These Sous Vide Lobster Tails are incredibly tender, juicy, and full of delicious lemon butter flavor. With the sous vide method, cooking lobster is incredibly easy and there’s no searing required. This no-fail butter-poached lobster recipe produces the most succulent restaurant-quality seafood at home!
Featured on 36 Best Sous Vide Recipes
Perfect Sous Vide Lobster
This sous vide lobster recipe takes the guesswork out of cooking and you’ll cook like a pro. It’s much better than baking, steaming, or baking method, and guarantees perfect lobsters every time! Dip them in melted butter – OMG – it will be the best lobster you have ever tasted!
When I’m looking for an impressive gourmet entrée for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and holidays, lobster is one of my favorite choices. But it’s really easy to overcook lobsters, which can be chewy and rubbery. That’s why it’s quite stressful to cook them as they are so expensive.
Say hello to sous vide lobster!
Sous vide technique allows you to cook the food to the precise temperature you set, and you’ll get an even doneness edge to edge. There is no better way to cook lobster tails. NEVER overcook a lobster again!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Lobster: Look for lively lobster (you should never buy a dead lobster unless it’s frozen). They should feel heavy for their size. The tails should curl and they should flail at you with their claws.
- Lemon: It adds a wonderful flavor to the lobster.
- Garlic: It adds complexity and deep rich flavor to this dish.
- Butter: Butter poached lobster makes the meat super tender and incredibly flavorful.
- Salt: I used regular salt, but you can use sea salt or coarse salt.
- Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper works the best result.
Lemon and butter are a winning combination that perfectly complements the lobster meat! Scroll below for the full printable recipe.
How to Prepare Lobster for Sous Vide Cooking?
To cook lobster tails in the sous vide water bath, most recipes remove the meat from the shell completely, but you’ll lose the beautiful presentation.
My version uses an easy trick to produce a beautiful butterfly presentation. Simply cut the shell in the middle lengthwise so that you can peel back the shell. Then the lobster meat is exposed so that it can get cooked properly as well as absorbing all the delicious flavor.
The easiest way is to use sharp scissors to cut the shell in the middle. You’ll also need to cut any sharp parts that can tear the bag (watch the video for details).
Pro Tips: If you are working with a live lobster, hold down the tail with one hand, and use a sharp knife to separate the head from the tail.
How to Cook Sous Vide Lobster Tails
Once you cut the lobster shell, the rest is really easy. Sous vide cooking produces delicious and tender lobster tails every time!
1. Pre-heat the sous vide machine to 140°F (60°C).
2. Separate the meat from two sides of the shell using the handle end of a spoon, and lift the meat up with the tail still attached to the shell.
3. Season the lobster tail with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Add small butter pieces on top and then push the meat back in the shell.
4. Place lemon slices and seasoned lobster tails in a zip-lock bag. Then vacuum-seal the bag using the “water displacement” technique. (You can use a vacuum sealer if you have one)
5. Cook the lobster tail in the water bath for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
6. When the timer goes off, you can serve immediately as it doesn’t require searing.
Temperature and Doneness
My favorite temperature is between 140°F to 150°F, as it produces a tender and juicy lobster with a firm texture. If you’d like to try different doneness, below are the guidelines for doneness.
|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?
Cooking time depends on whether the lobsters are par-cooked or not. If it’s boiled quickly before sous vide cooking, it can take as little as 20 minutes. If it’s completely raw, it takes 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Also cooking time is different if the shells are removed. Lobster tails cook faster when the meat is not covered by shells. For this recipe, I exposed the meat by cutting the shell in the middle but left the shell on for a beautiful presentation, and it cooked for about 45 minutes.
Don’t cook the lobster in the warm bath for too long, or it can turn mushy.
Can I Sous Vide Frozen Lobster Tails?
Yes! If the shells are removed already, you can cook it directly from frozen, just add extra 20 minutes of cooking time. Otherwise, you need to partially thaw the lobster until you can cut the shell in the middle. Just place the lobster tails in a sealed zip-lock bag, squeeze out all the air, and immerse the tails in cold water in a large bowl. You should be able to cut the shell after 10-15 minutes.
Sous Vide Lobster Tails Serving Suggestions
Once you remove the tails from the water bath, you can serve them immediately. You can leave the meat inside of the shell, but I decided to lift it up for the beautiful presentation. Drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and dip in the melted butter. Here are some side dishes I’d pair them with:
If You Like this Recipe Try These Sous Vide Recipes Out:
If you tried this recipe, let me know how your Sous Vide Lobster Tails turn out in the comments below!
Sous Vide Lobster Tails Recipe (+VIDEO)
- 2 lobster tails
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 6-8 small pieces (Plus more for dipping)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large lemons cut into slices
- chopped parley optional
- Add water to the sous vide container or a large pot, set the Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 140°F (60°C). (Set the temperature to 150°F if you prefer the traditional firmer texture.)
- Prepare the Lobster Tail: Using sharp scissors, cut along the middle of the top shell towards the fins of the tail (don’t cut through the end). Make sure to cut in a straight line.
- Use the handle end of a spoon to separate the meat from the shell, and slowly pull out the shell. Gently lift the meat up and out from inside the shell while the end is still attached to the shell.
- Season the meat with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Then push the meat back in the shell.
- Add butter pieces on top.
- Sous Vide Lobster Tail: Place lemon slices in one single layer in a large zip-lock bag. Add seasoned lobster tails on top.
- Vacuum seal the bag using “water displacement” technique: seal all but one corner of the bag. Slowly place it in the water bath, making sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
- Cook the lobster for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- When the timer goes off, remove the lobster tail from the bag. As lobster tails can be served right after sous vide cooking with no need for searing.
- Optional: Lift the meat up and out from inside the shell for a beautiful presentation.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges and melted butter for dipping.
- If you don’t want to lift the lobster meat out of the shell for seasoning, it’s ok to leave them in the shell. This step is to help to lift the meat out later once cooked for a better presentation.
- If you cook your lobster meat from frozen, add 20 minutes of cooking time.
Editor note: Originally published Nov 19, 2019 and updated November 2, 2020.