The Best Way to Cook Small Frozen Lobster Tails

The Best Way to Cook Small Frozen Lobster Tails

Cooking lobster tails can seem daunting, especially when working with frozen ones. However, with the right techniques, you can transform cheap frozen lobster tails into a gourmet feast. Whether you’ve found lobster tails on sale at your local supermarket or ordered fresh frozen lobster tails online, this guide will ensure you cook them to perfection. Here’s the best way to cook small frozen lobster tails, turning them into a delicious, impressive dish.

Thawing Your Lobster Tails

Before diving into the cooking process, it’s essential to thaw your lobster tails properly. Thawing helps ensure even cooking and preserves the delicate texture of the meat.

  1. Refrigerator Method: Place the frozen lobster tails in a bowl or on a plate and leave them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This slow thawing method is the best way to preserve the texture and flavor of your lobster.
  2. Cold Water Method: If you're short on time, you can thaw the lobster tails more quickly by placing them in a sealed plastic bag and submerging them in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes to ensure it stays cold. This method typically takes 1-2 hours.

Preparing Your Lobster Tails

Once thawed, it’s time to prepare the lobster tails for cooking. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the thawed lobster tails under cold water to remove any ice or debris. Pat them dry with paper towels.
  2. Butterfly the Tails: Cut down the middle of the top shell using kitchen shears, starting from the open end towards the base. Be careful not to cut through the meat. Gently pull apart the shell and lift the meat slightly, laying it on top of the shell for a beautiful presentation.
  3. Remove the Vein: Sometimes, lobster tails contain a vein that runs along the back. Use a knife to remove it, similar to deveining shrimp.

Cooking Methods

There are several excellent methods for cooking lobster tails, each bringing out different flavors and textures. Here are the best ways to cook small frozen lobster tails.


Boiling is a straightforward and quick method, especially if you’re cooking multiple lobster tails at once.

  1. Bring a Pot of Water to a Boil: Fill a large pot with salted water (1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water) and bring it to a rolling boil.
  2. Add Lobster Tails: Carefully add the lobster tails to the boiling water. For small tails, cook for 5-7 minutes, until the shells turn bright red and the meat is opaque.
  3. Remove and Serve: Using tongs, remove the lobster tails from the water and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve with melted butter and lemon wedges.


Steaming lobster tails is another excellent option that preserves the lobster’s delicate flavor.

  1. Prepare the Steamer: Fill a large pot with about two inches of water and place a steamer basket inside. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add Lobster Tails: Place the lobster tails in the steamer basket, cover, and steam for about 6-8 minutes for small tails.
  3. Check for Doneness: The lobster tails are done when the shells are bright red, and the meat is opaque and firm. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.


Baking or broiling lobster tails in the oven can add a delicious, slightly charred flavor.

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) for baking or set to broil.
  2. Prepare the Lobster Tails: Place the lobster tails on a baking sheet. Brush the meat with melted butter, and season with salt, pepper, and paprika for a touch of color.
  3. Bake or Broil:
    • Baking: Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the tails, until the meat is opaque and slightly browned on top.
    • Broiling: Broil for about 5-6 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning.
  4. Serve Immediately: Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges before serving.


Grilling adds a smoky flavor that complements the sweet, tender meat of lobster tails.

  1. Preheat the Grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Prepare the Lobster Tails: Brush the lobster meat with olive oil or melted butter and season as desired.
  3. Grill the Tails: Place the lobster tail shell-side down on the grill. Grill for about 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the meat side until fully cooked.
  4. Serve: Remove from the grill and serve immediately with your favorite sides.

Enhancing Your Lobster Tails

While lobster tails are delicious on their own, you can enhance their flavor with a few simple additions.

Garlic Butter Sauce

A classic accompaniment for lobster tails, garlic butter sauce is easy to make and incredibly flavorful.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt the Butter: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add Garlic: Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add Lemon Juice and Parsley: Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve: Drizzle over cooked lobster tails or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.

Herb Marinade

Marinating lobster tails can infuse them with additional flavors before cooking.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix the Marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Marinate the Lobster Tails: Place the lobster tails in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes before cooking.

Purchasing Frozen Lobster Tails

When looking for frozen lobster tails, there are several options to consider, including frozen Maine lobster tails and other varieties.

  1. Local Supermarkets: Keep an eye out for lobster tails on sale at your local grocery store. They often offer discounts on seafood, making it a great opportunity to stock up.
  2. Online Retailers: Many online seafood markets offer fresh frozen lobster tails. Look for reviews and quality guarantees to ensure you’re getting high-quality products.
  3. Wholesale Suppliers: If you’re buying in bulk, consider purchasing frozen lobster tails wholesale. This can be a cost-effective option for larger gatherings or regular consumption.
  4. Specialty Seafood Stores: Specialty stores often carry premium lobster tails, including those sourced directly from Maine. These can be a bit pricier but are typically of excellent quality.


Cooking small frozen lobster tails doesn't have to be intimidating. Whether you found cheap frozen lobster tails at your local store or ordered frozen lobster tails online, following these steps will help you create a delicious and impressive meal. From boiling and steaming to baking, broiling, and grilling, there are many ways to cook lobster tails to perfection. Enhance your dish with garlic butter sauce or an herb marinade for added flavor. With these tips, you can enjoy a gourmet lobster dinner at home without breaking the bank.

So next time you come across frozen lobster tails for sale, don’t hesitate to bring them home. With a little preparation and the right cooking method, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious and elegant seafood meal that rivals any restaurant.
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