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Grilling Tips for Lobster Tails

Updated on June 19, 2013

Lobster is one of the delicacies of the sea, and is extremely delicious. Lobster is excellent cooked on the grill, and is actually quite easy to to grill, but it does take a little planning, and a little skill.

Picking out Your Lobsters

In order to get the best tasting lobsters, you will need to know how to pick a good lobster. If you are picking live lobsters, they should be alive. try to find lobsters that do not have rubber bands on the claws, as this can cause the meat in the claws to atrophy, and go bad. If this is not possible (and probably wont be), try to find lobsters that seem to still have much mass in the claws.

Additionally, live lobsters will move around, and flap their tail when taken out of the water. If the lobster is not active when taken out of the water, the lobster will be dead soon, and isn't very freshly caught. You want an active lobster. These are the healthiest, and usually the most flavorful.

Additionally, feel the shell of the lobster. A soft shell means that the lobster has recently molted While this isn't a problem, and the meat is fine to eat, typically the lobster will have more water inside. Typically, lobster is sold by weight, so a recently molted lobster will have more water weight and less meat weight.

Dead lobsters should not have any fishy smell, and should be packed on enough ice. If the lobster smells like fish, odds are it has either turned, or is fixing to. No matter if you buy your lobster alive or already dead, you should cook the lobster within 24 hours of purchase, in order for it to be the freshest.

Grill Prep

Grilling was made for lobsters, and is one of the best ways to cook lobster. In order to grill lobster, you will need either a gas grill or a charcoal grill. Set your grill up as you would normally, in accordance with the instructions in your owner manual. Gas grill owners will want to inspect their grill before use, to ensure its proper working order. If the grill has broken, loose, missing, rusted, cracked, or messed up gas lines or connections, make sure to replace those with quality gas grill parts before lighting the grill. Once the grill is ready, its time to light. Simply pile up the charcoal and light usually, or turn on the gas, and light. Turn the grill onto high heat, in order to clean the cooking grates, then turn the heat to about medium (300 degrees or so). Once the grill is up to temperature, the grill is ready to go.

Grilling Lobster Tails

Grilling a lobster is actually quite easy. In order to grill a lobster, first you need to prepare the lobster. If you are cooking your lobsters from live lobsters, this can be done by simply bringing a large pot of water and a pinch of salt to a boil, and dropping the lobsters into the water for about 2-4 minutes. This will kill the lobster, and prepare it for grilling. Once done, remove from the water, and slice the lobster from head to tail with a sharp knife. Also, cut open the claws, but only on one side. If you are grilling lobster that is already dead, simply cut open with a sharp knife. Baste the meat of the lobster liberally with melted butter. Place the lobster onto the grill, cut side up, and cover with a metal pie plate, such as an aluminum grilling pan. This will cause the heat to remain near the lobster, and will cook it more evenly. Place the lid onto the grill, and allow to cook about 10-12 minutes, basting about every 3-4 min. Do not flip the lobster. You can tell if your lobster is ready, by the color and look of the meat. Once the meat is white and opaque, the lobster is ready. If you are cooking an entire lobster, check the thickest part of the tail. If you are cooking your lobster in sections, make sure to check the thinner sections first, as these will cook the fastest.


  • Live lobsters will always taste a little better than lobsters that are already dead. Try to get the freshest lobsters available for the best taste.
  • Lobster should be cooked within 24 hours of purchase for best taste and results. Lobster does not keep well for long periods.
  • Live lobsters will take up a large space on a grill. If you have a small grill, you might have to cook each lobster at a time.
  • While you can cook lobster with either gas or charcoal grills, electric grills, such as the George Foreman Grill, are not recommended. Additionally, real wood is recommended for best flavor.

Grilled Butter Lobster Tails

  • 1 whole - Lobster (or just Lobster Tails)
  • 2 tablespoons - Butter
  • 1-2 cloves (each lobster) Garlic
  • To Taste - Italian Seasoning
  • To Taste - Salt and Pepper
  • To Taste - Lemon juice
2.3 stars from 3 ratings of Grilled Butter Lobster Tails

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: Makes 1 lobster


  1. (Start here is using live lobsters. If not, start at step 2). To begin, place the live lobster in an empty pot, and cover with water. Remove the lobster, and bring the pot of water to a rolling boil. Put the lobster back in, and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes. Once done, place lobsters in a strainer, and allow to drain.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and seasonings, and allow garlic to cook for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes fragrant. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Take the lobster and cut the bottom of the lobster open. (Whole lobsters - cut from head to tail). You are going to want to remove the innards (typically green in color). This is called the tomalley, and while edible, most people do not eat this portion. Once removed, rinse with cold water. Brush butter mixture onto the meat of the lobster. Make sure to cut open the claws (if using those), and baste as well.
  4. Place the lobster on the grill shell side down (directions above), and allow to cook for about 10-12 minutes, basting regularly. Cover the lobster with a metal cooking pan (such as a disposable aluminum cooking pan). The lobster will be done once the meat inside is white and opaque.
  5. Remove lobster from the grill using tongs, and allow to rest before serving. Serve with remaining (or make more) butter mixture, for dipping, and lemon slices.


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