When it comes to special occasion dinners, there’s no beating lobster. The lavish presentation, the drawn butter, the melt-in-your-mouth consistency all make lobster a meal to savor. But you don’t have to limit your lobster cravings to your favorite seafood restaurant or steakhouse (and when it comes to steakhouse-style recipes, we’ve got you covered). In fact, making lobster tails at home is simple.
If you haven’t tried your hand at homemade lobster before, don’t worry. Our Test Kitchen staff has broken this down into four easy steps. All it takes is a little patience and a little extra butter. Let’s dive right in and learn how to make this special occasion seafood.
Easy Lobster Recipe
4 lobster tails (5 to 6 ounces each), thawed
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into thin slices
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Snip
To make the perfect lobster at home, we recommend you start by making lobster tails. The tail holds most of the crustacean’s meat and they’re readily available in your grocer’s freezer section.
Now, to get going on your homemade lobster tail, careful use kitchen scissors to cut and remove a two-inch wide rectangle from the top shell of each lobster tail. Be mindful not to dig in too deeply and mar the meat inside.
Step 2: Loosen
With that section of tail removed, loosen the shells edges to release the meat.
Step 3: Separate
Once the meat is loosened slightly, gently pry the lobster meat loose from the bottom shell, keeping it attached at the tail end. You don’t want to remove the meat from the shell, but you do want it to be easy to remove once it’s cooked and you’re ready to eat.
Step 4: Broil
Place your lobster tails on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Line butter slices along the meat where that two-inch section of shell once was. Broil these in the oven, about five to six inches away from the heat. Cook until the meat is opaque, five to eight minutes. Once your lobster is cooked, season with salt and pepper and serve with a few lemon wedges.
Test Kitchen tip: If you want to add even more flavor to your lobster, substitute flavored compound butters for plain butter pats. We’ve got a few great variations for you, but our favorite for this application: the Old Bay and lemon compound butter. Mmmm!
Now, we know that this lobster recipe is delicious enough on its own, but real lobster-lovers might want to take this tail one step farther with drawn butter. To make your own clarified butter at home is simple, and we highly recommend it for the richest lobster possible.
How to Make Clarified Butter
Step 1: Simmer
In a heavy saucepan, melt one cup of unsalted butter over low heat. Let this simmer until the solids and fats from the butter separate–about ten minutes. Be mindful to keep this over low heat and to not let the butter brown–then you’d be on your way to browned butter which is something else entirely (and is exceptionally tasty in desserts like these pumpkin bars).
Step 2: Skim
Once your butter is entirely melted, remove from the heat and skim the surface foam. This should leave you with clear, yellow liquid.
Step 3: Strain
Skimming your butter should remove most of those milk solids, but to make the clearest clarified butter possible, our Test Kitchen recommends pouring it through a fine mesh strainer or a strainer lined with cheesecloth. You can use this butter right away for dunking or you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three months or in the freezer for up to six.
Served side-by-side, this lobster tail and drawn butter is the perfect treat for celebrations and special occasions. If you want to go classic, serve them with warm cheddar biscuits.