Butter Poached Lobster

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This simple butter poached lobster tail is lightly seasoned and simply cooked, allowing the rich flavor of the lobster to really shine.

Closeup shot of butter poached lobster tail on plate

There are all kinds of fancy ways to serve lobster, but sometimes, you just want to enjoy the delicious flavor of lobster with nothing else getting in the way. That’s what you get with this recipe.

Butter Poached Lobster

I’ve made lobster in a few ways over the years. Frying, grilling, pan-searing – they’re all tasty ways to make it – but my favorite way by far is simply poaching it.

Closeup shot of butter poached lobster tail on plate

Ingredients

You only need a handful of ingredients to make this recipe.

  • lobster tails
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • water
  • butter
  • fresh lemon juice
Overhead shot of raw lobster tails, butter, salt, pepper, and paprika on cutting board

Instructions

Making these lobster tails is so easy. It only takes a few steps, and some of them are simply removing the tail from the shell.

Step 1: Using kitchen shears, cut down the middle of the top of each lobster tail.

Overhead shot of kitchen shears cuting down the back of a lobster tail

Step 2: Pry the shell open carefully.  It is quite sharp.

Step 3: With your thumbs, work the meat away from the shell on the top and the bottom.  

Closeup shot of hand holding lobster tail with the back of the shell cut open

Step 4: Gently detach the meat completely from the shell, keeping it in one piece.

Closeup shot of lobster tail being pulled out of the shell

Step 5: Season lobster tails with salt, pepper, and paprika. 

Closeup shot of seasoned lobster tails on cutting board

Step 6: Now it is time to prepare your poaching liquid.  Add water to a medium skillet over low/medium heat. (My burner was set between 2 and 3)  Allow it to heat up for about 1 minute.

Step 7: Begin adding butter, one piece at a time.  Whisk until butter is completely melted before adding the next piece. Your goal temperature is right around 175ºF.  Use a kitchen thermometer to monitor your temperature and adjust heat settings accordingly.

Step 8: Continue whisking and adding pieces, one at a time, until all are melted.

Overhead shot of water and butter mixture in pot

Step 9: Place prepared lobster tails in butter poaching liquid. 

Overhead shot of lobster tails in butter poaching liquid

Step 10: Cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until lobster meat turns opaque.  Continue rotating tails until they are thoroughly cooked.

Overhead shot of cooked butter poached lobster tails in pot

Equipment

It takes less than a handful of simple kitchen implements to make these lobster tails.

  • Kitchen shears
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pot

Substitutions

Real Lemon: If you don’t have fresh lemon juice, you can use Real Lemon Juice from the bottle.

Frozen Lobster Tail: You can use frozen lobster tails if you don’t have fresh lobster tails.

Closeup shot of butter poached lobster tails on plate

Options

Looking for ways to change up this butter poached lobster recipe? Here are some suggestions.

Spicy: Add red pepper flakes for a kick of heat.

Low Sodium: If you’re watching your sodium intake, simply omit the salt.

Tips:

  • Be sure not to overcook the lobster. Remove it as soon as it’s white and no longer opaque.
  • Make sure to slide the kitchen shears under the shell and don’t press down into the flesh.
  • Be gentle when removing the lobster from the shell to avoid tearing it.
Closeup shot of butter poached lobster tail with bite taken out on plate

More Seafood Recipes

FAQ

How long is cooked lobster good?

It will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

How do you reheat lobster?

Place a couple of pats of butter on the lobster tails and wrap them in foil. Then, bake them at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.

How do you know when lobster is done?

Lobster is perfectly done when the flesh has just turned white all the way through. Remove it from the heat immediately.

Closeup shot of butter poached lobster tails on plate

Butter Poached Lobster

Ready to cook this butter poached lobster? Then print the recipe card below.

Yield: 3 servings

Butter Poached Lobster

Butter Poached Lobster

This butter poached lobster tail is lightly seasoning and simply poached for a delicious, light flavor and perfect texture.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh lobster tails
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 cups butter (cut into 2 tbsp pieces)
  • fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Using a kitchen shears, cut down the middle of the top of each lobster tail.
  2. Pry the shell open carefully.  It is quite sharp.
  3. With your thumbs, work the meat away from the shell on the top and the bottom.  
  4. Gently detach the meat completely from the shell, keeping it in one piece.
  5. Season lobster tails with salt, pepper, and paprika. 
  6. Now it is time to prepare your poaching liquid.  Add water to a medium skillet over low/medium heat. (My burner was set between 2 and 3)  Allow it to heat up for about 1 minute.
  7. Begin adding butter, one piece at a time.  Whisk until butter is completely melted before adding the next piece. Your goal temperature is right around 175ºF.  Use a kitchen thermometer to monitor your temperature and adjust heat settings accordingly.
  8. Continue whisking and adding pieces, one at a time, until all are melted.
  9. Place prepared lobster tails in butter poaching liquid.  
  10. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until lobster meat turns opaque.  Continue rotating tails until they are thoroughly cooked.
  11. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over top and serve.

Nutrition Information

Yield

3

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 1227Total Fat 125gSaturated Fat 78gTrans Fat 5gUnsaturated Fat 37gCholesterol 402mgSodium 1942mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 24g

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