How to Split a Lobster Tail for Grilling

How to Split a Lobster Tail for Grilling

In seafood cooking, lobster is a prized entity, and preparing a lobster tail can be a delightful grilling experience. However, knowing how to split a lobster tail for grilling is an essential part of this culinary journey. 

In this guide, we’ll focus on explaining each step of the lobster tail splitting, offering clear and concise guidance. We’ll also offer a glimpse into lobster grilling and discuss the benefits of splitting a lobster tail.

How to Split a Lobster Tail for Grilling

To split a lobster tail in half, we usually use a sharp knife and some kitchen shears. To ensure good stability within the cutting process, placing a baking sheet over a cutting board is a good idea. 

Below, KnowSeafood offer a step-by-step explanation of how to cut a lobster tail in half: 

  1. We begin by placing the lobster on a cutting board with the top side up. 
  2. Then, using a pair of scissors, we cut through the top of the shell. 
  3. To obtain optimal results when cooking lobster tails, we like to approach this process cautiously. 
  4. We recommend gently inserting a finger into the lobster’s shell to make room for the scissors. 
  5. The scissors should be placed in the middle of the lobster shell, and once we obtain this position, we cut through the center of its body up to the middle of its tail. 
  6. We then flip over the lobster and cut the bottom of its tail. 
  7. Next, we separate the lobster’s feet. This is essential as lobster feet burn when exposed to heat. 
  8. Finally, to expose the lobster’s meat, we cut through the center of the bottom of the lobster’s tail shell. 
  9. To cut the tail meat in half, we use a sharp knife. 
  10. Before moving on to cooking the lobster, we recommend giving the lobster tail a good rinse. This helps remove leftover shards of shell. 
How to Split a Lobster Tail for Grilling
Source: Photo Contributor: CTHB

Split Lobster Tail Recipe

While the classic cooked lobster is always a great choice, grilled lobster tail halves offer a unique and delicious flavor experience. The ingredients needed for this lobster tail halves recipe include: 

  • 3 tbsp of finely chopped cilantro
  • ½ stick chipotle butter
  • 8 lobster tail halves 

The grilling process for our split lobster tail recipe goes as follows: 

  1. The type of setting that needs to be arranged depends on the grill in question. 
  2. When using a gas grill, one burner is set on max while the other is on medium. While the standard coal grill is set on two-zone cooking with the coals being arranged in two ways. 
  3. In the high-heat area, the coals should be piled up close to a peak, while in the medium zone, the coals should be spread more sparingly.
  4. We first prepare the chipotle butter as we need it in the final part of the recipe. The goal is to melt the butter and have it warm at our disposal. 
  5. To achieve this, we put it in a pan and place it inside the grill. Remember, it shouldn’t be exposed to a direct heat source as this will likely burn the butter
  6. Before we begin, we need to tend to the lobster tails. We rinse them with cold water and pat them dry using a towel. 
  7. To prepare the tail halves, simply give them a quick spray of olive oil on the inside. Doing this enhances the flavor and prevents them from sticking and drying out.
  8. Then we place them on the grill with their meat side facing down and leave them to cook for five minutes. 
  9. We flip the tails and transfer them to the medium-heat side of the grill. 
  10. After brushing the lobster tails with the melted chipotle butter we made earlier, we can sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top for an extra burst of flavor. 
  11. Making use of the melted butter again, we leave the lobster tails to pouch in it for a maximum of five minutes. 
  12. We remove the lobster halves from the butter and serve them on a plate. 
Split Lobster Tail Recipe
Source: Photo Contributor: Nadiia Korol

How long to grill split lobster tails

Many might be surprised to find that lobster tails grill very quickly. As explained in the lobster grilling recipe above, this is a simple procedure and is ultimately easier than preparing steak. Those who follow through with this recipe should expect to spend around 10 minutes on the grill. Since the lobster tail prep time is also around 10 minutes, the total complete lobster prep time totals 20 minutes. 

How to Split a Lobster Tail for Grilling in Foil

The lobster tail-cutting procedure for the grilling foil recipe remains the same for the most part, with only an added step at the end. For the lobster tails to be suitable for foil wrapping, a lengthwise incision is made on the top of the lobster tails shell. This is done to expose the meat and allow the seasoning mixture to marinate better. 

Why Do We Split Lobster Tails?

While most will think that one of our main reasons is the easy, time-efficient recipe of lobster halves, that is only partly true. The allure of split lobster tails is not just in its simplicity. Here are some of the reasons why splitting a lobster tail in half makes a good idea: 


When splitting lobsters, we usually use a different method depending on their size. However, the technique we described for splitting a lobster’s tail in half works well for all sizes. 

On the other hand, the butterfly technique doesn’t work as effectively, especially with larger lobsters. When attempting to butterfly a large lobster, the meat often tears when removed from the shell, which isn’t ideal as we want to preserve the meat intact.

Portion control 

While this advantage might be obvious, it readily gets overlooked. Lobster is a luxury meat and should be treated as such. Cutting tails in half and presenting them as such makes the lobster easier to portion. 

Portion control
Source: Photo Contributor: Olga Lyubkin


Learning how to split a lobster tail for grilling is a valuable skill that can transform your seafood cooking experience. No matter the chosen recipe, maintaining the integrity of the meat is crucial, and this can be achieved by using the right lobster-splitting technique.

Following the instructions offered in our step-by-step guide will help ensure the lobster tail is properly cut and grilled with perfection. So, get ready to impress with your newfound lobster grilling expertise.