Cedar-Planked Lobster Tails with Compound Butter

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Herb butter adds a simple yet rich finish to lobster tails, which are cooked on cedar planks over a backyard grill.


  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped shallot
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 whole live lobsters, each about 1 1/2 lb.
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil


In a small bowl, stir together the butter, shallot, parsley, chives, tarragon, mustard, the 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper, to taste, until well combined. Set the herb butter aside.

Place 1 lobster on its back on a cutting board. Using a large chef’s knife, place the tip at the center of the body, between the claws and the first set of legs. Firmly push the tip downward, then push the knife down through the head, cutting between the eyes; you do not need to cut completely through the bottom shell. Remove the claws from the body. Using a twisting motion, remove the tail from the body. Using kitchen shears and working from the top of the tail to the bottom, make 2 cuts, about 1 inch apart, to expose the tail meat. Devein and clean as needed. Starting at the bottom of the tail, insert a skewer through the tail meat, between the last 2 tail segments, to prevent the tail from curling while grilling. Repeat the process with the remaining lobsters.

Soak 4 cedar planks in water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Prepare a grill for indirect grilling over medium-high heat.

Place the cedar planks on the grill over direct heat, close the lid and heat until the planks start to smoke. Move the planks over indirect heat. Place a lobster tail, cut side up, and 2 claws on each plank. Lightly brush the tail meat with the olive oil, close the grill, and cook until the lobsters are cooked through and opaque, 6 to 8 minutes. Top each lobster tail with a spoonful of the herb butter.

Transfer the lobster tails and claws to a large platter and serve immediately with the remaining herb butter on the side. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

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