How to Prepare a Lobster on the Grill

When people think of barbecues, they typically think about things like hamburgers, pork chops and hot dogs. If they are feeling fancy, they may think about shrimp. If you want to get some high praise and surprised looks at your next cookout, however, you are going to find that lobster is where it is at. There are some terrific prices for lobster out there, and if you want tender, succulent sea food, you need to check out lobster tails. Lobster tails are full of firm, flavorful meat, and grilling them is a simple way to add some class to your barbecue.

First thaw the tails out if they are frozen. There are plenty of places that sell only lobster tails, and that is perfect for the weekend griller. Not only does the tail contain the most flavorful meat, the rest of the lobster can’t be grilled at all. Leave them out room temperature until they are flexible to the touch. While you might be tempted to rinse off your lobster tails, leave them as they are. Rinsing lobster tails leads to a loss of flavor, and while the texture is one of the lobster’s selling points, the flavor should not be forgotten!

Lay the tails on your cutting board shell side down and make a slit down the middle of the tail along the length. This cuts the tail in half long ways, and the cut reveals the delicious meat inside. Some people cut all the way through the shell, while other people may only lightly score the shell, allowing it to open so that both flesh sides can rest on a flat surface.

Prepare your baste. While lobster is quite flavorful in its own right, you’ll find that grilling takes the moisture right out of meat. The more moisture you can give it to start with, the better off you will be. While lobster meat can take balsamic vinegar and other similar marinades very easily, you’ll find that the classics are often the best. Melt some salted butter in a griddle and then add whatever spices to it you like. For example, you can throw in some minced garlic and a squirt of lemon juice, or you can be significantly fancier and add some rosemary, paprika or seasoning salt.

Brush your marinade onto the flesh side of the lobster, making sure that you coat the flesh thoroughly. Don’t worry if you have more baste, you can use it as you grill. Grease the top of your grill and turn it up until it is medium high. If you are using charcoal, the coals should be about evenly hot.

Lay the halved lobster tails, flesh side down on the grill. There should be a faint sizzle when the cold meat hits the hot grill. Be careful, because you might get a few splatters from the thick coating of melted butter applied to the lobster. Grill the lobster by leaving it as it is for about five minutes and then flipping it over to grill it on the shell side for between three to five minutes. While it is being grilled on the shell-side, continue to brush more of the baste onto the lobster.

When the lobster is thoroughly cooked, all of the meat looks solid all of the way through. When lobster is under cooked, there is a visible translucence to the flesh. Check to be sure that the lobster is thoroughly cooked by making a slit in it and looking in.

Let the lobster rest for about five minutes and then bring it to the table. This simple grilling process is a great way to establish yourself as someone who knows his way around the barbecue!


  1. says

    Nice! I love lobster, but I have never cooked it myself. I was always a bit worried about messing it up thinking it was hard to cook to perfection (and with the price of it, I don’t really want to mess it up lol.) Cooking it on the grill like this sounds easy and I am definitely going to try this next time lobster is on sale here.

    Can you cook the rest of the lobster other ways or is it really not worth it at all? I have only had lobster tails at restaurants.

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