How to Cut a Lobster Tail

If you’re planning on serving lobster tails, it’s important to know how to cut them. The right cut will help them cook evenly and taste delicious when you serve them.

The easiest and safest way to do this is with a pair of kitchen shears. However, you can also use a knife if desired.

How to Cut a Lobster Tail

Whether you’re adding lobster to your surf and turf dinner or serving it on the shell as an appetizer, learning how to cut lobster tails is a vital step in making them both delicious and appealing. A quality pair of kitchen shears makes the process easy and safe, while a sharp knife risks tearing the meat and leaving little shards of shell behind.

First, make sure that your lobster tails are thawed before beginning the cutting and cleaning steps. You may want to pat them dry with paper towels if they’re slimy or have an unpleasant smell.

Next, remove any veins that might be on the shell. This will allow the meat to sit better on the shell, so it’s more enjoyable to eat.

Using kitchen shears, cut the lobster tail down its length from the thickest part of the shell to the ending fins. Afterward, gently ease the halves of the tail apart to expose the meat.


Butterflying a lobster tail is a simple yet tasty way to cook your seafood. It’s the method used in many recipes, and it helps the meat cook evenly and quickly.

Butterflied lobster tails can be grilled, broiled or baked to perfection. You can also add them to your pasta dishes for extra flavor.

First, make sure the lobster is thawed out. This can be done by placing it in a refrigerator overnight or quick thawing it by submerging it in cold water for 30-60 minutes, depending on its size and thickness.

Once the lobster is thawed, you can butterfly it using sharp kitchen shears or a knife. You should cut right down the middle of the shell, but not through it.

Then, flip the tail over and use your fingers to gently release the meat from the shell. Be careful not to tear the lobster’s flesh away entirely from the shell, and remember to remove any veins that might be present in the center of the meat.


When you want to serve lobster tails for a special occasion, splitting them will make sure everyone gets their share. Splitting is also the fastest and easiest way to prepare these crustaceans for cooking.

In this method, the lobster tail is cut lengthwise through the under-shell from the big end to the fan-tail. The meat will separate in two halves, each resting in a split shell.

This method is great for a more elegant presentation and can be used to prepare grilled lobsters or other roasted shellfish for a surf and turf dinner.

In this method, the lobster tail is cut through the under-shell, leaving the fan-tail in place. The lobster meat will divide into two halves, each resting in slender, flexible membrane shells that are less stiff and thick than the domed hard back-shell.


There are a variety of ways to cook lobster tails. Some are simple like boiling them or sauteing. Others involve more work, like grilling or baking them.

Boiling is probably the most common method, but there are other options. Par-boiling or blanching them before cooking gives them a different texture, and you can then finish off in the oven, on the grill or on the stovetop.

Broiling slightly browns the tails, adding a new depth of flavor. However, they can go from yum to rubbery, tough and dry quickly if you overcook them.

Butterflying is a more elegant way to prepare lobster tails and allows them to cook evenly. It also makes them easier to eat.

Butterflying is great for a quick meal as you don’t have to spend time seasoning them. You can also add a little lemon juice, garlic or paprika for extra flavor. A garnish of parsley and a lemon wedge is a lovely addition to the dish.

Ken Onion

Ken Onion is an innovative knifemaker whose work has revolutionized the industry. Born in 1963, he hails from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and invented the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for Kershaw Knives - earning him a position as Premier Knife Designer with them.

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