How to Boil a Lobster Tail

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Things You'll Need

  • Large pot

  • Water

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • Tongs

  • Kitchen shears or knife

  • Melted butter, optional

  • Lemon, optional

You can cook a lobster tail without much advance preparation.

Lobster is a surprising source of high-quality protein, with less fat and fewer calories than a skinless chicken breast. With most of the lobster meat contained in the tail, cooking just the tail offers all the benefits of lobster without the hassle of cooking the whole crustacean. Although you can steam, stir-fry and bake lobster, boiling is straightforward and offers a quick meal. You can use both fresh and frozen lobster tails for boiling.


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Step 1

Thaw the lobster tail in the refrigerator overnight if it is frozen. Although you could boil a frozen lobster tail without thawing it first, the texture won't be as tender.

Step 2

Fill a large pot with cold water about two-thirds full and add the salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

Step 3

Boil the lobster tail for 1 minute per ounce of weight. For example, if your lobster tail is 3 oz., boil it for 3 minutes; if it is 6 oz., boil it for 6 minutes.


Step 4

Remove the lobster tail carefully with tongs. The lobster tail should be a bright red.

Step 5

Cut the shell lengthwise through the top of the shell, starting from the open end of the tail to the end. Leave the bottom shell uncut. Serve with melted butter and lemon, if desired.


Buy lobster tails that are labeled “cold water,” if your pocketbook permits, as these are of higher quality and tend to taste better than “warm water” lobster tails.


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