Cooking frozen lobster tails is a pretty straightforward process. Here’s a simple method for preparing them:

Thaw the lobster tails

While it’s possible to cook frozen lobster tails directly (more about that below), it’s best to thaw them in the refrigerator before cooking. Thawing allows for more even cooking and better results. Place the lobster tails in a colander in the fridge overnight. Put a towel or some paper towels underneath to absorb the water. (They will be good in the fridge until dinner the next day.)

To speed up the process a little, you can run the lobster tails under cold water for a couple of minutes and then place them in the colander in the fridge for a few hours. (and don’t forget the paper towel!)

Putting them in the colander prevents the lobster tails from sitting in a pool of water for too long. Frozen seafood, and seafood in general, maintains a lot of moisture. Keeping the meat out of the water also allows for more even cooking and better results.

Boil the lobster tails

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the lobster tails. Add a generous amount of salt to the water, making it as salty as seawater. This enhances the flavor of the lobster.

Once the water is boiling, place the lobster tails in the pot. If they are still partially frozen, it’s okay. And, if you choose to cook them from frozen, just add an extra 2-3 minutes of cooking time.

Bring the water back to a boil (the cold lobster tails will reduce the temperature of the water) and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot with a lid.

Cook the lobster tails for about 1 minute per ounce (e.g., 4-ounce tails will take about 4 minutes, 8-ounce tails will take about 8 minutes).

Lobster tails are done when the meat turns opaque and the shells become bright red. You can also insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the tail; it should read 140-145°F (60-63°C).

Carefully remove the lobster tails from the boiling water and place them on a plate. Let them cool for a few minutes before removing the shell. You can either remove the shells by hand or use a pair of kitchen shears or scissors  to cut the shell away.

You can also pan-sear the lobster tails after thawing

Once the tails are defrosted, use kitchen shears or scissors to remove the shell.

Season the lobster tails with a little salt and pepper. If you like, you can add minced garlic, fresh herbs, or a drizzle of lemon juice for extra flavor.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous amount of butter or cooking oil. Butter adds a rich flavor, but oil works well for a higher smoke point.

Place the lobster tails in the hot skillet. You should hear a sizzle.

Sear the lobster tails for 2-3 minutes on each side until they become golden brown, and the meat begins to turn opaque.


Lobster tails are great with plain butter or make a simple garlic butter sauce for dipping by melting butter and adding minced garlic, lemon juice, and chopped fresh herbs like parsley or chives. You can also, of course, chop up the meat to use in a lobster roll or to add to a corn chowder recipe!