How to Cook Lobster in the Oven & the Degrees

With some foods, taste and a healthy diet are competing goals. When your meal includes lobster, however, you get both. Replace liquid butter with a squirt of lemon juice and lobster becomes a meal with less fat than beef, pork or chicken. Factor in lobster's omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, a number of B vitamins and the minerals potassium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, iron and magnesium, and both taste and health benefits are yours. Oven baking is an easy preparation method both for frozen tails and for a parboiled, whole lobster.

Lobster on a plate with lemon wedges.
Credit: ahmettozar/iStock/Getty Images

Bake Frozen Tails

Step 1

Fill a large bowl with cold water and add one frozen lobster tail for each person you plan to serve.

Step 2

Set the bowl in your refrigerator and let the lobster tails thaw in the water for eight to 10 hours.

Step 3

Cut the hard shell open down its center with a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, starting at the top center of the shell, stopping when you come to the tail fan.

Step 4

Loosen the meat from the shell by running a butter knife or your finger between the shell and the meat. Pull the meat through the slit you cut and set it on top of the shell.

Step 5

Arrange the lobster tails on a baking pan and baste each tail with 1 tsp. oil or margarine to prevent the meat from drying as it bakes.

Step 6

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the tails for about 15 minutes, checking the temperature of the meat with a food thermometer after 10 minutes of cooking. Avoid overcooking by closely monitoring the meat's temperature after this time. Remove the tails from your oven as soon as the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7

Transfer the lobster to a serving platter with tongs and serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Bake a Whole, Live Lobster

Step 1

Fill a large pot three-fourths full with water and bring it to a boil on your stove top over high heat.

Step 2

Set the lobster into the pot, head first, and boil the lobster for about three minutes.

Step 3

Transfer the partially cooked lobster to a bowl of ice water with tongs and let it cool for five to 10 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer the lobster to a cutting board with tongs.

Step 5

Cut the lobster shell lengthwise in half with a sharp kitchen scissors. Start by inserting the tip of your scissors just under the head and cutting down to the end of the tail. Pull the shell away from the body and pull out the "innards," leaving the meat intact. Score the claws and knuckles by running the tip of a sharp kitchen knife along each claw and knuckle, cutting about ¼ inch deep. Pull the claw and knuckle apart to expose the meat.

Step 6

Set the lobster on a baking sheet, meat side up and brush with 1 tbsp. olive oil or margarine.

Step 7

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the lobster for about 15 minutes. Remove the tails from your oven as soon as the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things You'll Need

  • Mixing bowl, large

  • Cutting board

  • Kitchen scissors

  • Baking sheet

  • Basting brush

  • Olive oil or low-fat margarine

  • Food thermometer

  • Tongs

  • Serving platter

  • Lemon wedges

  • Stockpot

  • Mixing bowl, large

  • Ice cubes

  • Kitchen knife

Tip

When you purchase lobster, look for cold-water types, such as Maine lobster, rather than warm-water lobster. The cost may be higher but the meat is sweet, white and tender. You can tell the difference between the two types by looking for the telltale yellow spots on the shell and a yellow band on the tail of warm-water lobster.

If time is a factor, frozen lobster tails can be moved straight from your freezer to your oven and baked for a longer time. Longer cooking times increase the chance you will overcook the meat, however, and overcooking affects both the taste and texture of the meat.

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