How to Cut Lobster Tail with a Knife

lobster tail

A Comprehensive Guide:

If you’re a seafood lover, there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed a succulent lobster tail. However, if you’ve never tried to prepare it at home, you might be intimidated by the prospect of cutting through the hard outer shell. Don’t worry, though – with a few simple tips and tricks, cutting lobster tail can be a breeze. In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of how to cut lobster tail with a knife.

What You’ll Need

Before you get started, you’ll need a few tools. Here’s what you’ll need to cut lobster tail with a knife:

  • Lobster tail(s)
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife or kitchen shears
  • Kitchen towel or paper towels
  • Skewers or toothpicks (optional)

Preparing the Lobster Tail

The first step in cutting a lobster tail is to prepare it properly. Start by thawing the lobster tail if it’s frozen. Place it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, or immerse it in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Once the lobster tail is thawed, place it on a cutting board and pat it dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels. If you’re using skewers or toothpicks, insert them into the tail meat to prevent it from curling up during cooking.

Removing the Outer Shell

To remove the outer shell of the lobster tail, you’ll need to make a cut down the center of the back of the shell. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut through the shell from the wide end to the narrow end, being careful not to cut all the way through the meat.

Next, use your hands to gently pry open the shell and loosen the meat from the bottom. Remove the tail fins by cutting through the cartilage at the end of the tail with your kitchen shears or chef’s knife.

Deveining the Lobster Tail

The next step is to devein the lobster tail. Look for a dark line running down the center of the tail meat. This is the digestive tract and it should be removed before cooking.

To devein the lobster tail, use your kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut along both sides of the dark line. Lift the vein out with the tip of your knife or a skewer and discard it.

Cutting the Lobster Tail

Now it’s time to cut the lobster tail into pieces. First, decide how many pieces you want to create. You can cut the tail into two or three pieces depending on the size.

To cut the tail, place it on the cutting board with the cut side facing down. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut through the meat down the center of the tail. Then, cut each half in half again, creating four pieces in total.

Serving and Enjoying

Now that your lobster tail is cut into pieces, it’s ready to be cooked. You can grill, broil, bake, or steam the tail meat, depending on your preference. Be careful not to overcook the meat, as it can become tough and rubbery.

Once your lobster tail is cooked to perfection, serve it with melted butter, lemon wedges, and your

favorite side dishes. Lobster tail makes for a delicious and decadent meal, perfect for special occasions or any time you want to indulge in a seafood feast.

Tips and Tricks for Cutting Lobster Tail

Use a sharp chef’s knife or kitchen shears to make clean cuts and avoid crushing the meat.
Don’t cut all the way through the meat when removing the outer shell – this will make it easier to keep the meat intact while cooking.
Inserting skewers or toothpicks into the meat can help prevent it from curling up while cooking.
If you’re uncomfortable deveining the lobster tail, you can ask your fishmonger to do it for you.
Be sure not to overcook the lobster tail, as it can become tough and chewy.


Is it necessary to devein lobster tail before cooking?
Yes, it’s important to devein the lobster tail before cooking to remove the digestive tract, which can be gritty and unpleasant to eat.

Can I cut lobster tail with kitchen shears instead of a knife?
Yes, kitchen shears can be a great alternative to a knife for cutting lobster tail, especially if you’re uncomfortable using a knife.

Can I cook lobster tail in the microwave? If so, how long does it take?
Yes, you can cook lobster tail in the microwave. Place the tail in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with plastic wrap, leaving one corner open to vent. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes per ounce of meat, or until the meat is opaque and cooked through. Be sure to rotate the dish halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.

Can I freeze lobster tail without wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil?
It’s not recommended to freeze lobster tail without wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, as this can lead to freezer burn and spoil the meat. It’s important to wrap it tightly to prevent air from getting in and causing damage to the meat. Additionally, placing it in an airtight container will help to preserve its freshness and flavor..

What are some good side dishes to serve with lobster tail?
Lobster tail pairs well with a variety of side dishes, including roasted vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad.


Cutting lobster tail with a knife might seem intimidating at first, but with a few simple steps and the right tools, it’s a task that anyone can master. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to prepare delicious and perfectly cut lobster tail every time. Thank you!

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