Steaming Lobster Tails


How to Steam Lobster Tails at Home

Steaming lobster tails is another a great option when deciding the best cooking option for you and your family. This cooking method is faster than boiling and is arguably the most traditional way. Since you are actually cooking at a higher temperature, it’s even more critical not to overcook your tails.

PRO TIP – Keep your tails from curling in the lobster pot so the tails will lie flat on a plate when they are done; use a metal or wooden skewer so the lobster tail stays straight while cooking!


1. Choose a pot large enough to hold your lobster tails with a tight-fitting lid that is large enough to fit the lobster tails with enough room for the steam to circulate around them.

2. Place a steamer basket or an upturned colander in the pot so lobster tails are not submerged in the water.


3. Pour in cold water to a depth of about 2 inches.


4. Cover your pot and bring water to a boil.


5. Once the water is boiling, quickly add the lobster tails to the pot and cover.


6. Steam the lobster tails using the lobster tails steaming times below.


7. Once you have reached your approximate cooking time, remove the pot from heat and check one of the tails. The tails should be completely cooked in the center of the meat.


8. Remove your lobster tails from the cooking pot using tongs or gloves so that your tails to not overcook.

Lobster Tails Steaming Instructions  

9. Serve with drawn butter and enjoy!

How Long To Steam Lobster Tails

3 to 6 oz.
6 to 7 oz.
8 to 10 oz.
10 to 16 oz.
16 to 20 oz.
20 to 28 oz.
4-6 minutes
6-8 minutes
8-10 minutes
9-11 minutes
10-12 minutes
10-13 minutes

Best Way to Serve Steamed Lobster Tails

There are many, many ways to dress steamed lobster tails to your liking! Serving lobster tails with melted butter is probably the most recognized and traditional way to do it, but there are some good ways to mix things up a bit, too.

One way you can do this is by jazzing the clarified butter up a bit with a few more ingredients. A popular way to add a quick spin on melted butter is by adding fresh, minced garlic to make garlic butter. If you’re shying away from garlic, you can make lemon butter instead by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of chopped parsley.

You can substitute a variety of spices for butter, too, if you’re looking for a healthier way to serve steamed lobster tail. Salt and pepper is an undeniable duo for good reason and makes an excellent topper on your lobster. Using fresh sea salt is a great way to bring out the tender, natural flavor of the lobster. And if you want to spice the black pepper up (more than it already is), try toasting whole peppercorns and pulverizing them for smokier touch.

If you’re looking to add even more spice, Old Bay and other blackened/cajun seasonings will offer a nice punch. Just be careful of the additional salt these seasonings contain.

Getting Fancy With the Steaming Process

Using salt water isn’t the only liquid you can use to steam lobster. As a matter of fact, using beer — usually a light beer — is becoming a more popular way to add flavor in the steaming process. Simply boil a 12-ounce can of beer below your lobster tails.

We still recommend using salt water as a way to replicate ocean water, but if you want to try something different, give it a shot! You may be pleasantly surprised by the result.