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Steamed lobster tails that have been butterflied.
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5 from 97 votes

Steamed Lobster Tail

These steamed lobster tails are tender, juicy, and succulent! They're steamed in a pot of water with flavorings until perfectly cooked!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: dinner, entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Calories: 49kcal


  • 2 lobster tails

Optional Seasonings

  • lemon slices
  • garlic
  • fresh herbs
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • peppercorns


  • Butterfly the tails: Using kitchen shears, cut a straight line down the top center of the shell to just before the tail fins. Spread the shell open, lift the meat out, and place it on top of the shell. Use a spoon to help detach the meat from the shell if needed.
    Optional: Insert a toothpick or skewer into the meat to keep it from curling.
    Butterflied lobster tail.
  • Fill Steam Pot: Fill a steaming pot with 1 to 2 inches of water and add optional seasonings if using. Bring to a boil. Place the lobster tails into a steamer basket and insert it into the pot, making sure the water doesn't reach the lobster.
    Butterflied lobster tails in a steaming pot with a steaming basket.
  • Steam: Steam the lobster tails with the lid closed until fully cooked, about 6 to 8 minutes for small to medium tails and 8 to 10 minutes for large tails. Check after 5 minutes to prevent overcooking, but avoid opening the lid otherwise.
    They're fully cooked when the flesh is firm to the touch and white and opaque in color. The shells should be bright red and the internal temperature should reach 140°F to 145°F at the thickest part of the meat. Serve with melted butter and lemon. Enjoy!
    Steamed lobster tails with tender, moist meat and red shells.


Thawing lobster tails:
  • Refrigerator (overnight method) - Set frozen lobster tails on a plate topped with paper towels and place it inside a resealable bag. The paper towels will absorb excess liquid. Allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Faster method - Place frozen lobster tails inside a resealable bag and let out as much air as possible. Place the bag in a bowl of cold water and refresh the water every 15 to 20 minutes until the lobster is completely thawed.


Calories: 49kcal | Protein: 10g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 268mg | Potassium: 127mg | Vitamin A: 3IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg