calls for a date night in!
Thank you for the wonderful tips & recipe!! This lobster looks so juicy & buttery!!
I had never grilled Lobster before so I was really nervous about it. Thanks for the clear instructions. Turned out great!
Great recipe! I had been given some lobster tails and didn’t know how to cook them. They turned out amazing!
This looks so delicious. I’m excited to try it.
I LOVE THIS!!
Oh my heavens! My all time favorite. Looks so darn good that I can almost taste it.
This is so good!! Perfect grilled lobster recipe!!
I’ve always been intimidated to make lobster at home, but this recipe was so easy and delicious! Thanks for such detailed directions. 🙂
This was so good!! Everyone at my house loved it!
Simple to make and delicious! Grilling is the best!
Great job. EXCELLENT.
Wow what a delicious and indulgent meal at home. My husband said this grilled lobster was better than at any restaurant he’s had before. Thank you for the detailed guide to grilling it.
This grilled lobster was delicious!
Well, this was such an easy and delicious way to cook lobster tail. Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe!
A. J. Pule0
Yum! I love this recipe!
Mmmm these grilled lobster tails were so easy to make, and very tasty!
These are so yummy! Great info for grilling!