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Air Fryer Lobster Tails

Air Fried Lobster tails are so easy to make! This butterfly method is full proof and easier than broiling or even grilling! These are ready in less than 10 minutes and drizzled in a lemon garlic butter sauce.

cooked lobster tails in an air fryer

What Type of Lobster to Use

When purchasing lobster, always look for cold water lobster. It usually comes from the East Coast or Canada. Maine lobster tails are a big deal because the water is so cold there.

Coldwater lobsters are larger than warm water lobsters and have more meat. Because they live in cold temperatures their meat gets a lot firmer than those from warm water, which will produce tender meat when properly cooked. Warm water lobster is often mushy with a fishy taste, and sometimes has an ammonia smell.

While shopping, if the display isn’t clear, you should always ask if it’s from warm or cold water. If they don’t know, I would assume the worst and try elsewhere. Cold water is more expensive. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for and quality comes at a price.

Lobsters are always dark in color when you buy them. They turn bright orange and red once cooked.

I also look for wild-caught, which can sometimes be harder to find outside of specialty stores like Sprouts or even Whole Foods (which is why I order my lobster from Butcher Box).

raw lobster tails on a cutting board

How to Thaw From Frozen

Thaw the lobsters in the fridge overnight. You can also place them in cold water for 30 minutes.

Garlic Butter Sauce

To season the lobster tails I like to use melted butter, minced garlic, parsley, fresh lemon, and Old Bay Seasoning. You can use whatever you like.

butter, garlic, parsley, lemon, and Old Bay Seasoning in separate bowls
lemon garlic butter sauce in a white bowl

How to Butterfly Lobster Tails

My favorite way to serve lobster is to butterfly it. If you’ve never done it, it may take some practice. Butterflying allows heat from the grill, oven, or air fryer to penetrate every piece of the tail’s meat. It allows the lobster tail to cook evenly, so you don’t overcook it. It also looks beautiful.

Pat the lobster tail dry. With kitchen shears, starting at the open end of the tail, cut a lengthwise slit through the center, top of the shell, stopping just before the fin of the tail. You’ll also cut into the meat, which will butterfly it and cause it to sit better on the shell.

Flip the tail over and then press down onto the ribs. Crack each one. This will work wonders at make it easier to pull the meat out on the other side.

Slip your fingers under the meat and the shell and lift it out to prop over the shell.

person slicing through lobster tail
person pressing down on lobster tail
butterflied lobster tails on a wooden cutting board

How to Cook Lobster Tails in Air Fryer

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Butterfly the lobster tails.
  2. Drizzle the tails in garlic butter sauce.
  3. Air fry.
uncooked lobster tails in an air fryer

Air Fryer Temperature

I like to use 370 degrees.

How Long to Cook

Cook for 5 -8 minutes. Every air fryer cooks at varying speeds. Cook time will also vary depending on the size of the lobster you use. 

cooked lobster tails in an air fryer

How to Tell When the Lobster is Done

The most precise way to know when the lobster is done cooking is to insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the tail. When the internal temperature reaches between 135 to 140ºF the lobster is done.

The tail should be completely white with no grey translucent color. If you overcook the lobster it will be rubbery and tough.

How to Reheat

I don’t recommend reheating the tails. Cook what you know you will be able to eat. If you have to reheat, you can do so in the air fryer on 350 degrees until warm. The more you reheat it, the tougher the texture will become.

air fryer lobster tails on a white plate

Pair With These Recipes

Air Fryer Steak
Mashed Ranch Potatoes

Southern Creamed Corn
Roasted Ranch Potatoes
Air Fryer Green Beans
Southern Collard Greens

Grilled Asparagus in Foil

More Seafood Recipes

Air Fryer Crab Legs
Smoked Lobster Tail
Air Fryer Fish Sandwich
Air Fryer Fish Sticks
Air Fryer Catfish
Air Fryer Salmon

Air Fryer Crab Cakes
Air Fryer Scallops
Creamy Lobster Bisque Soup

air fryer lobster tails on a white plate being drizzled with butter
cooked lobster tails in an air fryer
Print Pin
5 from 9 votes

Air Fryer Lobster Tails

Air Fried Lobster tails are so easy to make! This method is full proof and easier than broiling or even grilling! These are ready in less than 10 minutes and drizzled in a lemon garlic butter sauce.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword air fried lobster tails, air fry lobster tails, air fryer lobster, air fryer lobster tails
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 2 lobster tails
Calories 182kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lobster tails About 5-7 ounces each.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter See notes.
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves Minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning Feel free to use your favorite seafood seasoning.

Instructions

  • Pat the lobster dry and use kitchen shears to butterfly the lobster tails. Take the shears and slice through the top shell down the middle until you reach the base of the tail (fin). You’ll also cut into the meat, which will butterfly it and cause it to sit better on the shell.
    Then flip the lobster tail over and press down on the ribs until you hear them crack. This will help release the meat when you go to butterfly it.
    Turn the lobster tail over and open up the shell. Remove the vein from the lobster if it hasn't been deveined.
    Press along the edges of the shell on both sides to loosen up the meat. Keep the meat attached to the shell. Lift up the meat from the shell and lay it over the shell.
  • Combine the butter, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and Old Bay Seasoning. Brush it over the tails. I like to use half of the butter sauce for when the lobsters go in the air fryer and then I drizzle the remaining sauce over the lobster tails once they have finished cooking.
  • Air fry for 5-8 minutes on 370 degrees. The best way to tell if the lobster is perfectly cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Test the deepest part of the meat and ensure it reads 145 degrees. The tail should be completely white with no grey translucent color.

Video

Notes

  • Feel free to double the recipe and ingredients. Cook the amount that will fit in your air fryer. Do not stack.
  • The amount of butter used in this recipe assumes more dipping of butter once the lobster is cooked. Feel free to reduce the ingredients in half or by whatever suits your taste.
  • Every air fryer cooks at varying speeds. Cook time will also vary depending on the size of the lobster you use. You will need to watch it and check on it as it cooks, to avoid overcooking it. If you overcook the lobster it will be rubbery and tough.
  • If you’ve never butterflied lobster, it may take some practice. You may not get it right the first or second time.
  • Butterflying allows heat from the grill, oven, or air fryer to penetrate every piece of the tail’s meat. It allows the lobster tail to cook evenly, so you don’t overcook it. 
  • You can cook whatever size lobster will fit in your air fryer. Be cautious of cook time.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1lobster tail | Calories: 182kcal | Fat: 8g | Protein: 32g | Carbohydrates: 1g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Kelly Murphy

Thursday 17th of February 2022

Delicious and so easy to make! Turned out to be the perfect Valentines Day meal. Will definitely make again!

staysnatched

Sunday 27th of February 2022

Perfect for Valentine's Day!

Carmen

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

The recipe is so easy to follow and the lobster is delicious!! I will be making this again.

staysnatched

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

So glad to hear you will be making them again!

Rochelle B

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

This is the first time that I have cooked lobster. I was nervous about butterflying the lobster. I watched your cider and it was so easy from beginning to end. This lobster was so tender and flavorful. My husband couldn’t stop talking about how good the lobster is. I will definitely make this recipe

staysnatched

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

Wonderful! I love to hear it.

Lucy

Saturday 12th of February 2022

Perfect recipe for a special occasion. I never would have guessed you can cook lobster in an air fryer! The instructions for butterflying the lobster were so easy to follow, and the butter sauce was mouth watering. Will definitely make again!

staysnatched

Monday 14th of February 2022

I'm glad the instructions were easy to follow.

Dara

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

First time ever attempting to make lobster tails at home and this did not disappoint. The instructions were easy to follow and my lobster tails were delicious. This recipe convinced me to keep making lobster tails at home. Thanks Brandi.

staysnatched

Saturday 20th of November 2021

You're welcome! I'm so glad to hear it.