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Butter Poached Lobster Tails



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This Butter Poached Lobster Tails recipe offers a delectable combination of simplicity and sophistication. Imagine tender lobster meat, gently bathed in warm, melted buttery goodness.

By combining the delicate sweetness of lobster with the rich, creamy texture of butter, each succulent bite will leave you craving more. One of the coolest things about Butter Poached Lobster Tails, is how versatile they are. You can enjoy them in various ways, depending on your mood or occasion.

A stainless steel pan of six butter poached lobster tails.

What Does it Mean to Poach Lobster Tails in Butter

Poaching lobster tails in butter involves gently cooking the lobster meat in a bath of melted butter over low heat. This cooking method ensures that the lobster tails remain tender and flavorful while absorbing the rich, buttery goodness.

By poaching the lobster tails in butter, you infuse them with a luxurious flavor and create a dish that is indulgent and decadent. The low heat allows the lobster meat to cook slowly and evenly, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is truly irresistible.

Why You Should Make this Buttery Lobster Tail Recipe

  1. Luxurious Indulgence: Treat yourself and your loved ones to a taste of luxury, without the need for a fancy restaurant reservation. This lobster dish elevates any meal into a gourmet experience. It’s a perfect recipe to celebrate a special occasion, or to simply indulge in something decadent.
  2. Minimal Effort, Maximum Flavor: Despite its gourmet appeal, this lobster tail recipe is surprisingly easy to make.
  3. Versatile Options: Once you’ve mastered the art of butter-poached lobster tails, you can enjoy the lobster tails on their own as a luxurious main course, or get creative by incorporating them into other dishes like pasta, salads or sandwiches. The possibilities are endless.

How to Remove the Lobster Meat from the Shells

  1. Prepare the Lobster Tails: Make sure the lobster tails are properly thawed.
  2. Secure the Tail: Hold the lobster tail firmly with one hand on the cutting board. If needed, use a kitchen towel to get a better grip and prevent slipping.
  3. Locate the Incision: Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, carefully cut along the top of the shell lengthwise, to the tip of the tail. Make sure to cut through the shell, but not into the meat.
  4. Flip: Flip over. Using cut along the bottom shell to the tail, making sure not to cut into the meat.
  5. Open the Shell: Gently spread the shell halves apart, exposing the lobster meat.
  6. Remove the Meat: With your fingers or a utensil, carefully lift the lobster meat out of the shell. Be gentle to avoid tearing the meat.
  7. Detach the Meat: If the meat is still attached at the base of the tail, gently detach it by sliding your fingers or a utensil underneath.
  8. Inspect for Veins: Check the lobster meat for any visible veins or debris. If present, use a small knife or kitchen shears to remove them.
  9. Rinse: Rinse the lobster meat under cold water to remove any remaining shell particles or debris. Pat dry with paper towels, before proceeding with your desired recipe.

How to Butter Poach Lobster Tails

  1. Prepare the Butter Mixture: In a deep saucepan, combine water with salted butter. Place the saucepan over low heat and gently melt the butter, ensuring it doesn’t boil.
  2. Add the Lobster Tails: Once the butter has melted and the mixture is simmering very lightly, carefully add the lobster tails to the saucepan.
  3. Poach the Lobster Tails: Allow the lobster tails to poach gently on one side until they turn opaque, which usually takes about 3-4 minutes. Avoid boiling the butter, as it can cause the lobster meat to become tough.
  4. Flip and Baste: Using kitchen tongs, carefully flip the lobster tails over to the other side. Spoon the melted butter mixture over the top of the tails to ensure they are evenly coated.
  5. Continue Poaching: Let the lobster tails continue to poach on the second side until they are fully cooked and opaque throughout, which typically takes another minute, or two. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a very low simmer.
  6. Check for Doneness: To ensure the lobster tails are cooked through, you can insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. It should register 140°F (60°C) when fully cooked. Remove immediately.

How to Serve and Store Butter Poached Lobster Tails

These Butter Poached Lobster Tails can be enjoyed alone, or use them in various dishes, depending on your mood or occasion. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Surf and Turf: Pair your butter-poached lobster tails with a juicy steak or tender chicken breast for a classic surf and turf combo. The rich, buttery flavor of the lobster compliments the savory meat perfectly, creating a truly indulgent meal.
  2. Seafood Pasta: Toss the butter-poached lobster meat with al dente pasta, garlic, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs for a delicious seafood pasta dish.
  3. Lobster Rolls: Transform your leftover butter-poached lobster meat into mouthwatering Lobster Rolls.
  4. Salads: Add a touch of elegance to your salads by topping them with butter-poached lobster meat.
  5. Butter Sauce: Don’t let any of that delicious butter mixture go to waste! Use it as a decadent sauce for other seafood dishes like pan-seared scallops or grilled shrimp.

To Store:

  • Simply refrigerate any unused lobster meat in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • To reheat, gently warm the lobster meat in a skillet over low heat, being careful not to overcook.

More Lobster Recipes to Love

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Six lobster tails gently poaching in a butter bath in a stainless steel pan.

Butter Poached Lobster Tails


This Butter Poached Lobster Tails recipe offers a delectable combination of simplicity and sophistication. Imagine tender lobster meat, gently bathed in warm, melted buttery goodness.


  • 4 to 6, 7 to 8-ounce lobster tails
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 16 pats of salted butter (approximately 1 1/2 sticks)


  1. Begin by carefully removing the lobster meat from the shells (see post for the how to), ensuring to discard the veins and giving them a gentle rinse under cold water.
  2. In a deep saucepan, combine the water and salted butter. Heat over low heat, allowing the butter to melt gently, without reaching a boil.
  3. Once the butter is melted and the mixture is simmering very, very lightly, add the lobster tails to the saucepan.
  4. Allow the lobster tails to poach gently on one side until they turn opaque, about three minutes.
  5. Carefully, flip them over using kitchen tongs.
  6. Spoon the melted butter mixture over the top of the lobster tails, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  7. Continue to poach the lobster tails until they are fully cooked and opaque throughout, another minute, or two. 
  8. Once cooked, remove the lobster tails from the buttery bath.
  9. Serve immediately alone, or with a seared steak for surf and turf. Use in a pasta dish or chill for a lobster salad. The possibilities are endless!
  10. ENJOY!


  • Make sure the lobster tails are properly thawed before adding to the buttery poaching liquid.
  • See post on how to remove the lobster tail meat from its shell. 
  • Season the butter mixture with herbs, garlic, lemon zest or spices to enhance the flavor of the lobster tails, if desired.
  • Gently melt the butter with the water. Do NOT boil.
  • Add the lobster tails and simmer very gently, ensuring you do not overcook the lobster meat.
  • Keep a close eye on the lobster tails and avoid overcooking, as this can result in rubbery texture. The tails are done when they turn opaque and reach an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C).
  • Larger tails will take longer to poach. Adjust poaching liquid for larger lobster tails. 
  • Enjoy these butter poached lobster tails alone with a garnish of fresh herbs, or use them in pasta, salads or as an accompaniment to steak for a surf and turf dinner. 
  • Transform leftovers into Lobster Rolls
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Melt Butter: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Dinner, Pasta, Lunch, Brunch
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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