Ever noticed how lobster tails are almost always frozen or packed on ice. Unfortunately, if you do not live near the ocean, you cannot purchase live lobsters.
Most people end up with frozen lobster tails, which are just as good as fresh lobster tails. The trick is to defrost the lobster tails correctly.
This is the only way you will end up with tender, delicious meat.
Is Frozen Lobster Safe To Eat?
Most people assume frozen lobster tails are not safe to eat. However, this is untrue.
Most retailers do not sell fresh lobster because the risks of bacteria increase the longer it is left to sit out at room temperature.
Frozen lobster tails are removed from the lobster as soon as they are caught and frozen immediately to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Therefore, frozen lobster tails are safer than refrigerated or iced lobster tails.
Types of Frozen Lobster Tails
Before we get to thawing lobster tails, you should know which type of lobster tails you are eating. There are 2 types of frozen lobster tails you will find on the market: warm-water lobster tails and cold-water lobster tails.
Warm-water lobster tails are usually found in the waters of Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
Compared to cold-water lobster tails, warm-water lobster tails are not as reliable. Their texture can be quite mushy instead of firm.
I think we can agree that handing over a hefty amount of cash to buy lobster tails to end up with mush meat is frustrating.
You can also differentiate lobster tails by inspecting their shells. For example, Caribbean warm-water lobster tails have a yellow band across the tail and yellow spots.
On the other hand, cold-water lobster tails are native to New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia.
The downside of cold-water lobster tails is usually cost more and contain less meat.
What Should I Look For When Purchasing Lobster Tails
If there are black spots or discoloration on the meat of the lobster, this is a sign that they were not handled correctly. Do not buy these lobster tails.
If the lobster tail has a grayish color, this means the lobster was not alive when it was processed.
In addition to this, ask the lobster provider if the lobster tails were processed in sodium tripolyphosphate prior before they were frozen. If so, do not purchase these lobster tails.
When purchasing cold-water lobster tails, choose ones that have whiter meat. These lobster tails are more tender because the lobster grows slower in colder waters.
Additionally, you can ask the lobster provider if the lobster tails are cold water or warm water tails.
If the retailer does not know, assume they are warm-water lobster tails and do not buy them.
Lastly, it may be best to stock up on lobster during the wintertime as they are much cheaper.
You can always freeze the lobster tails and thaw them when you are in the mood for seafood.
Can I Refreeze Lobster Tails
Unlike beef or salmon, you cannot refreeze lobster tails, especially not at home.
Conventional freezers will take too long to refreeze the lobster tails. Refreezing the lobster tails will cause its cell wall to break down.
Therefore you should freeze your lobster tails immediately before you use them.
Do not keep store lobster tails in the freezer for more than months, or the lobster tails will start to dry out.
How To Defrost Lobster Tails
Lobster tails are delicate. Therefore you must know how to defrost them if you want tender, succulent meat.
How To Defrost Lobster Tails in the Refrigerator
Whether you are defrosting shrimp or pork chops, the fridge is the best way to defrost food.
The only drawback is the cold water technique is that it takes a long time to defrost.
Therefore, it is best to plan ahead a day in advance if you want to thaw the lobster tails in the fridge, as they will take 24 hours to thaw completely.
To thaw lobster tails in the fridge, leave them in their original packaging and place them onto a plate.
The lobster’s packaging will catch any juices that could contaminate other foods in your fridge.
If your lobster tails don’t have a wrapper, place them onto a plate, cover them lightly with plastic wrap, and place them into the fridge.
The plastic wrap will prevent the lobster tails from contaminating foods in the fridge.
In addition to this, use a large plate. Do not stack the lobster tails on top of each other, or they will thaw unevenly.
Place the lobster tails into the refrigerator on a lower shelf. Ensure the lobster tails are not near ready to eat foods or leftovers, increasing the risk of cross-contamination.
Let the lobster tails thaw for 24 hours.
Although it is tempting to cook partially thawed lobster tails, you may ruin your lobster tail tails if you cook them before they are thawed.
Partially thawed lobster tails will cook unevenly, resulting in tough, chewy meat.
To test whether your lobster tails are completely defrosted, remove them from the fridge. Touch the center of the exposed lobster meat at the end of the tail.
This will eliminate the need to cut the lobster tail open.
The lobster tails are not thawed if the meat is still rock solid. However, if they are soft and slightly firm, the lobster tails are fully defrosted.
If your lobster tails are not thawed, return them to the refrigerator and allow them to thaw for an additional 6 hours before checking them again.
Use thawed lobster tails immediately. In addition to this, if you plan to use the lobster juices that accumulated while they were defrosting, use them immediately to prevent them from spoiling.
How To Use Cold Water To Defrost Lobster Tails
Unlike the refrigerator method, using cold water to thaw lobsters is a relatively quick process. In addition to this, this is the perfect method if you forget to take your lobster tails out of the freezer.
It also works perfectly if you do not have time to thaw them in the fridge.
The only drawback to the cold water method is that the lobster will stick to the shell when cooked.
Make sure you watch the lobster as it is defrosting it as the water needs to be changed every so often.
Place them into a large leak-proof resealable ziplock bag to thaw your lobster tails using cold water. Arrange the lobster tails so they are in an even layer.
Do not stuff lobster into the bag, or the lobster will defrost unevenly.
You can always place the remaining lobster into another ziplock bag. Remove all of the air from the bag to prevent it from rising to the top of the water.
Seal the bag carefully to prevent water from leaking into the bag.
If your lobster is in a vacuum-sealed package, you can leave them in the bag and place them into a resealable package.
Fill a large pot or large container with cold water. Make sure the vessel is big enough to submerge the lobster tails in cold water.
Although the water does not need to be ice cold, it should not be warm or hot water. Warm or hot water can change the consistency of the meat and cause bacteria to develop.
Submerge the lobster tails in the water. You can place a plate on top of the lobster to keep it submerged.
Make sure no water gets into the lobster, or it will dilute the lobster’s natural juices. Do not place the lobster tails in direct sunlight as it could alter the meat’s texture.
Let the lobster thaw for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes have passed, remove the lobster tail from the bag and check to see if they are thawed.
You can do this by touching the thickest part of the lobster meat to see if it is pliable.
If your lobster tails are not thawed, drain the water from the pot and add more cold water. Seal the bag and return the lobster to the pot.
Adding fresh cold water to the pot will defrost the lobster faster.
Drain the water and change it every 30 minutes until the lobster tails are thawed. The exact time it takes to defrost lobster tails can vary.
It may take 1-2 hours for the lobster tails to thaw completely. However, if it is a large lobster tail, it may take even longer to thaw.
Knowing how to cook lobster tails is only half the battle. After all, fore you cook them, you must defrost them first.
Depending on the amount of time you have before you need to get your lobster tails on the table, you can test both of these methods out if need be.
Thaw your lobster tails in the refrigerator overnight if you have a lot of time. Use the cold water method if you need to thaw your lobster tails right away.
Remember to cook your lobster tails immediately after they are defrosted, and you will end up with tender, succulent lobster meat. Happy defrosting!
You might also be interested in:
- How To Defrost and Thaw A Turkey
- How To Defrost and Thaw Steak
- How To Defrost and Thaw Ground Beef
- How To Defrost and Thaw Pork Chops
- How To Defrost and Thaw Sausages
- How To Defrost and Thaw Salmon
- How To Defrost and Thaw Fish
- How To Defrost and Thaw Shrimp
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.