Show off your grilling chops and impress the guests at your backyard barbecue by whipping up this grilled lobster tail recipe. The dish is surprisingly easy to make, especially if you follow the step-by-step instructions below. Feel free to use fresh or frozen lobster tails for this one—choosing frozen is a good excuse to stock up the next time they’re on sale at the grocery store.
How to cook lobster tails on the grill
Our favorite way to cook lobster on the grill is to butterfly the tail open and flip the meat on top of the shell. (We’ll tell you how in the instructions below.) You can just plop them straight on the grill or halve them instead, but our method creates juicier, more flavorful meat. It’s also an effortless way to amp-up your presentation game. They look gorgeous on the plate!
How to Make Grilled Lobster Tail
- 6 frozen lobster tails (8 to 10 ounces each), thawed
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Note: Regular olive oil works better for cooking at high heat than virgin or extra-virgin olive oil. These higher grades have ideal flavor for cold foods, but they smoke at lower temperatures.
Step 1: Prepare the tails
Loosen the meat from the shell. Hold the tail in one hand with the round, hard part of the shell facing up. Using scissors, cut lengthwise down the center, stopping just before you reach the tail fin. Using your fingers, loosen the meat from the shell and gently lift it out of the shell, keeping the base of the meat attached to the tail.
Now that you have loosened the meat, squeeze the cut sides back together and lay the meat over the shell. Finally, cut a slit about 1/2-inch deep down the center of the meat to butterfly it open.
Step 2: Marinate
Once the lobster tails are opened, it’s time to make the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, chives, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture over the meat and loosely cover the tails with a piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Grill!
Now comes the fun part! While the tails are marinating, preheat a gas or charcoal grill for medium heat. Place the lobster tails meat side up on the grill grates. Cover the grill and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the lobster meat is opaque.
What should I serve with lobster?
The classic accompaniment to lobster is clarified butter (learn how to make it, here). If you prefer to get fancy, whip up one of these easy flavored butter recipes. When it comes to side dishes, it’s easy to overpower the sweet flavor of lobster, so look for lighter sides like salads or grilled vegetables. That being said, there’s something decadent about eating richer sides like scalloped potatoes or mac and cheese, so don’t be afraid to go for it!
What vegetables go with lobster?
Any spring or summer vegetable pairs well with lobster, but we especially love veggies with a crunch, like broiled green beans, roasted asparagus or grilled carrots. Salads made with juicy veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers also pair well with the firm texture and sweet flavor of the lobster, and any succotash or corn side dishes are a nice way to bring complementary flavors. Check out our top vegetable side dishes to get inspired.