Defrost tails in the refrigerator overnight, then rinse with cool water and dry with paper towels.
For a quick thaw method, submerge lobster tails in a bowl of cool water for 30 minutes. For large tails discard the water and refill the bowl another 30 minutes, or until flesh is flexible and no longer icy.
For a beautiful presentation with the meat on top of the shell. Works for all cooking methods except boiling.
Using sharp kitchen shears cut the top part of the shell lengthwise. Start from the exposed meat side down to just before the tail fin.
Remove any dark-lined digestive tract that runs down the middle of the tail if present and discard. Wash the tail with cool water and dry thoroughly.
Flip the lobster tail over with the abdomen facing up. Use your thumbs to gently press the ribs to crack them. This will make it easier to open the top part of the shell and remove the meat.
Open the shell starting at the wide base of the tail, run your fingers between the meat and shell to release. Carefully lift the meat out, but keep it attached to the tail end. Lay the lobster meat on top of the shell.
Boiled Lobster Tail
Add water and salt to a large pot making sure its enough to cover the lobster tails.
Bring the water to a boil, then carefully add the tails to the pot.
Cook until the meat is translucent, pinkish-white, and shells are red, about 1 minute per ounce.
Drain and allow to slightly cool before opening the shell to remove the meat. Add desired seasonings.
Steamed Lobster Tail
Add 2 inches of water to a large pot, then place the steamer basket on top.
Bring water to a boil, once the steam has formed add the lobster tails and cover. Do not overcrowd the pot, work in batches if needed.
Cook until the meat is firm, pinkish-white in color, and the shell is red, about 45 to 60 seconds per ounce. Keep a close eye on appearance change as it can overcook quickly. Add desired seasonings.
Baked Lobster Tail
Set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 425ºF (218ºC).
Brush the lobster with melted butter, and season with salt, pepper, and paprika if desired.
Place lobster tails in a baking dish, then add just enough water or wine to cover the bottom of the pan, about ½ cup.
Bake until the flesh is firm and pinkish-white, about 1 to 2 minutes per ounce.
Broiled Lobster Tail
Brush the flesh with melted butter and season with salt, pepper and paprika if desired.
Place tails, flesh-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Set the oven rack to the upper position, about 10-inches from the broiler.
Broil until the shell is red in color and meat is firm, pinkish-white and cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes depending on the size.
After 4 minutes of cooking time, check every minute after to prevent over-cooking.
Grilled Lobster Tail
Preheat the grill over medium heat for 15 minutes, between 350 to 400ºF (177 to 204ºC).
Clean the grill and then grease with oil.
Brush the lobster with melted butter, season with salt, pepper and paprika if using.
If cooking lobster in the shell, grill flesh-side down if cut in half, cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until the flesh is pinkish-white in color.
If cooking butterflied lobster tail, place on the grill flesh-side up. Cook until the flesh is pinkish-white, at least 10 minutes. More time will be needed for larger tails.
Lemon Garlic Butter Topping
In a small bowl melt butter in the microwave in 30-second intervals, or melt over medium-low heat in a small pot on the stovetop.
Once melted, whisk in garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, and lemon juice.
Serve on the side with cooked lobster tails.
Cutting lobster tail for in the shell presentation: Use kitchen shears to cut down the top of the tail, stopping just before reaching the tail fin.
Cutting lobster tail in half: Cut tail in half lengthwise down the center using a chef’s knife to yield 2 portions.
Make sure to remove the dark veined digestive tract. Rinse and dry lobster before cooking.
Doneness temperature of lobster tail: When the internal temperature reaches between 135 to 140ºF (57 to 63ºC). Cook times will vary depending on size and method.