The sweet, briny, tender flesh of lobster is a luscious treat for a special occasion or celebration dinner. Most of the meat is in the tail and claws, while some tender little bits hide in the legs. Whole lobsters for sale are often precooked, then frozen, and require only defrosting or reheating. This means no struggling with getting the live lobster into the pot or guessing how long to cook it. Frozen lobster tails are sold raw.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Take the lobster out of the netting or packaging and deposit it into the boiling water.
Heat the lobster for five to 10 minutes after the water returns to a boil, just long enough to reheat the already-cooked lobster.
Use kitchen shears to cut the tail -- which is the thickest part -- and feel the tail to see that the lobster meat is hot. If it's not, return it to the pot for a few more minutes.
Steamed Lobster Tails
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tie the lobster tail to a chopstick or skewer to keep it from curling up as it cooks. Put a cake rack in a baking dish and place the lobsters on top of the cake rack. Fill the bottom of the baking dish with hot water; the liquid should not reach the lobsters. Add citrus slices, black peppercorns and herbs to the water, if you like. Cover the top of the pan loosely with foil.
Steam for 50 percent longer than for defrosted lobsters. For example, if a 5- to 6-ounce lobster tail would normally steam in 10 to 12 minutes, steam the frozen lobster for 15 to 18 minutes. You may also steam lobsters tails over low heat on top of the stove.
Grilled Lobster Tails
Poke a metal skewer through the lobster tails so they are threaded lengthwise. If the tails are large -- more than 6 ounces -- cut each tail in half lengthwise and thread each half on a skewer. Use a serrated knife to cut through the frozen lobster tail.
Brush butter, olive oil or vegetable oil on the exposed meat.
Grill flesh side down for 8 to 10 minutes. You don't have to turn them over. The meat should be opaque when ready.
Check for doneness with an instant-read meat thermometer. Lobster meat should read 145 F.
Over-cooked lobster is stringy and loses its sweetness.
A red shell doesn't mean the lobster meat is cooked through.