If tuna is the chicken of the sea, then lobster is the filet mignon of the ocean. #NationalLobsterDay was June 15, but the weather is still great enough to grill lobsters just about any day. The quickest and probably the easiest way to cook petite lobster tail is to boil it in a pot filled with salted water for about 3-4 minutes. But the 10 more minutes of prep for grilled petite lobster tails is well worth the wait. Your patience will be rewarded with some extra smoky flavors. Fun Facts about Lobster
Herbed Butter: (Yield: enough herb butter for two petite lobster tails)
- 1 /2 stick of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, plus some extra for melting and dipping
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 TBS (or more, according to taste) of your choice fresh or dried herbs (tarragon and dill work nicely here, as do onion chives)
Leave butter at room temperature to soften. The time it takes to soften varies. I find it takes about 2-3 hours in the summer when the house is already warm. You can leave the butter out overnight, or alternatively, you can place the butter in a microwave safe sauce cup and heat on high for about 10-15 seconds. If you use the microwave method, be careful to monitor the butter to make sure it doesn’t melt completely. If you do manage to melt the butter, stick it in the freezer and check it in about 20 minutes to make sure it starts to harden, but is not solid.
Combine all ingredients with the softened butter and stir. Set aside.
Grilled Petite Lobster Tails
- Split and butterfly the lobster tails. This can be done with a good chef’s knife or kitchen shears. With top shell flat on a cutting board, take your knife and piece the shell and continue cutting until you get to the end (tail) Make sure you do not slice through the bottom half of the shell. You want to keep the meat in the shell because the shell contains lots of flavor! Alternatively, you can use a set of kitchen shears to cut the top shell. Open the shell to expose the meat (kind of like you are a heart surgeon spreading open a rib cage). Here’s a step-by-step photo illustration and a helpful video.
- Rinse the lobster tail under cold, running water and remove the vein.
- Spread herbed butter on meat and on top and bottom shell of lobster tails with a silicone grill brush.
- Preheat a grill to about 500 degress and place lobster tails, meat side down, over medium-direct heat and flip once halfway through cooking. Cook times vary depending on the size of your lobster tail. As a general rule, I use about 2 minutes per ounce. The shells will turn a bright red color and the meat will be firm, but not tough when done.
- Remove from grill. Serve with additional melted butter and a garnish of fresh lemon. If desired, top with a couple shakes of hot sauce.
What’s your favorite way to cook lobster? Leave you answer in the comments.