How to Smoke Lobster Tails

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smoked lobster tails
Photo by Clevergrrl licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

When you think of lobster tails, you think of a delicacy that’s best cooked steamed, grilled or boiled. You know, the traditional lobster-cooking methods. They’re great and all, but there are other ways to cook lobster, specifically the tails, which have the meat people covet the most in a lobster. One of those ways is in a smoker with flavored wood chips that enhance the meat’s flavor to bring out the best in your favorite seafood.

If you’re craving bolder flavors than steaming or boiling can give your lobster tails, then smoking them might be the right alternative for you. It’ll take a little more time than dropping them in a pot, but you’ll also get the added benefit of a more flavorful, smokier lobster.

Preparing Lobster Tails for Smoking

Lobster meat won’t pick up the full flavors of smoking if you keep it inside the shell, so you’ll need to take a few steps to expose the meat:

  1. Use poultry scissors to cut the tail lengthwise along the top, gently pulling the shell halves apart from each other.
  2. Run your fingers along the inside of the shell to somewhat detach the meat, allowing air from the smoker to circulate and cook the tails.
  3. Melt a ½ stick of salted butter in a small saucepan with two minced garlic cloves and some pepper.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the tail meat and between the meat and its shell.

You can make more of this butter mixture to save for pouring over your lobster when you’re done cooking if desired.

Preparing the Smoker

Set your smoker to a temperature of 225 degrees. If your smoker grates tend to stick, you can brush some oil or butter onto them to prevent the lobster meat from clinging to the grates.

Don’t forget the wood chips! Lobster works well with several flavors of wood chips, so depending on the type of flavors you want, you can choose a wood chip that’ll complement your tails.

A few types that work perfectly with lobster are:

  • Hickory
  • Apple
  • Mesquite
  • Maple
  • Oak

Feel free to experiment and see what tastes you like best!

Get Smoking!

Set lobsters in your smoker with the split side of the shells facing up, pulled apart enough to expose the meat slightly. You’ll want to baste with the butter mixture you made every 15 minutes or so, keeping the tails on the smoker for a total of about 45 minutes.

The meat inside should turn white instead of translucent, and the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat should read between 140 and 145 degrees.

Remove the tails from the smoker and let rest for about five minutes. If desired, baste with the butter mixture again. Enjoy!

Conclusion: How to Smoke Lobster Tails

Smoking lobster tails offer a bolder flavor than baking, steaming, or boiling can and helps you be more in control of the flavors you want the meat to incorporate when you use flavored wood chips. Trust us; it’s one experience you won’t want to skip if you’re a lobster fan.

Need some lobster tails in your life? Head over to Maine Lobster House to order lobster tails online and bring them straight from the trap to your table.