how to cook frozen lobster tail without thawing

When you have stored quite a few lobster tails, learning how to cook frozen lobster tail without thawing can help save a lot of your time.

Frozen lobster tails are a convenient alternative to fresh lobster when cooking during the off-season. 

You can find them easily or buy fresh ones and freeze them for later use.

The problem is that it is usually essential to thaw frozen lobster before cooking. 

You cannot avoid thawing if you want juicy, flavorful lobster meat. 

So how do you cook frozen lobster tails without thawing?

Well, certain recipes may still allow you to use frozen lobster, or you can quickly thaw lobster for the finest taste. 

How to Cook Frozen Lobster Tail without Thawing First?

cook frozen lobster tail without thawing

Sometimes, there is no need to thaw seafood before cooking, and salmon is a great example. 

But, when it comes to frozen lobster tails, it is usually better to thaw them first before cooking.

However, many things go into determining whether or not you need to thaw lobster tails, such as:

  • Where do you buy your lobster tails?
  • What types of tails do you have in store?
  • What recipe do you follow? 

How Do You Buy the Best Lobster Tails for Freezing?

When it comes to buying lobster, you usually have to decide between two varieties, such as:

buy best lobster tails
  • Cold-Water Lobster
  • Warm-Water Lobster

It is fine if the labels on your frozen lobster tails do not specify the species.

Nonetheless, if you must choose between warm water and cold-water lobsters, put your money on cold-water lobsters. 

The reason is that their meat is typically more flavorful, tender, and less mushy. 

How Do You Clean Lobster Tail before Freezing?

It does not matter how you plan on preparing the lobster tail, it is essential that you give it a thorough cleaning beforehand.

Take off the long, thin vein that goes along the middle of the tail; you will have to use a paring knife for that. 

The digestive tract of a lobster is not poisonous, but it does not taste very pleasant.

Similarly, roe (or eggs) may also be present in your lobster tail, typically near the top. 

lobster roe

Be sure to take the time to clean everything completely before freezing. 

The effort you put in here will save you from a lot of hard work when you eventually cook your frozen lobster tails. 

How Do You Defrost Frozen Lobster Tails before You Cook?

While you can try many different ways to cook frozen lobster tails, it is better to wait a few minutes until it is thawed properly.

You can try two ways to defrost the lobster tails, such as:

  • Using your refrigerator
  • Under cold water

Both options work, but there are a few advantages to letting them defrost in the fridge instead of on the counter. 

This method is the safest for thawing seafood but takes longer.

Defrosting under running water could contaminate the cut end of the tail and ruin the cooking process. 

defrosting under running water

This will not happen if you thaw it in the refrigerator. 

The tails will take some time to thaw in the refrigerator, so it is best to leave them on a sheet pan overnight.

Once thawed, you can use different recipes for cooking meat unparalleled in tenderness and flavor. 

What are the Best Ways to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails without Thawing?

Poaching produces the most tender lobster, although broiling, boiling, and roasting are also successful.

Poaching works because it lets the most fragrant and flavorful ingredients be added. 

poaching lobsters

The other procedures take longer, and the lobster meat can only be seasoned on the outside.

Similarly, the tails may not get enough time in the oven to get any sort of “roasted” flavor when boiled or roasted. 

Meat that is left exposed to the oven’s hot air may also dry up and turn chewy.

Overall, poaching is ideal for lobster tails because it uses slow, low, mild heat to keep the meat soft. 

Additionally, as poaching is slow cooking in liquid, the liquid can be seasoned with whatever you desire. 

What are Some Ways to Cook Frozen Lobster Tails Perfectly?

As mentioned already, you can try different ways to cook lobster tails, and how they turn out, in the end, depends on how you freeze them and what method you employ.

How Do You Broil Lobster Tails?

When broiling, you will have to first butterfly your lobster tails.  

The technique involves splitting the flesh and tails into two pieces. 

broil lobster tails

Then, you have to cut the top shell on the tails lengthwise to the middle using kitchen shears. 

Finally, you have to cut through it and split the tail into two pieces.

Once you have done the first step, you need to proceed with the following:

  • Take the lobster halves keeping flesh side up and place them on a wire rack.
  • You can use a baking sheet for even cooking.
  • Do not forget to use some butter on the flesh and also season it with salt.
  • Proceed with broiling until you notice the shells becoming bright orange.
  • Stop when the flesh feels opaque and the tails curl a little.
Tip: Do not cook for more than 4-5 minutes, especially when you are broiling up to 6oz of lobster tails. 

How Do You Steam Lobster Tails?

If you are looking for the most traditional way to cook your frozen lobster tails, steaming delivers the best results. 

But, remember, the steaming time may change based on the quantity of lobster tails.

For instance, you may have to steam for 6-8 minutes if you use 6-7 oz of lobster tails.  

However, the cooking time will go up to 10-12 minutes if you use 16-20 oz of lobster tails.

Here is how to proceed:

  • Take a large pot and place a steamer basket in it.
  • Now, add some water to the pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Now, add the tails to the steamer basket.
  • Ensure that you add tails in a single layer.
  • Secure the pot with the lid.
  • Begin cooking until the meat feels white and opaque.
Tip: Be sure to cut a slit in the bottom of the shell to confirm if the meat has cooked properly.

How Do You Grill Lobster Tails?

grill lobster tails

Grilling lobster tails is yet another great idea, but for that, you may have to split or butterfly lobster tails before you begin cooking.

  • Take split or cut tails and rinse them to get rid of the intestinal vein.
  • Now grease a grill or rack, and brush the flesh side of the tails with olive oil or butter.
  • Be sure to cook the tails with the shell side down over moderate heat (not too high).
  • You can also flip the tail over and broil the flesh side for a few minutes.
  • Turn the shell side down and baste again for the last few minutes of grilling.
  • Cook until the thickest part of a grilled tail is just opaque.

Keep in mind that overcooking causes the tails to dry out and become rubbery. 

You can safely roast the shell side of the lobster tail, but the flesh side should be avoided at all costs.

Tip: Never cook past the raw meat inside the shell becoming opaque or the shell turning red, or you will overcook lobster tails. 

How Do You Boil Lobster Tails?

Boiling lobster tails is a great idea when you do not have time to thaw the tails. 

Simply drop them into a pot full of boiling water and let them sit there for 15 minutes.

When boiling, you should be careful about the cooking time. 

In most cases, you need to cook lobster tails for 5-6 minutes if you use 6-7oz of tails. 

The boiling time goes up to 10 minutes if you have 16-20 oz of lobster tails.

boiling lobster tails

Here is how to boil lobster tails and make them taste even better with pepper butter.

  • Take a large pot of water and boil it. Add some salt as well.
  • Take thawed lobster tails and slowly place them in the boiling water.
  • Do not cover the pot while the tails are still boiling.
  • Wait until the tails become bright red.
  • Use a skewer and stick it into a tail to confirm the tenderness of the meat.

You can make a dipping sauce by combining parsley, lemon juice, pepper, and salt, and heating it with butter. 

Once done, simply remove the tails from the water with the help of tongs to serve.

Tip: It is possible to store leftover boiled lobster tails in an airtight container and they will be good for up to 4 days. 


Learning how to cook frozen lobster tail without thawing can save you a lot of time, but you should do it only when you are in a hurry. 

Thawing does not take a lot of time, but works wonders to make your lobster tails taste heavenly.