Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe

Let's face it: Lobster is certainly not the cheapest seafood out there. If you do splurge on lobster tails, though, you want to make sure to cook them just right. Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn says that while many people steam or boil lobster, what makes this recipe special is the fact that she's broiling her lobster tails. "With broiling," she tells us, the lobster is cooked quickly under high heat, so the outside of the meat caramelizes a bit." While she admits that some chefs feel broiling is too harsh a cooking method for lobster, she says she's never had a problem with it and feels that "broiling [lobster] is great when you want to emphasize the flavor of the meat and your seasonings and serve in-shell."

McGlinn likes to serve her lobster, not with melted butter, but with a compound butter made with tarragon. This herb, she tells us, "adds a light anise flavor that pairs well with tender and delicate fish." Not everyone likes that licorice taste, but McGlinn says "I recommend trying the tarragon, even if you are turned off by anise," as, like the crustacean itself, it's a very delicate taste in this application.

Collect the ingredients for these broiled lobster tails

This recipe calls for a pair of lobster tails weighing in at 4 ounces each. You'll also need butter, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh tarragon. While we totally stand by the tarragon here, McGlinn does say that "you could swap in parsley for a similar result or use thyme, rosemary, or dill for other interesting herbal flavors."

Butterfly the lobster tails

Before broiling the lobster tails, you need to use a technique called butterflying. McGlinn does say that "it takes some practice to butterfly a lobster tail," but she adds that it's also "very hard to mess up." Even if you do botch it, your lobsters will still probably look good (and definitely taste great). To do it, you need to cut through the shell down to the tail fin (kitchen shears would be the best tool for this), then spread the shell apart a bit and pull the meat through so it sits on top of the shell. If there's any visible dirt or veins, you should remove those bits.

Broil the lobster tails

Preheat the broiler, remembering to move one of the oven racks up to the top slot. Line a broiler pan or sheet pan with foil and put the lobsters on the foil. Melt a tablespoon of butter and brush the shellfish with the stuff. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then, if the oven's hot enough, stick them under the broiler for 4 minutes (1 minute per ounce). Once the lobster tails are done, the shells should be bright red and the meat opaque.

Make the compound butter

Mix the rest of the butter with the lemon juice, garlic, and tarragon. Use some of this compound butter to top the cooked lobster tails, then serve the rest on the side. If you wish, you can garnish the lobster tails with chopped parsley or crushed red pepper, along with some extra lemon wedges.

As McGlinn points out, there is "not a lot of meat" in these lobsters, so if you are intending to make a meal out of them (much less two meals) you're going to want some additional dishes. McGlinn tells us that, in order not to leave the table hungry, she likes pairing these with an Italian starch "like pasta, gnocchi, [or] risotto."

Broiled Lobster Tails Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
Though some chefs may say broiling is too harsh a method for delicate lobster, this recipe is foolproof and makes for a very impressive presentation.
Prep Time
Cook Time
lobster tails with compound butter
Total time: 14 minutes
  • 2 4-ounce lobster tails
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
Optional Ingredients
  • chopped parsley
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • lemon wedges
  1. Preheat broiler to high and arrange a rack at the top of the oven, 3 to 4 inches from the broiler.
  2. Cut down the middle of the hard shell of the lobsters to the tail fin, then spread the shell apart slightly.
  3. Loosen the meat from the abdomen, then pull it up through the shell so it sits on top. Remove any visible veins or dirt.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and brush it over the lobster meat.
  5. Season the lobster tails with salt and pepper.
  6. Line a pan with foil and place the lobsters on the foil.
  7. Broil the lobsters for about 4 minutes (or 1 minute per ounce), until the shells are red and the meat is opaque.
  8. Combine the remaining butter with lemon juice, tarragon, and garlic.
  9. Top the cooked lobster with some of the compound butter, saving the rest to serve on the side.
  10. Garnish the lobster tails with parsley, crushed red pepper, and lemon wedges, if desired.
Calories per Serving 299
Total Fat 24.0 g
Saturated Fat 14.8 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 205.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 0.1 g
Sodium 484.0 mg
Protein 19.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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