When you are in the mood for a special dinner, fresh seafood is right at the top of the list! Learn how to steam lobster tail and take the stress out of cooking this tasty seafood!
If you're not in the mood for a lobster dinner, try the Sheet Pan Low Country Boil it's full of juicy shrimp, tender potatoes, and zesty seasonings!
Why you'll love this recipe
✔️ It's delicious and fancy and makes for a wonderful special meal at home.
✔️ Steamed lobster is extremely simple to make, the tender meat is so delicious!
✔️ No stuffing, no fussing, just lots of flavor with a few easy steps.
For the exact measurements, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- fresh lobster tails - fresh is best, but let's be realistic, by the time it gets to your grocery store most have already been frozen, thaw in the refrigerator. Though you can use live lobsters, this recipe just uses the tail.
- Old Bay Seasoning Mix is delicious! If you'd prefer Cajun seasoning would be AMAZING as well!
- fresh lemon - you'll only use one lemon for cooking, but an additional lemon would be great to serve alongside the meal for a squeeze of flavor.
- butter - it's for drizzling over the finished lobster and for dipping and dunking at the table.
- parsley - though the parsley is optional, it really dresses up the lobster tails for presentation.
This is an overview of the instructions. For the complete directions just scroll down to the bottom!
How to store
Most lobster has been frozen by the time it gets to your local supermarket. Buying frozen lobster is just fine!
- For best flavor, purchase lobster on the day you plan on eating it.
- When you bring seafood home from the market, remove it from the package. Fill a large bowl with ice and lay the tails on top, refrigerate.
How to clean
- When you're ready to begin preparing your meal, soak the lobster tail in an ice water bath for 30 minutes. Rinse well with cold water.
- If desired cut the fins and end of the tail off the shell. Personally I skip this step.
How to prepare
- Insert kitchen shears in the opening where the vein is and slice the top of the shell. Cut the length, do not snip through the tail or you'll cut it in half.
- Crack the shell and open it.
- Slice through the flesh in the middle.
- Remove the digestive track.
- Rinse with cool water.
- If you'd like the tails to lay flat, insert a wooden skewer through the meat of the lobster from the tip to the tail.
How to steam lobster tail
- Place a large stockpot on the stove over high heat, add water bring to a full boil.
- Reduce to a gentle boil and add old bay seasoning mix to the water and squeeze the lemon juice into the pot.
- The next step is to place the steaming rack in the large pot.
- When the water begins to boil, place lobster tails in the steamer, flesh side up.
- Steam lobsters for 40 seconds per ounce. Lobster cooks quickly!
- While the lobster tails are cooking, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat and melt. Add seasoning to the butter and minced parsley.
- When the lobster is cooked remove it from the pan and place it on the serving dish. Drizzle with melted butter. Serve with additional butter for dipping.
Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. 140 degrees is ideal.
The following are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
- Large stock pot for steaming lobster.
- Vegetable steamer rack - this one is great, I've had it for years. I adjust to several different sizes to fit into your pots.
- Heavy duty kitchen scissors or shears to cut through shell.
- Large Chef's knife.
Steam lobster for about 40 seconds per ounce.
You need about an inch of water in the bottom of the pot to steam lobster. The amount of water will be dependent upon the steamer basket and the size of the pot.
The perfect size is one that fits inside your pot.
Chewy lobster is overcooked - don't overcook it! It should be tender, sweet, and succulent!
- Soak the lobster shells in water for an hour or so before cooking. This makes it much easier to remove them after cooking.
- Don't let the water in the pot boil dry.
- When ready to serve, drizzle with melted butter and dip your crusty bread into the melted butter as well. You can't go wrong with that!
- For a pretty presentation, you can chop up fresh parsley and sprinkle it on top of the lobster before serving.
- You can use this easy method to steam other types of shellfish. Whole lobsters, shrimp, or clams would be delicious, as would mussels!
- Cajun seasoning or even lemon pepper seasoning would taste amazing on this lobster. Be adventurous and try your favorite spices!
- Want a little more flavor? Add garlic, sliced onions, or shallots to the steaming pot.
Refrigerate - Steamed lobster is best enjoyed right away however you can store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator one day.
Reheat - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap lobster meat in aluminum foil and place a couple of pats of butter on top of the meat. Place in a shallow pan and bake for 5-10 minutes.
Use an instant read thermometer to check internal temperature, it should reach 140 degrees.
- Mo's Clam Chowder is creamy, hearty, and makes for a comforting meal.
- Air Fryer Fried Shrimp is perfectly crisp on the outside and makes for an excellent easy weeknight meal.
- This Ahi Tuna Poke Recipe has a little bit of spicy, and a savory soy sauce that makes it a crave-able dish.
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes are a hearty side dish that goes well with all meals.
- Macaroni Salad is full of crunchy vegetables and a creamy dressing this light side dish goes well with seafood.
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob is so easy to make and always goes well with buttery steamed lobster.
- Serve with lemon wedges and a side of cocktail sauce is a yummy dipper as well!
Don't forget to check out my Amazon storefront for some of my favorite products! 🛍️
If you love this recipe please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating!
How to Steam Lobster Tail
- 4 6 ounce lobster tails
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning Mix
- 1 lemon halved
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning Mix
- 1 teaspoon parsley minced
I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying purchases.
- Place a big pot on the stove over high heat. Add about an inch of water.
- Add the old bay or cajun seasoning mix. Squeeze lemon in the water and drop both halves of the lemon into the water.
- Place steam basket or steamer insert into the big pot.
- When the water begins to full rolling boil, place the prepared lobster tails on the steamer, flesh side up.
- Steam for 40 seconds per ounce of lobster tail - so if the tails are six ounces, you'll cook them for four minutes.
- While the lobster tails are cooking, place butter in a small sauce pan over low heat and melt. Add half a teaspoon of seasoning to the butter and minced parsley if desired.
- When the lobster is cooked remove from pan and place on serving dish, drizzle with melted butter. Serve with additional butter for dipping if desired.