HOW TO COOK MEAT

How to Broil Lobster Tails

By Nils Hoyum - October 30, 2009

Broiled Lobster Tails with Butter and Lemon | Lobster Recipes

yields

2 servings

cuisine

american

dish type

entree

Lobster is a decapod crustacean that dwells all over the world. The best lobster is cold water lobster. These are lobsters that come primarily from the waters between South Africa and New Zealand. The warm water lobsters have a reputation for occasionally being spoiled. That is one of the reasons they are cheaper. Warm water lobster come from the waters of Florida to South America.

Lobster often finds it way to the grocery store frozen. It is possible to cook lobster from frozen, but you will get much better results if it is thawed first. Thaw it in the fridge overnight. Occasionally grocery stores will offer live lobster. When picking out live lobster, ask for the liveliest one. Lively lobsters haven't used up all their stored energy or fat. The sedentary lobsters have used up their fat reserves, which means their meat is drier when cooked.

Lobster Tail Recipe: Cold-Water Lobster Tails Steamed and Broiled with Butter and Lemon

raw lobster tails

1. If you broil or grill your lobster from start to finish, there is a good chance it will dry out. That potential issue is solved by steaming or boiling it first. Steaming the lobster tails will reduce the broiling time by several minutes, leaving less of a chance for the meat to dry out. When lobster tails cook, they curl up. So to keep that from happening, stick a skewer through the tail as if it was going on a spit over an open fire.

steaming skewered lobster tails

2. Find a pot large enough to hold the lobster tails and put some liquid in the bottom to create steam. I went with water and vermouth plus some salt and a bay leaf. These aromatics won't impart to much flavor, so skip them if you don't have any. The lobster tails will need to be turned after a couple minutes of steaming. Once the lobster tails have turned red, steam them for an additional 2 minutes and then remove them from the pot and rinse them off in cold water.

removingthe top of th eshell from the lobster tails

3. Take your shears and snip up the back of the lobster tail to expose the flesh. Pull the thin outer layer of meat away from the shell while you snip the rest of the top of the shell off the lobster tail. Once you snip the top portion of the shell off, the outer layer of meat can drape over the edges on each side. This may look a little messy right now, but once the meat cooks, it will look perfect.

buttering the lobster tail meat

4. To help your guests remove the meat, you should cut the meat into two equal lobes. Cut right down through the middle of the meat, but don't cut through the bottom shell. Now brush the lobster with clarified butter or whatever seasonings you like. I applied a garlic-infused blend of clarified butter and olive oil to my lobster tails. Keep it simple. Most of the flavor is going to come from the meat itself.

broiling the lobster tails

5. Turn your broiler to high and move an oven rack down two spots from the top. Let the broiler heat up for 10 minutes before putting the lobster tails in. Once they are in, let them broil for five minutes. After five minutes, rotate the broiling pan and continue broiling for 4 more minutes. If your lobster tails are smaller than those shown, you will want to broil them for less time. Keep your eyes on the tails as they broil or stick them with a detachable thermometer probe to monitor the internal temperature.

broiled lobster tails

6. Check the lobster tails with a digital thermometer to see if they are done. The target temperature for lobster is 145 degrees F or over. 145 is the minimum, and I wouldn't go below it. But I also wouldn't go too much over it, unless you like rubber. Once your lobster hits the magic number, it's done. Remove them to a plate and serve immediately with clarified butter. Don't forget the little forks. We didn't have any, so we had to get the big lobster tails. What a pity.

Tips and Tricks

If you want to grill the lobster instead of broil it, go for it. Do everything the same except put it on the grill instead of under the broiler. Don't forget to baste it with some butter or lemon or something.

Just because a lobster tail has turned bright red doesn't mean it's done. The best to way to tell when something is cooked is to test the internal temperature.

Lobster will cook from frozen, but it's better to thaw it first. Of course, the best would be fresh if you can get it.

When butchering lobster, the best way to remove the tail is to tear it off. Break it by wiggling it back and forth and then lifting up while holding the body down. The claws come off the same way. Just grab them at the base and twist.

To kill a lobster, stab a knife two inches behind its eyes and push it down and through right between its eyes. Use a chef knife if you want it done quickly. Of course, if you are going to serve a whole lobster, it won't look as good without a head. So, in those cases, boil the poor devil to kill him.