How to butterfly a lobster tail

Have you ever wondered how to butterfly a lobster tail? It’s actually a very simple process, and it makes for a much more elegant presentation. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to do it. So read on and learn how to impress your dinner guests with this delectable dish!

How to Butterfly a Lobster Tail for Grilling:

-In order to be able to butterfly a lobster tail, you’ll first need to separate the two tails from the main body of the lobster. Using kitchen shears or a very sharp knife, cut through the center of the shell on top of each tail and then cut all the way down one side. Then turn the scissors around and press them against the underside, right near where you just cut. There is a small line going down this area – go along it with your scissor point and watch out for shells as they can be sharp!  Cut all the way through this part well, separating it from main body of the lobster.

-Next, place the tail meat side down on your cutting board and press it flat with your fingers. Grip the tip of the tail with one hand and hold it in place while you cut off about 1/2 inch from that end to make it flat. You’ll need this flat surface later for grilling or broiling.

-With your scissors still in hand, turn each piece over so that its cupped side faces up. Cut through the soft underbelly part of the shell right where it meets the hard upper shell – you are trying to make this cut go all the way through both shells connected there, without harming any meat inside along this line! It can be a little difficult because sometimes veins of fat will run through this area, and those can be a bit thick. Just do your best.

-Now you have the lobster meat separated from its shell! Sort of 🙂 Just kidding – now use a small knife to split open the tops of both tails along their innermost “seam”. Be very careful not to cut all the way through or rip any meat while doing this.

-You may find it helpful here to put one hand inside each tail and grip the two sides of flesh together near where they meet inside. This will hold them in place and help prevent tearing, though you’ll still need to take care with that small knife as it is easy for things to go awry here.

-Once you’ve split the tops of each lobster tail open, just gently pull them apart and they should fan out into one large piece of meat. Now it’s time to butterfly! Place a slice of bacon over top of the lobster meat, then put a large pinch or two of herbs on top of that. Close the tails back up by laying them flat side down moreover – you’re going for a sandwich effect here with your bacon and herb layer in the middle.

-Now comes the fun part! Get an implement which is straight and narrow but not sharp at all – we used a wooden skewer here. If you a metal skewer, try to find one that is not sharp at the end; if it does have a point, make sure to blunt it with something soft before using.

-Using your skewer (or other implement), slide down along one of the “seams” inside each tail. You will cut through both shells and then all the way through the meat of the lobster, separating that large piece in half – do this all-in-one stroke! Scissors can also work here but I found them difficult for such long cuts…

-We like to start from where we made my initial cut on top of each tail and slice down towards the tip. Keep your strokes very light and even so you don’t tear any flesh either outside or inside. Don’t push too hard or wiggle the skewer while you’re making your cut, just let it glide slowly through until it reaches the end.

-Once you have a whole “butterflied” lobster tail section in front of you, remove and discard its top shell. You can add this to any other lobster shells or crab shells you may be using for stock down the road! Be sure to save all your scraps from cooking too – everything can be used at some point…

-Now simply continue butterflying each piece until they are all done!  Lay them out on a foil-covered baking sheet with edges for easy cleanup, then place them into your freezer for at least 30 minutes to an hour before grilling. This is to help solidify their shape in preparation for grilling.

-Also in the meantime, you can mix your olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small. This will be brushed on later to give the lobsters some nice flavor before they get grilled!

-When your lobster tails are fully frozen, unwrap them carefully – sometimes you’ll get one that unfreezes faster than others; still, it should hold its shape well at this point. Now brush all over with that olive oil / balsamic mixture, then season liberally with salt and pepper both inside and out. You can also add any other seasonings you like at this stage – dried herbs or grated cheese would also be good!


-Grilling your lobster tails after they’ve been frozen helps achieve that nice, charred effect on the outside without overdoing them. If you try to grill fresh lobster tails, they will probably cook much faster than you want and turn rubbery / chewy. The same thing goes if you choose to bake them instead of grilling – so if you do this, just be sure to keep a close eye on them!

-Grilled butterflied lobster tails are not only delicious but also easy to prepare. They can even be served as an appetizer at parties or other gatherings, perhaps with some garlic mayonnaise for dipping… Yum!!

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