Lobster tails are a special delicacy unless you live in an area where they’re easily bought. And in such places, you can make them at home using your favorite seasoning and methods. But the size determines how long they’re cooked, and if you want to perfect your lobster tail prepping skills, you must master how to time it. And since most lobster tails are 4 ounces, such seems like a good place to start.
Choosing 4 Oz. Lobster Tails
A firm and the deep-grey shell is the first indication of a fresh lobster tail, and the harder the shell, the more mature the lobster has grown. But you may not always find fresh lobster tails around, one which case, the frozen options can still work. Ensure to check that the lobster tails don’t produce any fishy smell or feature squishy shell spots and that the meat has a healthy translucent appearance.
Thawing- Always thaw frozen lobster tails before cooking, so you can confirm the gut had been removed beforehand. And you can defrost them in the fridge overnight, or leave them in a bowl of water 30 minutes before cooking. Ensure to change the water until the meat is no longer icy, and then rinse and dry the lobster tails before cooking.
Deveining- It’s important to note that lobster tails must be deveined before cooking, as this region comprises the crustacean’s abdomen. This means you’ll find its gut still intact, and if cooked with the meat, will render a bitter flavor. So, devein the lobster by cutting the belly open and pulling out the black streaks which make its gut. You can do this at home or have the fishmonger do it as you purchase the tails.
Exposing the Meat- Most recipes excel when the meat is separated from the shell, and this process is called butterflying. First, you cut the shell open from the top-down, stopping just before the tailfin joint. Ensure to use a sharp pair of kitchen shears for this purpose, or a knife if it gives you full control. Once the shell is cut, pull them apart and gently separate the meat from it by pulling it off the surface. Then, let the meat sit atop the cracked shell, so it can be seasoned. You can also choose to leave the meat in the shells, and take them out after cooking.
Lobster meat excels with a rich brushing of oil or butter and a sprinkle of herbs and spices. And you can add these separately or make a herb butter/oil mix to brush over the meat. Herb options for seasoning lobster tails include thyme, parsley, oregano, cardamom, rosemary, sage, and marjoram. You can also use spices like black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and cumin for your recipes. And if you prefer processed powders, try chili powder, ginger powder, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Cooking 4 Oz. Lobster Tails
You can cook lobster tails by boiling, grilling, baking, broiling, and steaming. Each method requires a similar basic preparation, and the doneness time is closely the same. A general rule is one minute per ounce, meaning four-ounce lobster tails will need four to five minutes of cooking time. You can also use a meat thermometer to check for internal doneness of 140F.
The following methods can be used for cooking lobster tails;
Boiling- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add lobster tails, and cook until they’re fully done. Then, drain the tails, expose the meat, and season as desired before serving.
Baking- Place opened lobster tails in a baking dish and brush with butter and seasoning. Then, add a bit of water to the pan, and bake in a 425F oven for four to five minutes, or until fully cooked.
Grilling- Prep the grill to 400F, and season the lobster tails. Then, place them cut side down on the grill and cook for four to five minutes. Leave them shell side down throughout for butterflied lobster tails.
Broiling- Butterfly the lobster tails and season as desired, then place them in the broiler with the meat side up for four to five minutes. Ensure that the baking pan is around 10 inches away from the heating element so the lobster tails don’t burn.
Steaming- This method is often used when planning to add lobster tails into other cooked dishes. Water is brought to a boil in a pot, and a steamer basket is placed on top. Then, the deveined tails are placed in the steamer basket and cooked for three to four minutes.
Fully cooked lobster tails will exhibit an opaque, pinkish-white with a firm texture.Print
- Prepare the oven to 425F, and arrange the lobster tails in a baking tray. Coat with melted butter, add sprinkles of pepper, paprika, and salt, then pour the wine into the tray.
- Bake the lobster tails for four to five minutes, or until the meat turns opaque and the shell reaches a bright red. You can also check the internal temperature for doneness of 140F.
- Serve the lobster tails as desired, and with any toppings you prefer.
You can also click here for more help.