If you’re the kind of person, who wastes no opportunity to get their grill on, buckle up for an unforgettable grilling party. Lobsters’ delicious meat and hard shell cook really well on a grill, delivering a unique mix of smokey and ocean flavors.
Throughout this guide, we will walk you through all that you need to know about preparing the perfect grilled lobster right from the comfort of your home. Whether you’re going for a whole live lobster or just frozen tails, we got you covered.
First of All, Choosing the Right Lobster for the Grill
Any seasoned grilled steak lover will tell you a perfect cut is key for the best juicy taste. Just the right thickness ensures you get well-cooked, tender meat. The same principles apply when it comes to grilling a lobster.
Hard-shelled, hefty lobsters are a natural fit on the grill. The sturdy shell gives the meat some time to pick the smokey flavor we’re aiming for without getting overcooked.
Furthermore, we recommend you pick a large lobster, about 1.5 pounds or heavier, so you’ll have just the right meat thickness to work with on the grill. You’ll also end up with more savory meat for everyone to enjoy, a win-win situation!
Additionally, you don’t want to go for the thin-shelled, smaller lobsters, as they tend to get overcooked quickly. They won’t fair well enough on the grill, and you might end up with a burnt lobster on your hand.
You can now tell that there’s some form of art in picking the right lobster for grilling. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you have to overthink it and go around in circles at your local store trying to find the perfect-sized lobster, online sources like LobsterAnywhere make the process a breeze.
Secondly, Getting the Lobster Ready for the Grill
There is a debate on whether lobsters can feel pain or not; however, you definitely want your lobster to go as quickly and humanely as possible. To begin with, put the live lobster in the freezer for 10 to 30 minutes to knock it off and make it less agitated.
Moving on, prepare a large enough pot of boiling water. Make sure you take off the rubber bands restraining the claws before dropping the lobster in the pot; you don’t want to keep it in the boiling water for long and risk the rubber altering the taste.
After getting the bands off, drop the lobster head-first in the boiling water. This way, you ensure it goes out as peacefully as possible while retaining its fresh taste.
Parboiling the lobster for about five minutes can also make your job on the grill much more straightforward, as the partially cooked lobster won’t take forever to cook. Not to mention, this preparatory step prevents the lobster’s meat from sticking to the shell.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the noise you might hear when placing the lobster in boiling water is due to air expansion. Air gets trapped under the shell, and upon heating, it tries to find its way out through any small gaps or cracks in the shell. There is no need to get startled by such sounds or think that the lobster is screaming in pain. As a matter of fact, lobsters don’t have throats.
Time to Start Grilling!
Some chefs just place the lobster on the grill as a whole without any special preparations. Unless you’re a pro chef, it’s quite tricky to tell when the meat inside is well-cooked. That’s why we recommend splitting the lobster into two halves before you start grilling.
Place the lobster upside down with the belly facing you, and start cutting through the middle along its length. You will need a sharp knife to cut through the meat effortlessly without applying unnecessary pressure. Furthermore, the tough shell at the tail section can make use of your trusty kitchen shears.
You can now remove the lobster’s stomach, which presents as a sac behind the eyes, and green tomalley, standing for the lobster’s liver. Voila, you have two perfect lobster halves ready to hit the grill.
Brush the lobster with butter or olive oil and place it with the shell side down on the grill. Feel free to add your favorite seasoning of herbs, salt, pepper, and more flavored butter. Close the grill to ensure the meat receives the smokey flavor and wait for about 3-6 minutes before checking on it.
You want to end up with a pink shell and creamy-looking meat. If you still have translucent, gelatinous meat, you can grill the lobster for 4-5 additional minutes.
Unlike a steak, flipping the lobster on the grill is not something you want to do. Things will get messy with meat sticking to the grill, and you’d also lose all the juice housed by the shell. Furthermore, with the shell spending more time closer to your grill’s heating charcoal, it becomes easier to crack through.
What About Frozen Lobster Tails?
Handling a whole lobster can get quite messy, that’s why some folks prefer to go for lobster tails. Frozen doesn’t mean less fresh when it comes to lobster tails; they can retain their flavor for a long time if they are reserved correctly.
Before hitting the grill, make sure you slowly and completely defrost the tails. From there, you follow the same steps as before and split the tail down the middle. You don’t need to fully separate the two halves, though.
Finally, make sure you grill lobster tails on medium heat in order to avoid them becoming dry and rubbery.
For all the grilling connoisseurs out there, nothing beats the first time trying grilled lobster. It brings the best of both worlds with its perfect blend of ocean and smoky flavors. Now, you’re en route to unleashing your inner chef and just minutes away from preparing the perfect grilled lobster at home.