How to Grill a Lobster Tail

Caitlin Bensel

There’s no better way to send dad a happy Father’s Day message that a meal off the grill! Whether it’s grilled steak, grilled chicken, or barbecued pork chops, Dad is sure to love everything charred and smoky on the menu. But if you’re looking for something extra special, maybe even a little luxurious, try these grilled lobster tails. They’re quick to cook and the perfect treat to elevate any summer dinner party.

How to cook lobster tails on the grill?

Lobster tails are easy to cook! Start with the lobster tails, fresh or thawed. This recipe uses a quick 15 minute marinade to infuse the lobster with flavor and moisture. Make a cut through some of the shell and flesh to allow the marinade to soak in. The skewers help keep the tails flat while grilling and help them cook evenly. From there, just heat a very hot grill (400 to 450°), and sear on both sides.

How long does it take to grill lobster tails?

Once the grill is hot, cooking is fast! Lobster tails can vary in size, but usually slightly. The cooking time is quite similar for different sizes. Grill the tails, 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until the flesh is firm and opaque.

Should lobster tails be boiled before grilling?

No need to boil! Lobster tails can be fully cooked directly on the grill. That said, direct heat can dry them out. It is important to marinate them briefly to give them flavor and moisture. Like shrimp, grilling them in the shell also helps keep the tail meat moist and juicy.

What do you serve with grilled lobster tails?

They go well with crispy roast potatoes (or make deep-fried potatoes without turning on your oven)! Or, there should be enough space on the grill for a vegetable like grilled asparagus. For a surf and turf menu, pair them with a steak, like Ladd Drummond’s Grilled Beef Tenderloin. Any dad would be happy!

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Preparation time:





Total time:





For the Grilled Lobster:

1/8 tsp

crushed red pepper, optional

For the garlic-herb butter:


melted salted butter stick (1/2 cup)


garlic clove, finely chopped

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  1. For the grilled lobster: If using wooden skewers, place them in the water. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat (400-450°). Oil the grill grates well.
  2. Cut the center of the top of the lobster shell using strong kitchen scissors. Make a cut in the center of the meat, using a knife, up to about half of the flesh.
  3. Combine lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Add the lobster and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. For the garlic-herb butter: Meanwhile, melt the butter. Stir in garlic, chives and lemon juice.
  5. Remove the lobster from the marinade. Insert two skewers lengthwise through the lobster meat on either side of the cut. (This keeps the lobster flat when grilled and helps it cook evenly).
  6. Place the lobster in the broiler pan or on the grill over direct heat. Grill cut side down for about 6 minutes, until lightly charred. Flip and cook 5 to 6 minutes more until the lobster is firm and opaque. Remove from heat and serve immediately with lemon wedges and garlic-herb butter for dipping.

You can use fresh tails or thaw frozen tails before marinating!

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