The Best Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe Ever

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Perfect succulent, tender lobster tails butterflied to perfection in your oven in just 10 minutes for a restaurant-quality lobster tail recipe at home that is easy to prepare and totally impressive!

two broiled lobster tails on a baking sheet with lemon wedges

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broiled lobster tails on a baking sheet

10 Minute Perfectly Broiled Lobster Tails

This super easy Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe is the absolute best way to cook lobster tails at home, ever!

We’re giving these beautifully butterflied lobster tails a slightly smoky flavor with a touch of paprika, as well as a sweet and salty hit of butter and lemon juice to bring out that sweet, delicious clean seafood flavor. If you want a never fail easy oven-baked lobster tails recipe, this is it!

Serve with prime rib, pork tenderloin, bacon wrapped scallops, or buttery soft rolls for a memorable romantic dinner! If you want to try an even easier version, be sure to check out our Instant Pot Lobster Tails recipe or our Grilled Lobster Tails Recipe based off this very recipe!

While making lobster can be complicated, it really shouldn’t be – so we’re breaking down the steps in a way that is simple enough for even beginner cooks to understand and make a show-stopping meal from buying lobster, to opening the shell, and how to broil a lobster tail.

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do.

broiled lobster tail with parsley and lemon wedges on a white painted wood board

How To Broil Lobster Tails

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Smoked Paprika. Paprika has fruity, slightly sweet notes and vivid red color, it brightens the flesh of lobster tails as they cook, and gives a smoky flavor that lightly accents the gently sweet, buttery flavor of lobster meat.
  • Lobster tails. Lobster tails have a great flavor that is a bit less sweet than the claws of the lobster, and the meat is a bit firmer. Many people love the flavor of lobster tail the most of all – it is a classic pairing for Surf ‘n Turf, is easy to eat, and gorgeous to present. For the best flavor, look for high quality tails that are fresh-frozen and haven’t been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate.
  • Butter. Butter brings a rich, salty, and indulgent flavor to shellfish that is a classic way to enhance lobster meat’s delicate flavor without overpowering it.
  • Celtic sea salt. I prefer using a high quality sea salt with less sodium than table salt or salty butters – giving you more control of the flavor of your dinner. Seafood can be salty on it’s own, so using a high quality salt can help you control flavor without it being overpowering.
  • Garlic powder. Garlic brings a rich, earthy flavor to lobster tails that is addictive, sumptuous, and enhances a lobster’s delicate flavor. We’re using garlic powder instead of raw garlic in this recipe to minimize some of the “heat” raw garlic can have, as it can overpower the mild flavors of this seafood.
  • White pepper. White pepper has had the skin removed, so it is milder and less spicy – giving it a bit of a kick, but allowing you to taste more of the layered earthy pepper flavors without completely overpowering your lobster.

How to butterfly lobster tails. A simple cut down the top of the shell is all you need to peel back your tail for a beautiful presentation – cut it down the middle for a butterflied tail.

  • Cut Shell. Use sharp kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to cut the shell, and make a clean cut lengthwise down the tail from the base to the tip so you don’t get any of the shell in the tail meat.
  • Place lemon wedge. I also try to remove the lobster meat from the shell where they are connected underneath – both to put a lemon wedge down to prop up the meat as it cooks, but also to make it easier to eat when it is done.

Once your lobster tails have been butterflied, it’s very quick work to season and broil them to perfection!

  • Prep Lobster tails. Preheat broiler to high. Mix spices in a small bowl, and then generously sprinkle over lobster tail, topping with a pat of butter.
  • Broil. Place lobster tails on a baking sheet in oven on an upper middle rack. Don’t get too close to broiler, or your lobster will burn on top and still be raw on the bottom – we want it to cook quickly with high heat from above, but it should not be placed immediately under broiler, and instead in the upper-middle part of your oven. Let cook until meat is opaque and white, about 8-10 minutes. A digital thermometer will read 140 degrees when lobster is fully cooked – never cook a lobster beyond 140 degrees for the best results.
  • Serve with drawn butter. Remove and serve immediately with drawn butter, either still in the shell, or removed from the shell for guests easy eating.
two broiled lobster tails on a baking sheet with lemon slices around it

Tips For Perfectly Broiled Lobster Tails

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How to buy the best lobster tails. When looking for a lobster tail at the store, it helps to have a bit of information to buy the best tails! You want a lobster tail with no discoloration on the meat, no fishy smell (it should smell slightly sweet and have a neutral smell), and not look slimy. Lobster tails should not be soaked or rinsed with sodium tripolyphosphate or other preservative chemicals – and should be fresh-frozen if not live or freshly caught.

How lobster tails are weighed and sized. Despite being sold by the pound, a single 1-lb. lobster will weigh approximately 14 oz. when cooked. Lobster will yield 3.5 to 4 oz. of meat when the shell is removed – and this holds true for tails too, as a decent amount of a Lobster tails weight is in the shell (don’t worry you’re wasting that great shell – you can use it in stocks or soups to get great lobster flavor to other dishes!)

How many lobster tails to serve per person. If you’re making lobster tails as the main dish, you’ll want to pay attention to the lobster tail size and weight to be sure you have enough lobster to fill you up. In general, you should plan for about 8-10 oz of cooked lobster tail meat per person if you’re serving lobster tails as your main dish – meaning two lobster tails per person, unless they are jumbo lobster tails.

How to thaw frozen lobster tails. While fresh is always best, fresh-frozen lobster tails are delicious when thawed properly.

  • Always let frozen lobster tails thaw fully before cooking.
  • Place frozen Lobster tails in the fridge the day before you make these to thaw naturally. We like to let it sit on paper towels to soak up any ice melt.
  • Submerge frozen lobster tails under cold water for 20 minutes to 30 minutes to thaw rapidly if you can’t let them thaw overnight.
  • Don’t rush the thawing process in the microwave. Defrosting lobster tails in the microwave will make the frozen lobster meat tough.

Where to place lobster in oven. Broil lobster tail by placing on a baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven, underneath a broiler.

Use paprika. For best presentation, brush top of lobster tail with melted butter and sprinkle with paprika and white pepper before broiling, so the butter and paprika can cook into top of lobster creating a lovely golden red hue. I like both smoked or hot paprika – you can pick if you’d prefer a bit of smoky or a bit of spicy.

Plan about 10 minutes of cooktime. This recipe calls for about 10 minutes of cook time – which will vary a bit based on the size of your lobster tail, your oven, and if you preheat the broiler fully before adding lobster tails to oven. If you have a very large lobster tail it will take a bit longer – but smaller tails should be perfect at around 10 minutes, or about 2 minutes + a minute per ounce.

How To Tell When Lobster Tail is Cooked:

  • To ensure your lobster tail is perfectly cooked, insert a digital meat thermometer into the fattest part of the lobster tail (take caution to keep the thermometer away from the shell.)
  • Fully cooked lobster will be 140 degrees internal temperature.
  • Your lobster shell will turn bright white and red when cooked, but look to the meat inside for the most reliable indication.
  • If your lobster still looks grey it’s not cooked – if it is white and pink, it’s done.

Do NOT overcook lobster – it will result in tough, gummy meat and a fishier flavor.

lobster tail on a white painted cutting board with parsley on top

Recipe FAQs

What Temperature Should I Cook Lobster At?

Set your oven’s broiler on high – or between 400 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place your oven rack in the middle of the oven, so lobster tails don’t touch broiler or get so close they burn.

What Should I Season Lobster Tails With?

I use a little paprika, butter, salt, or Old Bay Seasoning to season lobsters.
Use just a pinch, but feel free to try other herbs and spices to your taste.

What temperature is lobster fully cooked?

Lobster is fully cooked at 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

What does fully cooked lobster tail look like?

Lobster meat will go from grey and translucent to bright pink and white and opaque when fully cooked.

How can I quickly defrost a frozen lobster tail?

Lobster tails thaw best over night in the refrigerator but can also be thawed in about an hour and a half by submerging in cold water.
Place lobster tails in a plastic bag and submerge in cold water, changing the water every 15 minutes, for about an hour and a half, until lobster tails have thawed.

How do I choose the right lobster tails for broiling?

Look for lobster tails that are fresh or thawed if frozen. They should have a bright, translucent appearance with no off-putting odor. Larger tails are generally easier to work with for broiling.

Should I buy fresh or frozen lobster tails?

Either option can work, but fresh lobster tails are often preferred for their flavor and texture. If using frozen tails, make sure to thaw them in the refrigerator before broiling.

How do I butterfly a lobster tail?

To butterfly a lobster tail, use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut along the top shell, stopping at the tail fin. Gently spread the shell apart, exposing the meat, and lay it on top. Be sure not to cut all the way through.

How can I cook lobster tails without butter?

Butter is a traditional choice, but you can use other fats like olive oil or even mayonnaise for a different flavor. However, butter is known for complementing lobster’s natural sweetness.

How can I serve lobster tails?

Lobster tails are often served with drawn butter and lemon wedges. You can also pair them with side dishes like garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, or a fresh salad.

Can I make lobster tails in advance and reheat them?

It’s best to enjoy lobster tails fresh, as reheating can lead to overcooking and a loss of quality. If you have leftovers, consider incorporating them into dishes like lobster pasta or lobster bisque.

A plate with pressure cooker lobster tails and lemon wedges.

Lobster tail Presentation Tips

Lobster tail can look a little wimpy on it’s own sometimes, so if you’re going for a romantic presentation of your lobster dinner for a special occasion and want to know how to wow guests, I have some great tips and tricks for you!

  • Placing lemon wedges to cook under lobster meat also helps make tails look larger and prettier for a better presentation.
  • Make sure to have plenty of lemon wedges on the side to squeeze on top for even more lemon juice if you’d like it!
  • Brush melted butter over the top of lobster as it cooks for a gorgeous golden red appearance.
  • Serve with melted butter, a butter mixture with old bay stirred in, or lemon juice sprinkled on top.

What to Serve With Lobster Tails

Garlic Butter Sauce: A classic accompaniment for lobster tail is a rich and flavorful garlic butter sauce. It’s a perfect dipping sauce that enhances the natural sweetness of the lobster.

Lemon Wedges: Fresh lemon wedges provide a bright and zesty contrast to the rich, buttery lobster meat. Squeezing a little lemon juice over the lobster tail just before serving can elevate the flavors.

Asparagus: Roasted or steamed asparagus spears are a popular side dish choice. They add a touch of freshness and a slightly crisp texture that complements the lobster.

Risotto: Creamy risotto, whether it’s classic Parmesan or flavored with saffron, is a luxurious pairing. The creamy rice provides a nice contrast to the lobster’s texture.

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a comforting and rich side dish that complements the lobster tail well. You can also consider adding some garlic or herbs for extra flavor.

Green Beans: Steamed or sautéed green beans provide a light and healthy side option that balances the richness of the lobster.

Caesar Salad: A crisp Caesar salad with a tangy dressing can serve as a refreshing starter or side dish that pairs nicely with lobster tail.

Grilled Corn: Grilled or roasted corn on the cob with a touch of butter and seasoning is a delightful choice for a summery feel alongside lobster.

Rice Pilaf: Fluffy rice pilaf with aromatic herbs and vegetables is another excellent side dish that complements lobster.

Crusty Bread: A warm, crusty baguette or dinner rolls can be served to soak up any delicious juices or sauce from the lobster.

broiled lobster tails on a baking sheet topped with melted butter and a dash of paprika

The Best Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe

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picture of broiled lobster tail on a cutting board

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broiled lobster tails on a baking sheet with lemon slices next to them

The Best Broiled Lobster Tails Ever

Yield: 2 lobster tails
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Easy broiled lobster tails in just 10 minutes - with light notes of lemon, butter, paprika, and white pepper.


  • 2 Lobster tails (about 6 oz each)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter, divided
  • pinch celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Set lobster tails on a baking sheet or in an oven safe dish.
  3. With sharp kitchen scissors or a knife, carefully cut the top of the lobster tail shell down to the tip of the tail, avoiding the meat. Devein and remove any grit if needed.
  4. Carefully pull shell down, so meat looks like it is sitting on top of shell and open.
  5. To make it look even better, slide a lemon wedge or two under the lobster meat in between the meat and the tail.
  6. Mix spices in a small bowl.
  7. Sprinkle with spices.
  8. Add small pats of butter along the lobster tail.
  9. Place in oven on an upper middle rack.
  10. Let cook until meat is opaque and white, about 8-10 minutes.
  11. Remove and serve immediately with drawn butter.
Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size 1 tail
Amount Per Serving Calories 208Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 99mgSodium 329mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 23g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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    1. I’d forgotten how expensive lobster tails are so, when my husband brought home two of them, I knew I had to get it right. This recipe is simple and perfect. So good!

  1. We loved your seasoning mix for lobster tails. I did add a small pinch of cayenne pepper, I only had sweet paprika. Followed prep. Then I cooked in instant pot. 1 cup water. Low pressure, 2 minutes, rest 2 min ,quick release . So good. This was simple .

  2. Made this recipe with two small lobster tails I bought in the supermarket. So, I of course had low expectations for the quality of the lobster but the recipe was good. I did 8 minutes under a toaster oven broiler for the small tails and temped it to be sure it was done. It was perfectly done–juicy. If I made this again, however, I would not use smoked paprika but sweet paprika instead. The smoked paprika, which I normally love, just overpowered the lobster. Smoked paprika is just too heavy and strong a flavor for something as delicate as lobster tail. I only used half the spice blend, too, which made way too much for 2 lobster tails.

  3. Thank you for sharing this recipie, I made this tonight, and it was amazing!! I am am going to freeze the leftover miso mixture in an ice cube tray for easy measurement in the future. For soft boiled eggs place eggs in 1? boiling water, cover and cook for 6 minutes exactly, and they come out perfectly. Thanks again!
    Jayme Silvestri

  4. This recipe works, and is quite tasty, but 10 minutes is too short I’ve found. Around 15-20 minutes fully cooked the lobster. I checked them at 10 minutes and they were cooked on the outside, but raw toward the middle. I also recommend pulling them out at 10 minutes and lightly basting them in the butter from the pan. This will help cook it and keep it from drying out.