Learn How to Cook Lobster Tail Like a Pro!

How to Cook Lobster

  • Author: jfletcher


Learn how to cook lobster tail like a pro each time at home. This post breaks down 8 ways to prepare the delicate shellfish and shows you how to perfectly season it.



Each method assumes 2-4 4 ounce lobster tails

Additional ingredients for each recipe:


  • water
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • water


  • 12 tablespoons of butter per tail
  • 1 slice of lemon per tail
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove pressed garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite white wine (optional)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon (optional)

Instant Pot

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves

Air Fryer

  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted, or 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 clove pressed garlic
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste



Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add in the tails. When they are done, the shells will be bright red and the meat will be opaque. Boiling takes about 1 minute per ounce.


Start by butterflying the lobster. Fill a deep skillet or large pot with an inch of water and bring it to a boil. Make sure the skillet or the pot has a tightly fitting lid.  When the water is boiling, set the lobster, cut side up, in a steamer basket and set the steamer basket over the water. Cover the pot and let steam for 5 to 6 minutes. The meat will be opaque and slightly plump when done.


Butterfly the tails. Then, spread them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Season them lightly with sea salt and pepper. Then squeeze a lemon wedge and place a couple of tablespoons of butter on top of the tail. Cover with foil and bake at 425 for 12 to 15 minutes or until the meat is opaque.


Butterfly the tails and place them on a baking sheet. Add lemon, a tablespoon of butter and a little salt and pepper to each if desired. Move the rack up to the top or second from top slot and put the tray in. Turn the broiler and broil for about a minute an ounce. Watch them closely to make sure they don’t burn.


Butterfly the tails. Then heat 2 tablespoons each of butter and oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat. Put the lobster cut side down on the pan, for around 2 minutes to let the edges get golden. Then flip them over. Cover the skillet and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until shells are bright red and meat is opaque. At the end of the cooking process you can deglaze the pan with a 1/4 cup of your favorite white wine. Let the wine cook down for a minute to cook the alcohol off and then add a squeeze of lemon.


, you will need to cut the shell. You can either cut the tail in half lengthwise or you can just cut the shell down the center to expose the flesh the way you would if you were butterflying it. Just don’t pull the meat out the way you would if you were butterflying.

To grill, brush the tails liberally with melted butter or olive oil and season them with a little salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon if desired. Then grill the tails with the cut side down over medium to medium high heat for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the shells should be bright red. Then flip the tails over and grill for another 4 minutes or so or until the meat is opaque.

Instant Pot

Butterfly the tails and put them on the steamer basket. Put the steamer basket into the inner liner of the Instant Pot and pour a cup of water in the basket. Place a few lemon slices and peeled garlic cloves over the lobster tails. Secure the lid and make sure the vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook them on manual for 2 minutes. When the Pot beeps, do a quick release. Once the pressure has released, open the lid and let the tails sit in the pot with the lid off for another 2 minutes to make sure they are fully cooked.

Air Fryer

Butterfly the tails. Melt the butter and stir in the pressed garlic and lemon juice. Brush them liberally with lemon garlic butter. Put them in the air fryer basket and set the basket in your fryer. Then let them cook for 4 minutes. Take the basket out and flip them after 4 minutes. Return the basket and let them cook for another 2-4 minutes depending on the size of the tails. The meat will be opaque when done.