How to Cut Lobster Tail: A Beginner’s Guide
Lobster tail is a prized part of a lobster, and it’s easy to see why. This thick, meaty part of the lobster is versatile and delicious, and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Knowing how to cut open a lobster tail is vital if you want to cook it to perfection. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to cut lobster tail, including selecting the right tail, how to prep it, different cutting methods, and how to cook it.
How to Buy Lobster Tails
Selecting the Right Lobster Tail
Before starting the cutting process, it’s essential to select the right lobster tail. Look for lobster tails that have a mottled, greenish-blue-brown appearance when raw. If possible, purchase fresh tails so that they can be prepared immediately. Plan on one 8-ounce tail per person. If purchasing frozen tails, thaw them in the refrigerator before cutting and cooking.
How to Prepare Lobster Tail for Cutting
Thawing Lobster Tail
If you’re using frozen lobsters, you should thaw them fully before cutting. To do this, place the tails in the refrigerator overnight. Avoid defrosting lobster tails quickly with hot water, as this can affect the texture and taste of the tail meat.
Cleaning Lobster Tail
Before cutting, pat the lobster tail dry with a clean towel to remove any excess moisture. Cleaning helps to remove any dirt or debris that may be on the shell’s surface, ensuring a clean cut that does not contaminate the tail meat.
How to Cut Lobster Tail
Cutting Tail for Grilling
If you’re grilling lobster tail, you’ll want to butterfly the tail before cooking. To do this, start by using kitchen shears to cut down the centre of the tail’s hard shell, stopping just before the tail fins. Once you’ve cut through the top of the shell and meat, gently spread the halves of the tail apart and lift the meat over the shell to make it sit better.
Cutting Tail for Broiling or Baking
If you’re broiling or baking lobster tail, you don’t need to butterfly the tail. Instead, start by cutting the shell lengthwise using kitchen shears. Make sure not to cut the tail meat, as this will result in uneven cooking. After opening the shell, you can season the tail meat and place it on the baking sheet or broiler to cook to perfection.
How to Cook Lobster Tail
Grilling Lobster Tail
Grilling lobster tail is an excellent way to enjoy this delicacy. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and brush the tail meat with oil and seasonings of your choice. Place the tails on the grill with the shell side down and cook for 5-7 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes on the meat side.
Baking Lobster Tail
Baking lobster tail is an easy way to cook this delicious seafood. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the tail meat on a baking sheet. Brush the meat with melted butter, garlic, and herbs, then bake for 12-15 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
Broiling Lobster Tail
If you’re broiling lobster tail, start by preheating your broiler to high. Place the seasoned tail meat on a broiler pan about 6 inches from the heat source. Cook for 5-7 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side.
Cutting lobster tail is a simple process that can open up a new world of seafood culinary delights. Whether you’re grilling, baking, or broiling your lobster tail, knowing how to cut it properly is critical to its overall taste and texture. With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to prepare and cook the perfect lobster tail with ease.
1. Can you cut a lobster tail with a knife?
While it’s possible to cut a lobster tail with a knife, it’s recommended to use kitchen shears as they are more precise and make the cutting process much more manageable.
2. How do you know when lobster tail is cooked?
Lobster tail is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 145°F. When the meat is opaque and firm to touch, you can know it’s cooked properly.
3. How to cook frozen lobster tail?
The best way to cook frozen lobster tails is to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the cooking method of your choice, such as grilling, baking, or broiling.
4. How can you tell if lobster tail is bad?
If the lobster tail has a sour or ammonia-like smell, or if the meat appears slimy or discoloured, it’s best to discard it as it may be spoiled.
5. How long can you keep uncooked lobster tail in the fridge?
Uncooked lobster tail can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days before cooking. However, it’s best to cook it as soon as possible for maximum freshness.