If you don't know how to cook lobster tails, I'm going to show you the easiest, best way to cook lobster tails today!
Cooking lobster tails can be super intimidating. They are expensive, they are in strong shells, and they overcook quickly. I avoided making them at home for years due to all of these barriers to entry.
Then, out of desperation when a friend requested lobster for a special meal, I decided to give boiling a try. I'd assumed boiling lobster tail would leave it rubbery and flavorless, but I was wrong. Now it is the only lobster tail recipe I use!
Before you cook lobster tails, you need to do a small amount of prep by cutting the tail shell.
how to cut lobster tail
Simply cut along the top part of the shell, down to the fans of the tail. Watch for sharp edges and use heavy duty kitchen shears to make this as simple and safe task as possible.
how to boil lobster tails
Boiling lobster tails couldn't be simpler: add the tails to a pot of salted boiling water, and remove after they have turned red and the meat is cooked through.
Scroll down to see a complete list of cooking times for the size of your lobster.
Lobster Tail Boil Time
This chart tells you how long to boil lobster tails based on the number of ounces of the individual tail.
Essentially you want to boil a lobster tail for one minute per ounce of tail. Here's how that shakes out, in case math isn't your thing.
- 3 ounce tail -> Boil for 3 minutes
- 3.5 ounce tail -> Boil for 3 minutes 30 seconds
- 4 ounce tail -> Boil for 4 minutes
- 5 ounce tail -> Boil for 5 minutes
- 6 ounce tail -> Boil for 6 minutes
You get the idea!
Other easy seafood recipes you might love:
How to Boil Lobster Tails
For the Lobster Tails:
- 4 lobster tails
- 8 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
Lemon Garlic Butter Dipping sauce:
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons finely minced parsley
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
To make the lobster tails:
- In a large pot, bring the 8 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil.
- Cut the lobster tails along the top of the shell, from the edge of the tail straight down the middle lengthwise to the bottom of the tail.
- Carefully place the lobster tails in the boiling water, and boil for 1 minute per ounce of tail. For 4 ounce tails, boil for 4 minutes.
To make the lemon garlic butter dipping sauce:
- In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium to medium low heat. Stir in the garlic and black pepper and cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful to not let the butter brown ( turn down the heat if necessary).
- Turn off the heat, stir in the parsley and lemon juice, and serve.
Cindy Moore says
First time cooking lobster. It was excellent thank you so much.
Well described and on point.
This recipe is perfect! I too was apprehensive about boiling the lobster tail...
This is now my go to.
Thanks so much!
You just made my night awesome! I just bought a 24 ounce lobster tail. Its huge and this recipe came through for me. Was mortified id mess it up. Thank you so much!!!!!
I love hearing that! That's exactly why I posted this recipe 🙂
Chris Merrill says
How can I print this recipe without wasting 10-12 pages, with each page showing only 3-4 lines?
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page there's a "Print" button on the recipe card, under the small round image of the recipe. When I use that button, the recipe prints on two pages. Please let me know if that doesn't work for you!