Smoked Lobster Tail [Meat Preparation, Temperatures And Recipe]


For something adventurous, try these delicious Smoked Lobster Tails. Cooked low and slow in your smoker and topped with gorgeous garlic butter, this BBQ seafood recipe is one of a kind!

Smoked Lobster Tail Recipe

Barbecue smoking takes meat to a whole new level, and seafood is no different. While the delicate nature of most fish or crustaceans means YOU must approach them differently, the results are just as amazing. Case in point: these delicious smoked lobster tails.

Our lobsters are prepared with just a small slit (more on that below) before being smoked for just 45 minutes. Halfway through, we pour each tail into our garlic butter mixture and let them soak in the lobster meat. Combined with the natural flavors of applewood, it’s an unreal blend of flavors that’s completely different than what you’d get in a restaurant.

Lobster tails on grill grates

The meat prep and cooking process for this recipe is easy and takes just under an hour from start to finish. While Hummer may seem intimidating, this step-by-step tutorial will show you just how easy it really is. Let’s get into that!

Check out our other smoked recipes for more grilled seafood ideas.

  • Smoked Crab Legs. Beautiful king crab legs cooked over oak wood and bathed in a mixture of butter and spices. The perfect seafood barbecue recipe for summer and all year round!
  • Smoked Prawns. This recipe combines fresh shrimp with a buttery sauce, tangy rub and lemon zest for the perfect blend of flavors. Cooked in the BBQ Smoker in just 30 minutes, this is as quick as your delicious fresh shrimp!
  • Smoked catfish. The perfect portion of grilled catfish. Filled and marinated in brine before being slow cooked over smoke and wood and topped with a delicious blend of butter and Cajun spices.
  • Smoked mackerel. Fresh mackerel cooked slowly and slowly over oak wood. Rich in fish flavor and combined with an easy-to-dry sea, it’s just as good as smoked fish.

How to prepare lobster tails for smoking

Lobster tails can be purchased separately so you don’t have to buy them whole and create waste. You can buy them online, but try to get them as fresh as possible, you’ll go to a store for that.

For our preparation we just want to make a slit along the tail to allow our smoke and drizzled butter to penetrate the meat. We still want to keep the next shell and not overexpose the meat, so make sure you do the part.

After you have them in cold water, place them on a cutting board with the tip of the tail facing up. Using kitchen scissors, cut them down the middle of the tail down to the fin. Be careful not to crack or break the shell any further beyond this, and make sure the meat is still stuck to the inside of the fin. Rinse the tails again with cold water to wash off any broken shells.

time and temperature

For this recipe, we cook our lobster at 225°F/107°C until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145°F/62°C. At this point the flesh should have taken on a pearlescent or white and opaque color ( source ). This should take around 45 minutes, but be sure to note the internal temperature. I recommend getting a meat probe thermometer so YOU ​​can accurately measure the temperature of your meat.

The best wood for smoking lobster tails

Since shellfish are often delicate, I recommend using soft fruit wood to smoke lobster. Apple or maple wood should give you the best results as they are unassuming but still sweet enough to add a touch of flavor. Avoid strong woods like hickory or mesquite. Some people recommend cherry, but it can carry a deep red color to meat, which I don’t like in seafood.

Quick tips

Don’t forget these quick tips for the best chance of cooking up the perfect lobster tail in your smoker.

Cut the shell

Cutting a small slit in the back of the lobster shell is the best way to enhance the flavor of the dish. This allows the smoke to surround the lobster meat and allow the butter to penetrate and drizzle over it.

Use skewers

Barbecue skewers are not only suitable for steaks or chicken. Like shrimp, lobster tails often curl up when smoked. To avoid this, use skewers to hold them in place. Insert a skewer into each tail, through the exposed flesh, and pull out the caudal fin at the other end.

Distribute butter

Instead of applying the garlic butter immediately or waiting until the lobster is cooked, baste the lobster tails with the butter while smoking. This ensures the meat is hot enough for the butter to melt while also giving us enough time for the lobster to cook in the juices long enough.

Smoked Lobster Tail

For something adventurous, try these delicious Smoked Lobster Tails. Cooked low and slow in your smoker and topped with gorgeous garlic butter, this BBQ seafood recipe is one of a kind!
Course dinner, main course
American cuisine , BBQ, fish and seafood
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
serving 4


  • Grilled skewers (one per tail)
  • Meat Probe/Thermometer


  • 4 lobster tails

Distribute butter

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 chopped garlic clove _
  • ½ table spoon ground black pepper


  • Begin by preparing the lobster tails. Use kitchen scissors to cut along the top of the shell, down the middle, and down to the tip of the tail.
  • Gently pull apart the shell to expose the meat. Do this carefully to only partially separate it and not break the shell further. Rinse the tails under cold water to remove any visible shells.
  • Fire up your smoker and aim for a cooking temperature of 225°F.
  • While the smoker is heating up, prepare the butter mixture. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter, lemon juice, black pepper, and minced garlic. Once the butter has completely melted, remove from the heat and let cool.
  • Insert a skewer into each tail, starting at the exposed flesh and ending at the tail fin at the other end. This will prevent the tails from curling up while cooking.
  • Place the tails on the smoking racks, cut side up. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the lobster meat reaches 62°C. After 20 minutes, apply the butter to the tails and work it into the meat through the tail opening.
  • Use a meat probe to measure the internal temperature of the tails. When it reaches 145°F, remove from the smoker and serve immediately.
  • (Optional) Finally, sear over high heat for 1-2 minutes to give the tails grill marks.

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