How to defrost frozen lobster tails

Updated March 23, 2017

Grilled, boiled or baked lobster tails can make a delicious dinner for a special event or for an occasional treat. To cook tender lobster tails, frozen tails must be properly defrosted. Lobster meat can be cooked frozen but this typically results in tougher meat. There are several methods to defrost frozen lobster tails.

Remove any wrapping from the lobster tails. Place them in a container and cover with a lid.

Place the container in the refrigerator. Allow the lobster tails to defrost overnight. The tails may take up to 24 hours to thaw, depending on the size of the tails and temperature of the refrigerator.

Check the tails for softness the morning after you place them in the refrigerator. If the tails are tender, they are ready to be cooked. If the tails are still frozen, place them back in the refrigerator and check their tenderness every two hours.

Put the lobster tails in a sandwich bag or wrap them with cling film.

Fill a container with cold water. Place the lobster tails in the water and cover the container with a lid.

Place the container in the refrigerator or replace the water every 30 minutes.

Check the underbelly of the tail after one hour. If the meat is soft, it is ready for cooking. If the meat is still hard, place the tail back into cold water. Continue to check the tails in half-hour increments.


If you need to use the frozen lobster tails immediately, thaw them in your microwave if your microwave has a defrost setting. Only use the lowest defrost setting to avoid cooking the tails in the microwave.

Things You'll Need

  • Refrigerator
  • Large bowl, pot or container with lid
  • Sandwich bags or cling film
  • Water
  • Microwave (optional)
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About the Author

Marissa Willman is a Palm Springs-based travel journalist and content writer. She has been writing professionally since 2007 for such publications as, and Palm Springs Life. Willman is also the local guide for the Palm Springs section of travel website Willman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University, Fullerton.