Thawing Lobster Tails: These 2 Methods Make it Simple to Enjoy Lobster Tails

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frozen lobster tails

Photo by Jeremy Keith licensed under CC BY 2.0

When you order lobster tails from Maine Lobster House (or any store or shop that sells them locally), you’ll notice that they’re frozen or packed in ice, whereas the full animal is usually live (or should be) when you buy it.

Why is that?

Most places won’t sell a frozen lobster because the potential for bacteria is much higher the longer a lobster sits without being cooked and enjoyed. Lobster tails, on the other hand, are removed from a lobster once they’re caught and immediately frozen to inhibit the likelihood that they become infected with bacteria.

So, when you see frozen lobster tails, know that they’re safer to eat than they’d be if they were merely refrigerated.

The only issue with frozen tails is that you can’t just bring them home and cook them up as quickly as you could a fresh, live Maine lobster. You’ll have to thaw them first using the right process to ensure they maintain a safe temperature as they thaw.

There are two main methods you can use to thaw lobster tails safely. The next time you order your Maine lobster tails from us, refer back to this article for the steps for each:

1. Overnight Method

If you have at least 24 hours to spare before you want to enjoy your lobster tails, you can go for what’s known as the “overnight method,” because you’ll need to thaw the tails in the fridge for a full day and night. This method may take more time than quick thawing, but it’s also more foolproof, allowing the tails to remain in an environment with the proper temperature for as long as they need to thaw.

To do this, place the tails in a sealable, leak-proof plastic bag, removing the air from the bag before you close it entirely. Put the bag on a plate and place the plate in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf, away from any open, fresh foods, like vegetables or fruit, that won’t get cooked.

Let them thaw away for about 24 hours, give or take a couple, depending on how many tails you have. If you have several tails to thaw, make sure they’re on a single layer (use multiple bags and plates if needed).

2. Quick-Thaw Method

This quicker thawing method can thaw lobster tails in about an hour, but you’ll need to be diligent about cooking them as soon as the thawing process is complete. Only use this method when you have some time to check on the tails and change out the water.

For this method, you’ll need a large bowl filled with cold water. Again, put the tails in a leak-proof bag and release the air before sealing it.

Place the bag in the bowl of cold water, making sure that the water covers the lobster tails. Every 15 minutes, check that the water is somewhere between 30 and 40 degrees. If not, empty it and add fresh water, continuing the process until the meat is tender to the touch. One or two tails may only take about 30 minutes, but three or more will likely need closer to one hour or more.

While your tails thaw, you can head to Lobster University for recipes, cooking tips, and more!

Ordering Frozen Lobster Tails from Maine Lobster House

You might wonder how we get our lobster tails from Maine to your home safely with our shipping process. We get it – it seems like an impossible task! But it’s simple: We carefully package your Certified Maine Lobster Tails in an insulated cooler with dry ice that can keep them frozen for several days.

You can choose between Standard, Express, and Overnight Delivery options, but all will be handled with the same care to ensure that your lobster tails are still safe when they arrive. When you receive your shipment, you can either place them in your freezer until you’re ready to thaw them or start the thawing process to enjoy them sooner.

Click here to learn more about our shipping process.