How to Grill Lobster Tails on a Grill

There is nothing better than a perfectly cooked lobster tail. I rarely ever order them in restaurants anymore; they seem to always be overcooked and wildly overpriced. Even the fanciest restaurants I’ve been to have sub-par lobster. Lobster is expensive, and I only want to spend money on it guaranteeing that it is delicious. Lobster has an unpleasant texture if it is overcooked. The only remedy is for me to make lobster tails myself – at home! I am going to show you how to grill a lobster tail on your gas or charcoal grill, and it will come out perfectly, every time. Not a lobster fan? Try our Honey-Garlic Grilled Shrimp recipe instead! Seafood on the grill is a magical experience and a summertime treat.

Prep Your Lobster

In order to grill your lobster tails, you will want to prep them to ensure evenness of cooking and to get flavor inside the shell. You can prep your tails one of two ways; the Fancy Method or the Halved Method.

Fancy Method or “Butterfly Method”

This will allow your lobster to have a steakhouse presentation. Take your lobster tail and with sharp kitchen shears, cut along the top of the shell down the middle beginning at the open end of the tail. Cut down the middle until you reach the fins and stop. Do not cut all the way through the tail. Also be mindful of any shards of shell when cutting and discard those.

Using your thumbs, dislodge the meat around the opening of the shell. You may want to remove the first ½-inch of the shell to better expose the meat. Once the top opening of the shell is carefully dislodged from the meat, take your thumb and dislodge the meat from underneath the shell. Do this very carefully as to not break up the lobster meat.

Once dislodged, pull the meat carefully out of the top of the shell, leaving the tail-end of the meat inside the shell. When complete, you should have a split lobster tail that remains in 1 piece. Now, your meat is sitting on top of the cut shell and will cook from indirect heat under the shell, on top of the grill.

Halved Method

Simply take your lobster tail and lay it on your cutting board. Cut through the whole tail vertically so that you have two open halves of lobster tail. Discard any shell fragments before grilling.

How to Grill Lobster Tails on a Gas Grill

Be sure that your grill is nice and clean before starting this process. If using a gas grill, you will want to have your ingredients ready to go, since a gas grill does not need as much time to heat up. Prep all of your ingredients including any sauces or garnishes. Season the lobster to your liking. Check your gas gage to make sure there is enough propane for grilling the lobster tails. Turn on the grill burner to medium-high heat and allow to heat up for up to 10 minutes, usually 5 minutes will suffice.

Once heated, lay your lobster shell-side down onto the grill. If your lobster tails are small and you want to prevent them from curling up while cooking, you can insert a metal skewer through the middle of the tail to prevent any curling. Lobster should only take about 1 ½ to 2 minutes per ounce, and the internal temperature should be no hotter than 140°F. Remove from the grill and serve with a flavored butter.

How to Grill Lobster Tails on a Charcoal Grill

You will again want to make sure your grill is very clean before starting your grill. Charcoal takes some time and preparation, so it is best to begin grilling lobster tails with prepping the coals first. Use either a traditional charcoal chimney or use the kindling method.

Charcoal Chimney

Fill up your charcoal chimney’s lower chamber with loosely-packed newspaper. Place coals inside the top chamber and fill to the top. Carefully light the paper until it catches, and leave the charcoal to heat up under the grill hood for 15 minutes. This will give us medium-high heat.

After 15 minutes, dump your greyed charcoal into the grill chamber. Lay your grill grate down and add your lobster to the hottest side of the grill, shell side down. Similar to grilling lobster tails on a gas grill, you will want to cook for 1 ½-2 minutes per ounce and until an instant-read thermometer reads 140°F. Remove from the heat and serve with any sauce you like.

Kindling Method

Lay 5-6 pieces of lightly packed newspaper down into your grill’s heat chamber. Place some very dry kindling, such as twigs from the yard, atop the newspaper. Set your charcoal on top of the kindling and heat the newspaper on the bottom. Every few minutes, once the coals go grey, rotate the still-black coals onto the heat source so that each piece gets hot. Once all the charcoal is hot, add your grill grates back to the grill and put the lobster atop the hottest part of the grill. Continue cooking the same as with the charcoal chimney.


Whether you use a gas grill or a charcoal grill, grilled lobster tails are a simple way of cooking lobster to perfection, right in your own backyard. We hope this article helped navigate how to grill lobster tails on whatever grill you have. Lobster is not intimidating at all, as long as you are prepped and have done your research. Lobster is spectacular on its own due to its unique sweetness, but it is especially great with a garlic-herb butter. Click below if you would like our recipe for the best Grilled Lobster Tails with Garlic-Herb Butter!

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