Baking lobster tails is a simple process that yields sensational results.
Baking Lobster Tails
When it comes to preparing an a simple gourmet meal, baked lobster tails are hard to beat. Nothing is as elegant, rich and delicious as oven-baked lobster. However, before you dive into creating a seafood extravaganza for family and friends, you need to carefully consider some important factors:
It's important to review how many guests you will be cooking for. Once you know how many people you will be feeding, you can determine how many lobster tails to purchase. Generally, you'll want to buy one six to eight-ounce lobster tail per person.
When baking lobster tails it's best to choose cold-water varieties. Lobster tails from Maine, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa are ideal for baking. They are more expensive than their warm-water counterparts; however, they are money well spent, as their meat is whiter and sweeter. What's more, warm-water lobster tails are less consistent when it comes to quality. If you are considering purchasing warm-water lobster tails, be sure to check for black spots on the meat. You want to choose tails that are spot-free and feature meat that's white, not gray.
Frozen vs. Fresh
You can buy lobster tails fresh or frozen. Lobster tails available online are shipped frozen. Fresh lobster tails can be purchased from your local grocer or fishmonger. While fresh is always best, frozen tails are a viable alternative. The key to preserving the integrity of frozen lobster tails is proper thawing. Thaw your lobster tails in the refrigerator the day before you plan to bake them. It's critical to keep the tails as cold as possible prior to cooking them. Resist the urge to speed up the thawing process by setting the lobster tails on a counter or running them under warm water. Doing so will risk the rapid multiplication of bacteria. It's safer to thaw the tails in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for about twelve hours.
How to Bake Lobster Tails
Baking lobster tails is a breeze. The ingredients may vary slightly, but the method is basically the same. Start off by placing the lobster tail on a hard, flat surface with the belly side down. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut through the back of the lobster tail almost to the end. Then, use your fingers to separate the lobster meat from the shell, keeping the flesh of the tail as intact as possible. In the end, the meat remains attached to the end of the tail, and can be placed nicely on the top of the shell. Once you have the lobster tails prepped, you can choose from the following simple oven-baked recipes:
Classic Baked Lobster Tails
- 2 lobster tails
- 4 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the lobster tails in a shallow dish.
- Evenly place butter around the lobster tails
- Sprinkle the minced garlic around the dish and add the rosemary next to the lobster.
- Season lobster with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place dish in the oven for about 8 minutes or until butter melts and lobster meat is white.
- Remove from the oven, place the lobster tails on a plate, and then pour the melted butter over each tail.
Simple Baked Lobster Tails
- 3 fresh or frozen lobster tails (8 ounces each), thawed
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Lemon wedges and additional melted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour water into a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish.
- Place lobster tails in a dish.
- In a bowl combine parsley, salt and pepper, and sprinkle over lobster.
- Drizzle lobster meat with butter and lemon juice.
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until meat is firm and opaque.
- Serve with additional lemon wedges and melted butter.
Stuffed Lobster Tail Recipes
If you want to make a fancier version of baked lobster, then consider the following recipe for Stuffed Maine Lobster Tails. This classic dish was once served exclusively at the nation's finest hotels and reserved for wealthy diners only. It features lobster meat mixed with cracker crumbs and shrimp, then stuffed back into the tail and baked.
Stuffed Maine Lobster Tails
- 2 fresh Maine lobsters (about 2 pounds each)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seafood seasoning
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups crumbled Ritz crackers
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the Maine lobsters for 5 minutes.
- Remove them from pot and place in a bowl of ice water to cool.
- Remove meat from the claws, knuckles and body.
- Chop lobster meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, split the tails lengthwise down the center on the shell. Keeping the shells intact, remove the tail meat and intestinal tract from the shell, and carefully insert the meat back into the shell.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- To prepare the stuffing: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté until soft. Stir in the chopped parsley, seafood seasoning and lemon juice. #Remove the pan from heat and stir in the reserved lobster meat.
- Add in the cracker crumbs.
- Spoon the stuffing into the lobster tails.
- Bake lobster tails until stuffing is crisp and golden, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
More About Lobster
Love to eat lobster? Check out these other ways to prepare and enjoy lobster: