How to Grill Lobster at Home

Cooking Lobsters on the Barbecue is Easier Than You May Think!

How to Grill Lobster
© 2008 Kim Knox Beckius

Tired of cooking the same old burgers, hot dogs and chicken on the barbecue? Grilled lobster is an extraordinary treat! If you are searching for a grilled lobster recipe, here are the basics of how to grill lobster for a backyard feast.

Need added incentive to break out the barbecue tongs when you have crustaceans in the house? Lobsters cooked on the grill have a wonderful smoky flavor, and they are easier to eat than traditional boiled whole lobsters.

Difficulty: Easy... really!

Time Required: 30 minutes

Here's How to Grill Lobster in 8 Easy-to-Follow Steps:

  1. Select live lobsters that weigh between 1-1/2 and 2 pounds each. Can't find fresh lobsters locally? Many New England seafood companies will ship lobsters to your door. Try The Lobster Guy, Captain Tim, for fresh-caught lobsters from Maine.
  2. In a large stock pot, bring about 2 gallons of water to a boil. Parboil two lobsters at a time in a covered pot for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Remove lobsters from the cooking pot, turn them upside down on a cutting board, and slice them in half lengthwise from the tail to the top of the head. Then, use a sharp knife to split the claws only on the side that will be turned up on the grill.
  4. Place each half lobster, shell side down, on a grill that has been pre-heated to medium temperature.
  5. Baste the exposed lobster meat with melted butter or oil and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh-ground pepper. For added flavor, use seasoned oils, or add garlic, herbs and spices or lemon or lime juice to the butter. Want to try something even more exotic? LobsterAnywhere, another source for ordering live Maine lobsters online, has recipes for a variety of sauces and butters for lobster.
  6. Cover lobsters with a metal pie plate or a shallow roasting pan to ensure quick and even cooking on the grill. Remove the cover periodically to baste the lobsters and to check cooking progress.
  7. Grill lobsters for a total of about 10 minutes. Be sure to check the meat at the thickest part of the tail in order to determine that lobsters are completely cooked. When the meat is white and opaque, your grilled lobsters are ready to eat at last.
  8. Serve grilled lobster with melted drawn butter and a slice of lemon for spritzing.

Additional Tips for Cooking Lobster on a Grill:

  1. See a photo of each step in the lobster grilling process described above in this step-by-step visual guide.
  2. Lobsters should be cooked on the day they are purchased. Store live lobsters in your refrigerator until you are ready to begin the cooking process. Never allow them to come in contact with fresh water from a tap or ice.
  3. Split lobsters take up quite a lot of room on the grill, so the larger the grilling space, the more lobsters you can cook at a time.
  4. You can use just about any kind of grill to cook lobsters including gas and charcoal grills. Try using wood charcoal for the flavor it imparts, or experiment with seasoned wood chips.
  5. Once you've mastered cooking lobsters on your own home grill, take things to the next level by hosting a traditional Maine-style backyard lobster bake.

What You Need Checklist:

Cooking Lobster on a George Foreman Grill

Grilling lobsters on a George Foreman or other electric grill is probably not the best option, but it can be done. Follow the directions above for parboiling and splitting your lobsters first (or try this strategy for cooking lobster tails raw on the George Foreman Grill). Heat your George Foreman grill to high for at least five minutes. Brush a thin layer of olive oil over the grilling surfaces. As with any grill, you'll want to baste the exposed lobster meat with seasoned butter or oil and place shell side up on the George Foreman Grill.

You will probably have to leave the grill open, so after 3 to 5 minutes, flip the split lobsters on the grill, so the shell side is down. Continue cooking another 3 to 5 minutes until the meat is cooked through. It will be firm and opaque.

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