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This grilled lobster tail recipe has a lot in common with my favorite 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!
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.
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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!
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.
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