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Cooking Lobster Tails In The Instant Pot

Learning to Cook Lobster in the Instant Pot

Welcome to my test kitchen where you can see how I test each of my recipes and also get access to my completed recipes before they're released on the blog. This time you can see me try my hand at cooking lobster tails in the Instant Pot. See all my successes and mishaps along the way and learn what it takes to make a perfect lobster tail in the Instant Pot.

I've been wanting to try cooking seafood in the Instant Pot for some time. My hubby does most of the seafood cooking in our home. Always on the stovetop or in the oven. These lobster tails are my first stab at cooking seafood in the Instant Pot.

Initial Thoughts & Concerns

I'm a little concerned that the high pressure will overcook the lobster tails but I have seen others have success. So, I'm ready to give it a try.

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Save this Instant Pot Lobster Tail Recipe for later!

cooking lobster in the instant pot
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Final Round of Testing

Date Tested: July 25, 2018

This recipe has completed testing. For the full printable recipe, click here. You can use the ingredients list and steps I took to test this recipe for yourself. After trying these lobster tails in your Instant Pot, please let me know how they came out for you in the comments below.

TOOLS, UTENSILS & APPLIANCES
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 lobster tails (fully thawed)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (melted)
Notes

Testing has completed with this round of successful results.

STEPS & INSTRUCTIONS
lobster tails
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Thaw

If frozen, allow the lobster tails to fully thaw before prepping.

butterfly lobster tails
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Butterfly

Use a pair of heavy-duty kitchen shears to butterfly the lobster tails.

adding water to instant pot
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Add Salted Water

Dissolve 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt in one cup of water and add to the Instant Pot.

adding garlic cloves
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Add Garlic and Rosemary

Add four cloves of garlic and two sprigs of fresh rosemary to the Instant Pot.

lobster steaming baskets
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Place Steamer Basket

Place a steamer basket inside the Instant Pot.

adding lobster tails to instant pot
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Adjust the Steamer Basket

Partially close the steamer basket so that the opening is just wide enough to place the lobster tails standing up inside.

adding lobster tails to instant pot
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Arrange the Lobster Tails

Arrange the lobster tails so that the they are standing up inside the basket.

adding lobster tails to instant pot
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Brush with Butter

Brush the lobster tails with melted butter.

setting cook time lobster tails
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Set Cook Time

For this second round, I am cooking the tails for 2 minutes at low pressure to prevent overcooking the lobster's delicate meat.

cooked lobster tails in the instant pot
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Open the Pot

Once the cooking time had completed, I performed a quick pressure release before opening the pot.

cooked lobster tails in the instant pot
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Allow to Sit

I allowed the tails to sit for a couple of minutes in the pot. The lobster meat will continue to cook during this time.

cooked lobster tails in the instant pot
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Serve and Enjoy

Serve the tails warm and enjoy with a garlic butter sauce.

TESTING RESULTS & OBSERVATIONS

I am impressed with how well these lobster tails came out during this round of testing. The tails were cooked through yet not overcooked. I left them sitting in the Instant Pot for a couple of minutes before removing them. The longer you leave the tails sitting, the more they will continue to cook. So, don’t allow them to sit for more than a couple of minutes or they may overcook. I like this method because I can enjoy my lobster warm. The meat was so wonderful.

how to make lobster tail in the instant pot
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The alternative is to pressure cook them for longer (3 minutes) and plunge them into an ice bath after removing them from the pot to stop the cooking. However, this will give you cold lobster meat. I like my lobster warm, so I’m very happy with this 2-minute cook and 2-minute sit method.

This time I got the butterflying right! Check out my first round of testing below to see how I goofed on the butterflying

🙂
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I had my hubby show me the tricks for this round of testing. You have to get your hands dirty but the lobster comes out so beautiful in the end.

butterflying lobster tails
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Adding both the rosemary and garlic infused the lobster with an amazing, delicate aroma – it also made my kitchen smell great.

seasoning lobster tails
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I also added salt to the water. I wanted to match the salinity of seawater so I added 1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt to the 1 cup of water. I made sure that the salt was fully dissolved in the water before adding to the pot.

The other thing I did differently in this round was brushing the lobster tails with salted butter before cooking them. This really complements and helps enhance the sweet flavor of the lobster meat.

brushing lobster tail with butter
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You probably also noticed how I arranged the lobster tails in the steamer basket. This really was an ideal setup. It made brushing the tails with butter so much easier.

steaming lobster tails in the instant pot
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Again, I’m very happy with the way the lobster tails turned out and I have to conclude that this round of testing was a success and that this recipe is ready to be published on the blog.

butterflied lobster tails
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brushing lobster tails with butter
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steaming lobster tails in the instant pot
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TESTING FOR THIS RECIPE IS COMPLETE

With this second and final round of testing, I am satisfied with the results and this recipe is completed and ready for publishing on the blog. Please try following the steps I took in this final round of testing to make your own lobster tails and let me know how they came out in the comments below.

First Round of Testing

Date Tested: July 23, 2018

Round one of testing has been completed. Read below to see the full list of ingredients used for this test, the steps that were taken, mishaps and conclusions. If you have any insight to offer, please do so in the comments below.

TOOLS, UTENSILS & APPLIANCES
Ingredients
  • 4 lobster tails (fully thawed)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water
Notes

This test came out very close to perfect. Just a few minor adjustments and we should have lobster perfection!

STEPS & INSTRUCTIONS
lobster tails
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Thaw

Allow the lobster tails to fully thaw.

butterfly lobster tails
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Butterfly

Using a pair of kitchen shears, butterfly the lobster tails.

adding water to instant pot
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Add Water

Add one cup of water to the Instant Pot.

adding garlic cloves
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Add Garlic

Add the four cloves of garlic to the Instant Pot.

lobster steaming baskets
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Place Steamer Basket

Place a steamer basket inside the pot.

adding lobster tails to instant pot
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Place Lobster Tails

Place the lobster on the steamer basket. I laid them flat on their back.

setting cook time lobster tails
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Set Cook Time

For this first round, I will try cooking the tails for 3 minutes at low pressure to prevent overcooking the lobster’s delicate meat.

cooked lobster tails in the instant pot
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Open Pot

Following the Instant Pot company’s guidelines, I performed a quick pressure release before opening the pot.

TESTING RESULTS & OBSERVATIONS

I was really happy with how these lobster tails turned out. They were fully cooked. Maybe even slightly overcooked, making them just a smidge tough but barely noticeable. I’m interested in trying to cook them for less time to see how they come out.

The Instant Pot company suggests 2-3 minutes at high pressure for fresh, fully thawed lobster tails. I’m a little worried that the high-pressure setting will be too hard on the delicate lobster meat. Plus considering the good results that I got from cooking on low pressure this time, I will try 2 minutes and remain at low pressure for the next test. I believe that may give me the perfect tender result but we shall see.

I am also interested in testing it at high pressure as well, just to see how it turns out.

cooking lobster tails in the instant pot
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My big fail for this round was butterflying the lobster incorrectly. After I opened the pot, it dawned on me that something didn’t look right. I butterflied the lobster on the wrong side of the shell

🙁
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Like I said, my hubby usually handles the seafood around here
🙂
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The garlic cloves added a nice, delicate aroma to the tails. While I want to keep the ingredients simple so that nothing overpowers the delicately sweet flavor of the lobster meat, I’d like to try adding just one other aromatic herb that will complement the flavor of the lobster.

For my second fail, I didn’t use salted water. In the next round, I will be salting the water.

steaming lobster in the instant pot
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instant pot steamed lobster
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lobster tails cooked in the instant pot
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CHANGES FOR THE SECOND ROUND OF TESTING
  • Add another aromatic herb like rosemary or thyme
  • Cook on low pressure for 2 minutes
  • Add 1½ teaspoon of salt to the cup of water
  • Butterfly the lobster correctly
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  • Janice Rounsaville says:

    Did you cook the lobster on manual low pressure or steam low pressure?

  • Syd says:

    What was the weight of these tails? I would assume the cook time may differ depending on their weight.

  • Cheryl says:

    Can you cook lobster tails in the instant pot without the steamer part cause I don’t have one yet?

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Cheryl! You’ll need to set them on something, a trivet perhaps. Don’t set them straight in the water. Happy New Year!

  • Alicia says:

    I got a new 8 qt IP for Christmas and was so excited to try this. The only problem is my pot doesn’t allow you to adjust the pressure on manual. So other than that I followed the recipe exactly. However it took 9 minutes for the pot to come to pressure and the timer to start. The tails were definitely over cooked ☹️ My pot has a steam function that allows you to adjust pressure and I think that may have been a better option. I will try again – but leaving this here in case anyone else is wondering about high pressure.

  • michael b says:

    How about live Lobster, some what difficult getting balance correct every time. Boil, salt, time, etc.

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Ohhh I couldn’t bring myself to cook a live lobster in any fashion. I have heard people comment on it though, and all say you shouldn’t do it in the Instant Pot. Best to do it on the stove. Hope this helps!

  • Barbara says:

    Can you please clarify what side is the correct side to butterfly the lobster tails? I have always cut the shell side

    • Valerie Cooper says:

      Hi Barbara! There is a large picture under where I say “This time I got the butterflying right”, that shows me cutting the correct side. Hope this helps!

  • larry says:

    Why is there no printable recipe?

    • Hi Larry! This was done as a test recipe, as you can see from the content. Now that it’s finalized, we will be moving it over to a traditional recipe format and it will have a printable recipe card. We’re working on a few recipes so I expect it may be ready next week. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jack says:

    So youre cooking 2 minutes low – is that set to Manual then low option and for 2 minutes?

    • Hi Jack! Yes, you are cooking for 2 minutes on low pressure. If you have a lux, low pressure isn’t an option. You will use the Manual or Pressure Cook setting (depending on model) and you’ll turn pressure to low. Hope this helps!

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