Frozen lobster tails arrive rock-hard, typically
LOBSTER TAILS are best thawed slowly for, say, 18 to 24 hours. Take them out of the freezer the night before cooking starts. Place them in a covered bowl in your refrigerator. Next day, thawed and tender, tail meat will be ready to go.
To thaw them quicker: Wrap them in a baggie and submerge them in a bowl of lukewarm water. Or, set them out on a counter on a rack, allowing room temperature to circulate on all surfaces. Either way, they should be ready in an hour or two. We don’t microwave to thaw.
Six ways to prepare Maine Lobster Tails
Without getting into recipes and more complicated stuff, there are, in fact, six traditional ways to prepare lobster tails before the cooking starts. Each way is listed on the right-hand column of this post. Let us know if you have any questions or recommendations about any of the preparations listed.
Times for cooking Maine lobster tails
with Wet-Heat and Dry-Heat Methods
Wet-heat cooking times are pretty specific. These are standard times at sea level. Higher elevations may requiring more time since the boiling point will be lower. A rule of thumb to follow: undercooked tails taste better than overcooked tails.
Dry-heat cooking times are usually expressed by a range of minutes as the grill, broiler, and oven temperatures are variable. A good rule of thumb is to use your thumb to see if the meat is still spongy. If the meat is not spongy, it is overcooked. It is often said, cook tails with dry heat until the meat is opaque; but opacity is hard to gauge while cooking. Better to press your thumb to the meat.
Skewers help keep tail meat flat
Before cooking, most methods used to prepare lobster tail meat benefit from skewering. Keeping lobster tail meat flat while marinating, basting, and cooking simplifies the process and allows lobster meat to be treated evenly. Either wooden or metal skewers will do. After cooking, when skewers are removed, lobster tail meat tends to lay flat when served, so that is another benefit when serving your guests.
If lobster tails partially thaw en route
Frozen lobster tails are delivered overnight via FedEx. Dry ice, thought to be less healthy for fresh seafood, frozen lobster tails, and seafood handlers as well, is not used. Seafood is shipped with reusable ice packs inside reusable Styrofoam containers inside a stiff cardboard exterior box.
Most often lobster tails arrive rock-hard frozen. But sometimes, mostly in high-summer seasons, if a shipment remains outdoors in the sun for an extended period of time, thawing happens. So what to do? Touch the tails. If warm or room temp, put them in a covered bowl in the refrigerator and cook them within 24 hours. If tails are cool or cold to the touch, either allow thawing to continue in a covered bowl in a refrigerator, or put them in a freezer bag and into a freezer where they can remain for an extended period of time, even up to a month or two.