These Sous Vide Lobster Tails are tender, juicy, and bursting with lemon butter flavor.
Cooking lobster is incredibly simple with the sous vide method, and no searing is required. This no-fail butter-poached lobster recipe yields restaurant-quality seafood at home!
PERFECT SOUS VIDE LOBSTER
This sous vide lobster recipe takes the guesswork out of cooking and will have you cooking like a pro in no time.
It’s far superior to baking, steaming, or any other method, and it ensures perfect lobsters every time! Dip them in melted butter – OMG, it’ll be the best lobster you’ve ever had!
When it comes to impressive gourmet entrées for special occasions like Valentine’s Day and holidays, lobster is one of my top picks.
However, it is very easy to overcook lobsters, which can become chewy and rubbery. Because they are so expensive, cooking them can be quite stressful.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS?
- Slowly cooking lobster tails prevents the meat from becoming chewy or rubbery. As a result, sous vide is the ideal method for preparing lobster!
- This is, in my opinion, the most flavorful way to prepare lobster. The lobster tails are sealed in a bag with butter and herbs, allowing the flavor to permeate the meat. You get all the flavor of a butter poached egg with less effort!
- After coming out of the sous vide water bath, most proteins (like these sous vide turkey thighs) need to be seared/browned. With lobster tails, this isn’t necessary. Simply take them out of the sealable bag and serve with warm butter. There’s no need to sear!
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
- Lobster: Look for active lobster (unless it’s frozen). They should feel substantial for their size. The tails should curl and their claws should flail at you.
- Lemon: It gives the lobster a wonderful flavor.
- Garlic: It adds depth and complexity to this dish, as well as a deep, rich flavor.
- Butter: Butter poached lobster meat is extremely tender and flavorful.
- I used regular salt, but you could also use sea salt or coarse salt.
- Freshly ground black pepper yields the best results.
Lemon and butter are a winning combination that complements the lobster meat perfectly! Scroll down for the complete printable recipe.
HOW TO PREPARE LOBSTER FOR SOUS VIDE COOKING?
Most recipes remove the meat from the shell completely when cooking lobster tails in a sous vide water bath, but you’ll lose the beautiful presentation.
My version employs a simple trick to create a lovely butterfly presentation. Simply cut the shell lengthwise in the middle to allow you to peel back the shell.
The lobster meat is then exposed so that it can be properly cooked while also absorbing all of the delicious flavor.
The simplest method is to cut the shell in the middle with sharp scissors. You should also cut any sharp edges that could tear the bag (watch the video for details).
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING LOBSTER TAILS?
Don’t overthink this procedure. Your first priority should be to obtain what you can afford. From there, you can:
- Purchase as fresh as possible lobster tails. On the packaging, look for terms like “day boat” and a best by date that is far in the future.
- It’s fine if they’ve been frozen or if you buy them frozen, but look for language that indicates they’ve only been frozen once and don’t “refreeze” them yourself (of course, if you buy frozen, you can keep them frozen).
- Cold water lobster tails are typically of higher quality than warm water lobster tails, but if warm water is all you can find/afford, don’t sweat it too much.
HOW TO COOK SOUS VIDE LOBSTER TAILS?
The rest is simple once you’ve cut the lobster shell. Every time, sous vide cooking yields delicious and tender lobster tails!
- The sous vide machine should be preheated to 140°F (60°C).
- Using the handle end of a spoon, separate the meat from two sides of the shell, and lift the meat up with the tail still attached to the shell.
- Season the lobster tail with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Place small pieces of butter on top, then re-insert the meat into the shell.
- In a zip-lock bag, combine lemon slices and seasoned lobster tails. The bag should then be vacuum-sealed using the “water displacement” technique. (If you have a vacuum sealer, you can use it.)
- In a water bath, cook the lobster tail for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- When the timer goes off, you can serve immediately because there is no need for searing.
TEMPERATURE AND DONENESS
My preferred temperature range is 140°F to 150°F, which results in a tender and juicy lobster with a firm texture.
If you want to experiment with different levels of doneness, the guidelines for doneness are listed below.
|Sous Vide Temperature||Texture of the Lobster|
|120°F (49°C)||Very soft and still translucent|
|130°F (54°C)||Very tender and juicy (jelly-like)|
|140°F (60°C)||Tender without any stringy chewiness|
|150°F (65°C)||Tender and firm (close to traditional texture)|
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SOUS VIDE LOBSTER?
The cooking time is determined by whether or not the lobsters are par-cooked.
It can take as little as 20 minutes if it is quickly boiled before sous vide cooking. It takes 45 minutes to an hour if it is completely raw.
If the shells are removed, the cooking time varies. When the meat on lobster tails is not covered by shells, the meat cooks faster.
I exposed the meat for this recipe by cutting the shell in the middle but leaving the shell on for a beautiful presentation, and it cooked for about 45 minutes.
If you leave the lobster in the warm bath for too long, it will become mushy.
CAN I SOUS VIDE FROZEN LOBSTER TAILS?
Yes! If the shells have already been removed, you can cook it directly from frozen; just add an additional 20 minutes of cooking time.
Otherwise, thaw the lobster partially until you can cut the shell in the middle.
Simply seal the lobster tails in a zip-lock bag, squeeze out all the air, and submerge the tails in cold water in a large bowl. After 10-15 minutes, you should be able to cut the shell.
SOUS VIDE LOBSTER TAILS SERVING SUGGESTIONS
You can serve the tails immediately after removing them from the water bath. You can leave the meat inside the shell, but I chose to lift it up for a more visually appealing presentation.
Drizzle with lemon juice, top with parsley, and dip in melted butter. Here are some side dishes I’d serve with them:
- Broccoli Steamed
- Beans, Green
- Potatoes Mashed
- Before cooking the lobster tails in the water bath, remove them from their shells.
- I recommend parboiling the lobsters first to make it easier to remove the delicate lobster meat from the shells.
- Be careful not to leave the lobster tails in the water bath for more than 45 minutes, or they will become mushy.
- It’s critical to remove the air from your sealable bag before placing it in the water bath to keep bacteria out.
- To ensure that the lobster tails cook safely and properly, immerse them completely in the water bath. If the bag begins to float, open it, let the air out, and then reseal it.
- You can also use a sous vide sinker weight to keep the bag from floating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using a sous vide circulator, preheat the water bath to the desired temperature. We recommend 130 degrees Fahrenheit for a juicy, tender lobster tail. A slightly firmer lobster, similar in texture to a steamed lobster, will be produced at 140°F.
Before cooking sous vide lobster, whether it’s spiny rock lobster tails or live Maine lobster, the shell must be removed. Those shells have far too many sharp projections that could tear the bag. Even with a few small holes, coagulated lobster protein or butter can clog your circulator.
Sous vide cooking yields tender, moist, and succulent results. The flavors of butter and tarragon are infused into the lobster meat. The lobster meat is easier to remove from the shell after parboiling it.
Yes! We set the precision cooker to 134 degrees F because we didn’t mind if the steak turned out medium-rare rather than rare. We started with the steaks and cooked them for 2 hours before adding the lobster tails at the 1 hour mark so they could finish cooking at the same time.