Butterflied Lobster Tails

Butterflied Lobster Tails

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We like to do lobster for special events like birthdays and New Years Eve parties. This is what we did on NYE 2022 – me & the guys had some fun with fish [rather, crustaceans]. But hubby likes to create a seafood fest, so we had lobster tail, shrimp, and boiled scallops.

We got a 10-oz lobster tail, and two 3-oz tails. I find working with the small tails difficult so I used that monster lobster tail for this, and then let my husband learn on the two smaller ones. I wear gloves not only for sanitary reasons, but the shell can be sharp, and the vinyl glove does provide some protection.

For prep and bake, I just put this big lobster tail in a glass pie pan, but just about any baking dish or pan will do, as long as it has a lip.

How to Butterfly a Lobster Tail

  1. Make sure your tail is thawed, but kept cold. We start by cutting the top of the shell, so we can lift the meat out and lay it on top of the shell. Be careful not to cut the meat, the bottom of the blade should be under the shell. Keep the pretty fan tail intact.
    Using kitchen shears, cut the top side of the shell lengthwise down the center, from the open end, to the tail.
  2. Next, we’re going to slowly separate the meat from the shell by prying the shell open. Be careful to keep the meat connected to the under shell. I lift mine up to get a better grip when opening the shell.
  1. Now that the shell is loose, we need to set the meat free (keeping the connected to the fan tail). Slide your thumb along the bottom to gently free the meat. Lift it, and close the shell, laying the meat on top.
Slide your thumb beneath the meat along the shell to release it and lift it up, keeping the meat attached at the fan tail.
Lay the tail meat on top of the closed shell.
  1. For presentation, we are going to cut slits and fold the meat over the shell. Cut a slit lengthwise down the center of the top (not too deep) and gently fold the meat over the shell. Be sure there are no shell bits in or on the meat from when we cut the shell open. We cut two more slits to make it prettier (and to hold more butter). Then we drizzled it with garlic butter marinade, drizzling it with more marinade halfway through cooking.

Broiling Lobster Tail Cooking Chart

Preheat the oven broiler on high with the top rack placing the top of the lobster tails 5 – 6″ from the broiler.

Tail WeightCooking Time
3 oz.7 – 8 min.
6 oz.11 min.
10 oz.14 min.
12 – 14 oz.19 min.
Lobster Cooking times on Hi Broil

You can use this chart for baking times, also, but double the time for baking at 450.

Be sure to check on them, you don’t want burnt, rubbery lobster! You can use a cooking thermometer to verify the internal temperature is 140 – 145 F. You can see that my lobster meat is white, and the butter marinade is brown. You can garnish with parsley and serve with marinade for dipping.

Broiled Lobster Tail with Garlic Butter Marinade

What to Serve With Lobster Tail

For New Years Eve, we made it all all-day feast, hanging out and cooking in the kitchen – we started with a charcuterie board with some Gouda, colby-jack, crackers, toasted ciabatta slices, fig & honey spread, almonds and some cherry tomatoes (for lack of grapes).

Then I made some deviled eggs and served them with shrimp & cocktail sauce.

Then we made each course of meat: Lobster & scallops.

Here are some other ideas for serving alongside lobster:

Butterflied Lobster Tails

How to Butterly and Broil Lobster Tail with Garlic Butter Marinade
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 3
Calories: 195kcal
Cost: $60


  • 1 Kitchen shears


  • 3 8-oz lobster tails
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted Kerrygold butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white pepper


How to Butterfly Lobster Tails

  • Cut the top of the shell down the center, taking care not to cut the meat or the fan tail.
  • Crack the lobster shell open, freeing the meat with your thumb from the top of the shell. Keep the bottom attached, as well as the end near the fan tail.
  • Loosen the meat from the bottom of the shell with your thumb, gently lifting the tail meat free, while keeping it attached at the tail end. Close the shell and place the meat on top.
  • Cut a small slit down the center and fold the meat over the side of the shell. Cut two more slits and drizzle with garlic butter marinade.

Lobster Tail Marinade

  • Melt the butter, and add remaining ingredients. Stir well & keep it warm while prepping and cooking the lobster tail.

Lobster Tail Broiling Time

  • Preheat the oven broiler on high, with the top rack positioned 6" from the broiler.
  • Prep the lobster tails, and broil at approximately 1 minute per ounce.
  • Check the internal temperature and add more marinade halfway through cook time.
  • Lobster tails are done when internal meat temperature is between 140 – 145 F and lightly browned on top. Serve with extra marinade.



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