How to Cut Lobster Tail?

Cut Lobster Tail

Master lobster tail cutting with our expert guide. Learn essential tools, techniques, and elevate your seafood game today!


If you’re eager to learn the art of preparing lobster tail, you’ve come to the right place. Mastering how to cut lobster tail is a culinary skill that can elevate your seafood game to new heights. Whether you’re a seafood aficionado or a novice chef, understanding the intricacies of lobster tail preparation is essential for creating a gourmet dining experience. From dissecting to trimming, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of cutting lobster tail to perfection. So, grab your apron, sharpen your knives, and get ready to unlock the secrets to this delectable delicacy.

Reasons for Cutting Lobster Tail

Cutting lobster tails is a culinary skill that can elevate your seafood dishes. Whether you’re preparing a lobster tail for grilling, broiling, or adding to a seafood pasta, there are several reasons why you might want to cut a lobster tail:

How to Cut Lobster Tail

1. Enhanced Presentation:

Cutting the lobster tail meat and arranging it on top of the shell adds an elegant touch to your dish, making it more visually appealing.

2. Even Cooking:

When you cut the lobster tail, it allows for more even cooking. This is especially important if you’re grilling or broiling the tail.

3. Easier Seasoning:

Cutting the tail makes it easier to season the meat directly, ensuring that the flavors penetrate the flesh.

4. Improved Flavor:

By cutting the lobster tail, you can expose more surface area to butter, herbs, and other seasonings, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.

Now, let’s get into the details of how to cut a lobster tail properly.

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What You Will Need

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools and ingredients:

Lobster Tails:

Choose fresh or frozen lobster tails, depending on your preference and availability.

Kitchen Shears:

Sharp kitchen shears, such as Lions wood Colossal Teak Cutting Board, are essential for clean and precise cuts.

Cutting Board:

Use a clean, stable surface like a chopping board for safety and ease of cutting.

Butter or Seasonings:

Have your preferred seasoned butter ready to enhance the flavor of the lobster tail.

How to Cut Lobster Tail

Prepping the Lobster Tail

Defrosting Frozen Tails

If you’re working with frozen lobster tails, it’s important to thaw them properly to ensure even cooking. There are two main methods for defrosting:

  1. Refrigerator Method: Place the frozen lobster tails in the refrigerator for 24 hours until fully thawed.
  2. Cold Water Method: Seal the lobster tails in a plastic bag and submerge them in cold water for 30-60 minutes, changing the water every 15 minutes.

Removing the Shell

To begin the process of cutting a lobster tail, you’ll need to remove the outer shell:

  1. Place the Lobster Tail on the Cutting Board: Position the lobster tail on the cutting board with the shell side facing up.
  2. Split the Shell: Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, carefully cut along the top of the shell lengthwise, following the natural curve of the tail. Be cautious not to cut too deeply into the meat.
  3. Expose the Meat: Gently lift the shell and expose the lobster meat while keeping it attached at the base of the tail.

Preparing the Kitchen Shears

Before you cut the lobster tail meat, it’s crucial to prepare your kitchen shears:

  1. Clean and Dry: Ensure your kitchen shears, whether heavy-duty or professional kitchen scissors, are clean and dry to maintain hygiene.
  2. Inspect for Sharpness: Confirm that the shears have amazing edge retention and are sharp to avoid crushing the meat while cutting.

Cutting the Lobster Tail Meat

Now, let’s proceed to cut the lobster tail meat:

  1. Open the Shell: Gently lift the lobster meat out of the shell, leaving it attached at the base.
  2. Season the Meat: Season the exposed lobster meat with your choice of herbs, spices, or melted butter, creating a flavorful butter sauce.
  3. Cut into Medallions: With your prepared kitchen shears, cut the lobster tail meat into medallions, making sure not to cut all the way through the base of the tail. This extra step ensures a delightful presentation.
  4. Close the Shell: Carefully place the lobster meat back into the shell, allowing the medallions to fan out attractively.
How to Cut Lobster Tail

Step-by-Step Instructions

To summarize the process of cutting lobster tails:

  1. Defrost frozen tails using the refrigerator or cold water method.
  2. Remove the shell by cutting along the top, keeping it attached at the base.
  3. Prepare clean and sharp kitchen shears for cutting.
  4. Lift the lobster meat from the shell, season with seasoned butter, and cut into medallions without completely detaching them.
  5. Place the meat back into the shell, allowing the medallions to fan out.

By following these step-by-step instructions and understanding the reasons for cutting lobster tails, you can enhance the presentation, flavor, and evenness of your lobster dishes, impressing your guests with with your culinary skills.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What tools do I need to cut lobster tail?

To cut lobster tail effectively, you’ll need a few essential tools, including a sharp chef’s knife, kitchen shears, a cutting board, and a sturdy pair of seafood crackers.

What’s the best way to remove the lobster tail from the shell?

The most common method is to gently slide your fingers between the meat and the shell to separate them. Alternatively, you can make a shallow cut along the top of the shell with kitchen shears and then carefully pull the meat out.

How do I butterfly a lobster tail?

To butterfly a lobster tail, first cut along the top of the tail, stopping just before reaching the end. Then, carefully spread the tail open to expose the meat, and it will resemble butterfly wings.

Can I use a lobster cracker to split the shell?

Yes, lobster crackers can be used to crack the shell of the lobster tail gently. However, be cautious not to damage the meat inside.

Should I remove the vein or digestive tract in the lobster tail?

Yes, it’s recommended to remove the vein or digestive tract, which runs down the center of the tail. Simply make a shallow incision along the back and lift it out with a fork or your fingers.

What are some popular cooking methods for lobster tail after cutting?

Lobster tail can be grilled, broiled, baked, or even sautéed, depending on your preference. Each method imparts a unique flavor and texture to the lobster meat.

How do I know when lobster tail is cooked properly?

Lobster tail is cooked when the meat turns opaque and white, with an internal temperature of 140-145°F (60-63°C). Overcooking can result in tough, rubbery meat.

Can I freeze lobster tail after cutting it?

Yes, you can freeze lobster tail after cutting it. Store it in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag, and it should stay fresh for up to three months in the freezer.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when cutting lobster tail?

Safety is paramount. Always exercise caution when handling sharp knives and kitchen tools. Wear protective gloves if needed, and follow proper seafood handling guidelines to prevent cross-contamination.

Where can I find fresh lobster tail for cooking?

You can typically find fresh or frozen lobster tail at seafood markets, grocery stores, or online seafood suppliers. Look for high-quality, sustainably sourced options for the best results in your culinary adventures.

How to Cut Lobster Tail


Learning how to cut a lobster tail is a valuable culinary skill that allows you to showcase the exquisite meat of this seafood delicacy. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can confidently and effectively prepare lobster tails for various cooking methods. Consider the pros and cons of the butterfly and medallion cutting methods, selecting the one that best suits your desired presentation and cooking style. Remember to prioritize safety by using sharp, high-quality knives and practicing proper cutting techniques. With practice and patience, you’ll soon become adept at cutting lobster tails, elevating your culinary repertoire and delighting guests with beautifully prepared lobster dishes.


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