• 4 lobster tails, defrosted if frozen
  • lemon wedges, to serve

For the butter


  • STEP 1

    Make the butter by mixing together all the ingredients, then season and set aside. Can be made two days ahead. Remove from the fridge to soften before using.

  • STEP 2

    Use kitchen scissors to cut along the tops of the lobster shells, then flip the tails over and crack the ribs of the shell. Use your fingers to open the shell and loosen the meat keeping it attached at the base and pull it half out. Use a knife to cut along the top of the tail without cutting all the way through and remove the vein if you see one. Sit the tail in a shallow roasting tray and add some butter to each one. Tails can be prepared a few hours ahead and chilled.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the grill to high, then grill the lobster tails for 10 mins until cooked through. Put them on plates and drizzle with the butter from the pan, or pour the butter into a ramekin and put it in the middle of the table for dipping the lobster meat in. Serve with lemon wedges and scatter with extra parsley, if you like.

Do you need to boil the lobster tails before grilling?

If you have managed to source raw lobster tails, there’s no need to boil them first, as this could make them tough. Grilling straight from raw will produce tender, juicy meat. Lobster tails can also be bought pre-boiled, and it’s fine to grill these. If you’re not sure what you have, look at the shell: cooked lobster will have a bright orange/pink shell, whereas raw lobsters will be dark grey/brown with tinges of blue, green or pink.

Do you split lobster tails before grilling?

Splitting the lobster shells and loosening the meat with your fingers will allow more of the meat to soak up the buttery flavour.

How do you cut a lobster tail?

Use kitchen scissors to cut along the tops of the lobster shells, then flip the tails over and crack the ribs of the shell. Use a knife to cut along the top of the tail without cutting all the way through, then remove the vein if you see one.

Other methods for grilling lobster tails

Lobster tails are also great on the barbecue. Cook them in the shell, shell-side down. For the ultimate in decadent barbecues, try our recipe for barbecued surf & turf lobster served with seaweed butter and barbecued T-bone steak.

Alternatively, you can remove the meat and poach it gently.

Why use lobster tails?

For many cooks, the idea of dealing with a whole, live lobster is daunting. Lobster tails are a simple alternative and contain most of the meat. You can also buy tails fully picked, dressed and ready to eat. Cooked lobster has bright orange-red shells and the flesh is white and opaque. Uncooked tails have dark-coloured shells – usually grey/brown – with tints that range from blue/green to red/purple and even small flecks of orange/pink. The flesh is translucent.

I’ve got a whole, live lobster. What do I do?

Read our ultimate guide to lobster, which gives you expert advice on buying, preparing and cooking lobster, including tips on how to deal with a live lobster.

Can I make this in advance?

You can make the garlic and herb butter up to five days ahead and keep it covered in the fridge, or freeze for up to three months. The lobster needs to be cooked just before serving as it can’t be reheated.

Can I freeze leftovers?

We don’t recommend freezing this dish, especially if you’ve used previously frozen lobster tails. It’s best to eat it as soon as possible after grilling.

What can I serve with the grilled lobster?

Simple side dishes are best, as these will let the flavours of the lobster shine. A classic combination is lobster with chips, or you can serve it with crusty bread and a simple green salad. For a main meal, you can add crispy roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus or green beans.

To mix up the flavours, try out different butters – there are four to choose from in our recipe for flavoured butters,or try one of our herby flavoured butters.

Try some of our other lobster recipes:

For a luxury meal, you can’t get much finer than our lobster with thermidor butter– a classic that has been prized by chefs for years.

Treat your guests to a lighter but still decadent restaurant-style main course of warm lobster and potato salad with truffled mayonnaise.

For a really luxe take on the street-food scene, try New England-style lobster rolls with spiced mayonnaise, celery, gherkins and – if you really want to keep things real – a pile of crisps on the side. Or, try our ultimate lobster rolls.

More tips on handling lobster:

Before you start cooking, you can watch our how to grill a lobster video and how to prepare a cooked lobster.

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