Look for lobster tails in the fish department or the freezer case of your local grocery store. Most lobster tails you'll find are from spiny lobsters, which have meatier tails than Maine lobsters and no claws. They are generally marketed as rock lobster tails. Expect the tails to have a mottled, greenish-blue-brown appearance when raw. Plan on one (about 8-ounce) tail per person. If frozen, thaw the tails in the refrigerator.
Do you cut lobster tail before cooking? The answer is most always yes! Most of our recipes for lobster tails call for butterflying them before cooking.
However, there are exceptions. Sometimes, when lobster tails will simply be boiled, butterflying is not necessary. However, if your recipe specifies to butterfly the lobster tail, here's how to do it:
Hold a lobster tail in one hand with the hard-top shell facing up. Using sturdy kitchen shears, cut through the top of the shell and through the meat, but stop just before the bottom shell. Do not cut through the back end of the lobster tail.
Using your thumbs and fingers, separate the meat. Gently spread the halves of the tails apart, keeping the meat attached near the back end. Now the tail is ready to brush with butter, season as desired, and broil until the lobster meat is opaque.
Lobster tail tastes great broiled, boiled, steamed, grilled, and baked. You can even cook lobster on the stove-top. Here are a few links that show you how to cook lobster tail:
Tip: If you have a recipe that calls for steamed lobster tail, here's how to do it:
Now that you've learned how to prepare a lobster tail for grilling, broiling, steaming, and other cooking methods, check out these great recipes for lobster tails:
Lobster Rolls: Transform a boiled lobster tail recipe into a luscious sandwich!