Easy Grilled Lobster Tail with Garlic Butter

This easy recipe for Grilled Lobster Tail with garlic butter requires only 20 minutes to prepare! It’s the perfect choice for a summer BBQ, romantic dinner or any special occasion.

Four grilled lobster tails on a bed of lettuce on a plate for serving.

Fresh cooked lobster is one of our favorite things about summer! It reminds me of summers in New England where we try to eat as much lobster as possible during the season.

Lobster tails are often more tender and have a milder flavor than other parts of the lobster, making them a popular choice for lobster dishes.

Lobster tails can be cooked in many different ways including grilled, boiled, steamed or baked. Grilled lobster tails are one of our favorite things to grill because they are easy and ready in less than 20 minutes.

This recipe includes a simple garlic butter sauce for even more flavor. Baste the butter over the lobster and reserve some for dipping. Fresh, flavorful and delicious!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This decadent seafood dish is ready in just 20 minutes.
  • The easy garlic butter sauce complements the flavor of the lobster perfectly.
  • Serve grilled lobster tails for weeknight dinner or a special occasion.

Ingredients and Tools

  • Salted Butter – You can substitute with unsalted in a pinch, if needed.
  • Garlic & Chives – Use fresh garlic and chives for the best flavor.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice adds acidity and a light citrus flavor.
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper – Add to taste to enhance and balance the overall flavor of the sauce and lobster meat.
  • Fresh Lobster Tails – You’ll need 4-6 lobster tails that are a weight of about 6-8 ounces each. You can use previously frozen, then thawed lobster tails.
  • Lemon Wedges – Served as a garnish with the cooked lobster tails to add even more fresh flavor.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – While olive oil is preferred, you can substitute with avocado oil, if needed.
Inserting wooden skewers into lobster tails.

Garlic Butter Sauce

Garlic butter sauce is the perfect flavor enhancer for this grilled lobster recipe. The simple garlic butter is made by mixing together melted butter, garlic, chives, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Baste the lobster with it or use the extra sauce for dipping. The fresh ingredients combine to create the perfect flavor combination.

Four lobster tails prepped and ready for grilling.

Cooking Lobster Tails on the Grill

  1. Cut the shell: Using kitchen shears, cut the lobster shell down the middle, stopping at the tail. Use a sharp knife to cut the meat down the center without cutting it all the way through.
  2. Add wooden skewers: Insert a wooden skewer lengthwise through the middle of the lobster tail meat.
  3. Season the lobster tails: Brush the tails with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the lobster tails: Preheat grill to medium heat. Cook lobster tails cut side down for 5 minutes (flesh side down) or until the shells are bright pinkish-red. Flip the tails, baste with garlic butter, and then grill for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the lobster is opaque and the temperature reads 135 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
  5. Garnish & serve: Remove the grilled lobster tail from the grill, then baste with more garlic butter, sprinkle with chives and serve with lemon wedges.
Spreading garlic butter sauce on lobster tails on the grill.

Recipe Tips

  • Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the grilled lobster tails are cooked properly to an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not overcook or the lobster will become rubbery.
  • Wooden skewers are important to use as they prevent the lobster tails from curling while grilling. This helps to make an excellent visual presentation.
  • Bake the lobster tails instead of grilling. To make baked lobster tails, cook in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 to 14 minutes.
  • You can omit or cut back on the amount of garlic butter sauce, if desired.

FAQs

How do you grill frozen lobster tails?

Thaw the frozen lobster tails in the refrigerator. When you are ready to grill, preheat a grill to medium heat. Grill the lobster, cut side down for 5 minutes until the shells are bright pinkish-red. Flip the tails and grill for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the lobster is opaque and reads 140 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Can I grill lobster tails without a shell?

Yes, you can. Just be sure to use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to remove the hard top shell. Cut down the center of the meat being careful not to cut all the way through. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill as directed above.

How long do I grill lobster tails for?

The cook time will depend on the size of your lobster tails. Typically, grilling them for about 10 minutes in total should do the trick. Make sure to use an instant-read thermometer to check that they have reached an internal temperature of 135F.

Four grilled lobster tails on a bed of lettuce on a plate with lemon wedges.

What to Serve with Grilled Lobster Tail

Grilled lobster is a versatile protein to serve with many different sides or surf and turf style with a piece of chicken or steak. Serve it with your favorite healthy sides. Try out these other recipes that all taste great with grilled lobster:

Did you try this grilled lobster tail recipe? Leave a recipe rating and review below.

Four grilled lobster tails on a bed of lettuce on a plate for serving.

Grilled Lobster Tail

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Learn how to make easy grilled lobster tails with a garlic butter sauce.
5 from 10 votes

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 lobster tails, (6-8 ounces each)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together butter, garlic, chives, lemon juice, and
    salt; set aside.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut the lobster shell down the middle, stopping at the tail. Use a sharp knife to cut the meat down the center without cutting all the way through. Insert a skewer lengthwise through the tail to keep it from curling while cooking.
  • Brush the tails with olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat a grill over medium heat. Grill lobster, cut side down, for 5 minutes, until shells are bright pinkish-red. Flip the tails, baste with garlic butter, and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the lobster meat is an opaque white color and reads 135 degrees F.
  • Baste with more garlic butter, sprinkle with chives and serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

  • You can cut back on the amount of the garlic butter, if desired. Or you can omit the garlic butter. 
  • Serve with your favorite grilled sides or surf and turf style with grilled steak.
Storing: Grilled lobster is best consumed immediately. If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Freezing: Grilled lobster tail can be frozen after they have been cooked. Simply place them in a freezer-safe bag or container and store them for up to two months. When you’re ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat.
Reheating: The best way to reheat cooked lobster is to place it on a baking sheet and warm it in a preheated oven at 350F until heated through, which should only take a few minutes. You can also reheat grilled lobster tails by placing them back on the grill over low heat for a minute or two.

Nutrition

Calories: 129kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 343mg, Potassium: 136mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 330IU, Vitamin C: 3.1mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Ashley C.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

This recipe was published in 2019. It was updated with new tips in June 2022.

11 comments on “Easy Grilled Lobster Tail with Garlic Butter”

  1. This recipe is what Summer is all about – lots of butter and grilling! Delish!

  2. This Grilled Lobster Tail looks ever so delicious, so full of flavour!

  3. I’m going to try lobster takes as soon as a get to the store
    That look delicious

  4. We make grilled lobster on our OBX vacation every summer. Love the skewer tip — never thought to try that!

  5. These are a delicious treat. I love your simple instructions and the photograph of the prepared tails – it really helped me understand what I should be doing.

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