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posted October 31, 2023

Smoked Lobster Tail

Bursting with rich, buttery creaminess, my Smoked Lobster Tail recipe is exactly what you need for your seafood fix. Make them right in your own backyard for a smoky, sweet finish that simply can’t be beat.

Lemon juice being squeezed onto finished lobster tails on white plate.

How to Pick the Right Lobster Tail

There’s nothing like rich chunks of sweet, butter covered lobster meat. But how do you know which lobster tail to pick? I know it’s tempting to grab the biggest lobster tails you find in the seafood section of your grocery store, but you need to fight that urge. There is a wide weight range available, but your best bet for smoked lobster tail is a cold water sourced tail in the 4-5 ounce range. But bigger is better, right? Not in this case.

What may seem obvious is the older a lobster is the larger it is. What may not be as obvious is that older lobster is much tougher to eat. You’re actually going to get more of the tender, white meat from tails on the smaller side. Plus the larger tails are going to taste pretty fishy and briny. To get those sweet, juicy chunks of yummy lobster, stick to the smaller lobster tails.

Lobster tails on baking sheet being sprinkled with pepper.

Tools for Making Lobster

One of my favorite parts about homemade lobster tails is the look of delicious, butter meat exploding out of the shells, but it takes more than know-how to nail the presentation. Here’s a list of tools you’ll want to have on hand before you get started:

Kitchen sheers cutting open shell of lobster tail above baking sheet.

How to Smoke Lobster Tail

  1. Preheat. Set your smoker to 275 degrees F. 
  2. Prepare the lobster tails. Using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, cut down the middle of the shell from the top and stop when you get to the fin. Gently pull the lobster meat through the opening you’ve made, Be careful not to detach the meat from the base of the tail, or to cut yourself. Then lay the meat on top of the shell.
  3. Season the lobster. Sprinkle each of your lobster tails with both salt and pepper. The lobster itself is already going to be packed with flavor, so all you need is a little bit of simple seasoning to help bring it out.
  4. Smoke the lobster. Place the lobster directly on the smoker grates to give them full exposure to soak in that smoky goodness. Close the lid and smoke for around 45 minutes (depending on the size of your lobster tail). You’re aiming for your lobster to reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees F.
  5. Make the garlic butter. Heat your butter in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat just until it melts. You don’t want to go too long and burn your butter. Once it’s melted, turn of the heat and then mix in your minced garlic and Italian parsley, and some fresh shredded Parmesan cheese.
  6. Baste the lobster. Once you have your garlic butter made, it’s time to butter those bad boys up. Baste each lobster tail liberally with a heaping spoonful of butter, and don’t be shy about it.
  7. Finish cooking. Close the lid and continue to smoke the lobster for another 15 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. You want to keep a close eye here. If you overcook your lobster, it’s going to dry out and be rubbery. Serve with lemon wedges to add the finishing touches, and enjoy.

Buttered lobster tails on grill grates in smoker.

How to Store Lobster

The odds are you’re going to devour these buttery lobster tails in one sitting. But if for some reason you don’t, you can store leftovers in an airtight container or zip top bag. They will keep for 2-3 days in your refrigerator. It’s possible to freeze them, but I don’t recommend it. You’re going to lose most of the flavor during the freezing and thawing process. And honestly, you’re not going to have leftovers. Trust me.

More Seafood on the Grill

Craving even more yummy seafood? I’ve got you covered with a few of my favorite lobster and shellfish recipes::

Smoked lobster tails on white plate with lemon wedges.

Smoked Lobster Tail Recipe

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Smoked lobster tails on white plate with lemon wedges.

Smoked Lobster Tail

Susie Bulloch
Bursting with rich, buttery, creamy flavor and a sweet, smoky finish, my smoked lobster tail is exactly what you need for your seafood fix.
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 1 hr
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 49kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 4 4-5 ounce lobster tails
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Garlic butter

  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley (minced)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)

Instructions

  • Preheat. Set your smoker to 275 degrees F. 
  • Prepare the lobster tails. Using kitchen shears, cut the top shell of the lobster tail all the way down to the tail fins and stop. Gently pull the lobster meat through the cut opening, without detaching from the base of the tail, and set it back on top of the shell.
    4 4-5 ounce lobster tails
  • Season the lobster. Sprinkle each tail with both salt and pepper (about 2 teaspoons each total).
    2 teaspoons Kosher salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • Smoke the lobster. Place the lobster on the smoker grates, close the lid, and smoke for around 45 minutes (depending on the size of your lobster tail), or until the internal temperature of the lobster reaches 135 degrees F.
  • Make the garlic butter. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Turn off the heat and stir in minced garlic, minced Italian parsley, and shredded Parmesan cheese.
    6 Tablespoons salted butter, 6 cloves garlic, 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Baste the lobster. Baste each lobster with a heaping spoonful of the garlic butter.
  • Finish smoking. Close the lid and continue to smoke the lobster for an additional 15 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Serve with lemon wedges.
    1 lemon

Nutrition

Calories: 49kcal | Protein: 10g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 268mg | Potassium: 127mg | Vitamin A: 3IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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