Grilled Lobster Tails With Zesty Butter 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

May 21, 2014

This one's a little retro and always welcome at an omnivores' cookout.

You'll need to soak wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes.

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 lobster tails (about 4 ounces each)


Prepare the grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; when the coals are ready, distribute them evenly on one side of the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 3 or 4 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the garlic, shallot, tarragon and lemon zest. Remove from the heat and season lightly with salt.

Cut away and discard the thin undershell from each lobster tail (to expose the meat), leaving the hard outer shell. Run a skewer down the length of each lobster tail (this will keep them from curling on the grill). Place the tails, meat sides down, on the indirect-heat side of the grill; this will help eliminate flare-ups when you add the butter. Cook, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, then turn them over.

Spoon some of the butter over the meat of each lobster tail, using a total of about half of the butter. Cook, uncovered, for 4 or 5 minutes, or until the meat turns a creamy white and feels firm-springy to the touch.

Transfer the tails to a platter and gently slide them off the skewers. Spoon some or all the remaining butter over the tails. Serve right away, with the lemon wedges.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Williams-Sonoma's Grill Master: The Ultimate Arsenal of Back-to-Basics Recipes for the Grill," by Fred Thompson (Weldon Owen, 2014).

Tested by Andrew Sikkenga.

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