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Smoked Lobster Tail Recipe

Ever since we moved to our new home a few years ago, we have been throwing a grand barbeque party once every summer. Every year it has mostly been about burgers, except last year when my children dared me to try something new. That is when this smoked lobster tail recipe was born.

smoked lobster tail

My wife was on board as she loves lobsters. Soon enough, we were able to create something out of our imaginations and when we finally tried it at the party, it was an instant hit.

Cooking lobsters, however, can be tricky if you have not done it before. Do not worry, I am here to answer all the common questions before we jump into the recipe.

Our first trial was a success, but only because we had researched beforehand. Here are a few questions we had when we began and it turns out these are common questions for several others. So, let’s get into these.

Could You Smoke a Whole Lobster?

Well, you could, but it could be labor-intensive. It is hard for the smoke heat to penetrate through the shell and reach the meat. If your coal is extremely hot, you might be able to give it a shot. But for beginners, it is advisable to just try to smoke the tail. Or you can try smoking corned beef or a whole chicken.

How Do You Split a Whole Lobster?

To split a lobster, you must start with the head. Hold it down and pierce a sharp knife that cuts through the head. Next, pointing the knife towards the tail, hold it down and split the body into two halves, keeping the head intact with the tail. Your split lobster is ready to cook now.

smoked lobster tail recipe

What Other Seafood Can You Smoke?

Some other good candidates for smoking are fish. Almost all saltwater fish can be smoked, but the most delicious ones include swordfish, tuna, mackerel, mullet, and bluefish. Other than fish, you could also try shrimps, clams, oysters, and scallops. As a rule of thumb, the fattier the seafood, the better it would taste after smoking.

What Else Can You Do with Lobster Other Than Smoke?

A whole lobster is best cooked by boiling. Other than that, you could also bake and broil the lobster for a nicer appearance. Grilling and steaming are excellent options if you want a quick dinner. Lobsters could also be pan-seared or poached.

smoked lobster recipe

What Makes a Good Lobster Tail Recipe?

A deliciously prepared dish is not just about what you do with the raw ingredients in the kitchen. It starts way before the ingredients get to your kitchen. That is right. I am talking about sourcing top-quality ingredients.

With this lobster tail recipe, you first need to ensure you get some of the best quality lobsters out there. So, how do you choose? Well, the basic criterion is to prefer fresh lobsters over frozen ones, as long as you do not live in a place where fresh lobsters are not found.

When buying lobsters from the supermarket, go for the ones that have hard shells. Admittedly, they are harder to cook, but the meat is juicier and sweeter than of those that have softer shells. The best part about this recipe is that you do not need to buy the whole lobster, just the tail is enough.

If frozen lobster tails are all that you have access to, do not worry, you can still make this recipe popular. Just remember to let them thaw slowly. Get them out of the freezer the night before you plan to smoke them and let them sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

As with any other recipe, all the other ingredients must be as fresh as possible. Trust me, your guests will distinctly know the difference if you use dried garlic powder instead of fresh garlic cloves.

And Now, The Recipe!

Are you ready now to smoke your lobster tails? Here we go.

smoked lobster

Smoked Lobster Tail

Smoke lobster tail in 1 hour

Course Main Course
Cook Time 1 hour


  • 4 pieces Lobster Tail Split them at the top of the shell
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 piece Garlic Clove minced
  • 1 stick Butter


  1. Use oak wood while preheating the smoker. The temperature should be around 225 F.

  2. Prepare the seasoning by mixing all the other ingredients in a bowl.

  3. Use half of the seasoning to baste the lobster tails.

  4. Place the lobsters on the smoker rack. Let them smoke for 30 minutes.

  5. Baste the lobsters again with the remaining half of the seasoning. Smoke for another 30 minutes. Check internal temperature and make sure it is at least 140F. Extend cooking time if needed.

  6. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

  • To split the tails properly, hold the tails with the hard shell pointing up and use kitchen shears to split the tails until the last shell segment. Deveining and cleaning after this task provide the best results.
  • As the lobster tails are getting smoked, keep the seasoning hot by microwaving it before you baste again.

That's it! Allow yourself to become popular at your next family dinner or your outdoor summer party with this succulent lobster tail recipe.

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