The Best Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe Ever

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This quick 10 minute broiled lobster tail is the best broiled lobster tail recipe ever – it is easy, and gives you the most succulent, restaurant-quality lobster right at home!

This recipe has been a top post on Sweet C’s since 2012 and has even resulted in a marriage proposal, it is SO delicious! We love to make this dish for holidays, especially with a seafood feast!

Best broiled lobster tail recipe ever served on a wooden plate.
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Two delicious lobsters on a beautiful wooden cutting board.

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 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! You can cut the shell to expose the meat, or fully butterfly your lobster – either way works!

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 the following ingredients:

  • 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. Use lobster tail right out of the refrigerator.
  • 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. You can also use kosher salt, but I prefer a flake salt as it isn’t as crunchy and works well with delicate meat.
  • 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. White pepper isn’t as spicy as black pepper, so it won’t overpower the delicate lobster meat.
  • Fresh Parsley, optional garnish. I love to top dishes with a sprinkling of fresh diced/chopped parsley to help the colors pop and give a very light earthy, fresh vegetal flavor!

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 kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut the shell, and make a clean cut lengthwise down the tail from the base to the tip of the tail fin 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 cut open, 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, or olive oil if you prefer it to butter.
  • Broil. Place lobster tails on a baking sheet in oven, flesh side up, 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.
  • Know when lobster is done. 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 to eat it easily. To make a garlic butter, whisk minced garlic or a bit of garlic powder into butter as it melts.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

Broil the lobster tails for about 1 minute per ounce of individual tail. For instance, a 4-ounce tail would need approximately 4 minutes broiling time.

Using whole lobster. If you would like to prepare a live lobster, you can follow our recipe for boiled lobster with tons of tips and tricks for how to quickly dispatch your live lobster before boiling it more quickly and humanely (or ask your fishmonger to do it for you).

After, you can cut the tail from the body, and save the claws, roe, and cavity to broil or steam over a large pot of rapidly boiling (not warm) water. I don’t recommend boiling if removing the tail or claws, as lobster can already become waterlogged when boiling, and after cutting the tail off the water will pour in and make the lobster meat gummy.

The Best Easy Broiled Lobster Tails Ever, featuring two succulent lobster tails beautifully presented on a wooden cutting board.

Tips For Perfectly Broiled Lobster Tails

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You can find this recipe in our best lobster recipes web story here.

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.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

Cold water lobster is a better pick than warm water lobster for broiled lobster tails – it is known for a sweeter flavor, and is less likely to get gummy. It is generally more expensive, but as lobster is the main flavor in this dish – unlike dishes using lobster like pasta – you will want the most flavorful lobster, so opt for cold water, though either works.

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. For surf and turf, serve on top of a steak!

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.

Can I add more flavor?

You can mince some garlic cloves and place in and on top of the lobster tail, or serve with garlic butter. You can try different spices – we recommend a spice you enjoy on other seafood recipes or even on salmon. You can also find seafood spice blends from your grocery store, or a blackening spice mix.

Can I boil the lobster tails?

You can boil lobster tail until opaque, but the seasoning and preparation we’re giving in this method would wash off, so you could mix it into the butter and drizzle over the top when cooked.

What side of lobster do I cook?

The shell side should be touching the bottom of the pan, with exposed lobster meat facing up.

Is lobster healty?

Lobster is a great source of protein and calcium, with less calories than red meat.

Is lobster tail better boiled, or baked?

I prefer broiling lobster tails as boiling a tail that is not attached to the lobster body will take on a lot of water and get gummy. If boiling, I prefer to boil a whole lobster.

What is the white coating on my lobster?

The white coating you sometimes see on cooked lobster is actually a protein called albumin. Albumin is present in the lobster’s flesh and becomes solid when it is cooked. When lobster is cooked, especially if it is cooked rapidly or at high temperatures, the heat causes the albumin to coagulate and form a white coating on the surface of the meat. It’s perfectly safe to eat and doesn’t indicate anything wrong with the lobster – and can be wiped away with a warm, moist towel.

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!

  • Lift meat with a lemon wedge. Placing lemon wedges to cook under lobster meat also helps make tails look larger and prettier for a better presentation.
  • Serve with tons of lemon! 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 with butter. Brush melted butter over the top of lobster as it cooks for a gorgeous golden red appearance.
  • Cut the flesh from shell. Serve with lobster meat cut from the back of the end of the tail, so it only needs to be lifted up with a fork to eat.
  • Serve with butter. Serve with melted butter, a butter mixture with old bay stirred in, or lemon juice sprinkled on top.
  • Garnish with parsley. A bit of chopped parsley on top helps add color!
  • Serve a seafood feast. Serve with Baked Snow Crab Legs, Herb Stuffed Roasted Arctic Char, Shrimp Cocktail, steaks, or on its own for a romantic meal!
  • Serve smaller tails. Serve two smaller lobster tails instead of a large tail if your local grocery store doesn’t have large tails.
  • Olive oil shine. If you’re making lobster for a romantic dinner and really want it to look it’s best, you can drizzle a little olive oil and rub it into the shell to create a pretty shine. This is purely decoration.
  • Share your creations! Share your creation on Instagram, and don’t forget to tag @sweetcsdesigns!
Two broiled lobster tails on a wooden board.

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

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Two broiled lobster tails on a wooden board.
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The Best Broiled Lobster Tails Ever

Easy broiled lobster tails in just 10 minutes – with light notes of lemon, butter, paprika, and white pepper.
Course Seafood
Cuisine American
Keyword broiled, lobster recipe, lobster tail, main dish, seafood
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 lobster tails
Calories 208kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 2 Lobster tails about 6 oz each
  • 1 ½ tablespoon butter divided
  • pinch celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat broiler to high.
  • Set lobster tails on a baking sheet or in an oven safe dish.
  • 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.
  • Carefully pull shell down, so meat looks like it is sitting on top of shell and open.
  • To make it look even better, slide a lemon wedge or two under the lobster meat in between the meat and the tail.
  • Mix spices in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle with spices.
  • Add small pats of butter along the lobster tail.
  • Place in oven on an upper middle rack.
  • Let cook until meat is opaque and white, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove and serve immediately with drawn butter.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1tail | Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 329mg | Fiber: 1g

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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91 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. I must say, we used this lobster tail recipe, it was amazing. we will be using it again. thank you so much for sharing. Happy V-Day, and stay warm