Step 1: Shopping for Lobster Tails
While it's hard to beat cooking and serving whole lobsters, it's less expensive and simpler to choose lobster tails, instead. Most lobster tails you'll find are from spiny lobsters, which have no claws and meatier tails than Maine lobsters. They are generally marketed as rock lobster tails and come fresh or frozen. Plan on one (about 8-ounce) tail per person.
Here's how to cook a whole lobster (not just the tail).
Step 2: Prepping and Cooking Lobster Tails
If the lobster tails are frozen, thaw them in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead, as this takes 8 to 10 hours. Uncooked tails have a mottled appearance with a green-blue-brown cast. To cook four 8-ounce tails, bring 6 cups salted water to boiling in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the lobster tails. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 12 minutes or until shells turn bright red and the meat is tender when poked with a fork. For larger or smaller tails, adjust the cooking time as needed. Drain in a colander.