Instant Pot Lobster Tails

This Instant Pot Lobster Tails recipe is a delicious indulgence for special occasions or when you just feel like treating yourself. The lobster tails are cooked to perfection and when dipped in some garlic butter, they are a little piece of heaven!

lobster tails meat dipped in melted butter

Making lobster tails in the Instant Pot is easy and fast! You’ll be amazed at how perfect the lobster turns out. I will show you exactly what to do to make perfect lobster tails in your pressure cooker.

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Can I Use Frozen Lobster Tails

I highly recommend you use fully thawed lobster tails if you’re going to cook them in your Instant Pot. Lobster is so delicate and will overcook so quickly if you’re not careful. Using fully thawed lobster tails will ensure your lobster comes out just right.

cooked lobster tails in the instant pot

I did several tests when I first started making lobster tails in the Instant Pot. I finally perfected the timing and method and found that using thawed tails was the way to go. So if you have frozen lobster tails just make sure you allow them to thaw completely before starting.

How Do I Butterfly the Lobster Tails?

You will need some heavy-duty kitchen shears to butterfly the lobster tails. You have to make sure and start cutting from the correct side. I learned this the hard way!

thawed and butterflied lobster tails

Your butterflied lobster tails should look like the picture above.

How Do You Make Instant Pot Lobster?

So how do you cook lobster in the Instant Pot? It’s easy but you have to be alert to make sure you don’t end up overcooking it. You will need a steaming basket. Once you have butterflied the lobster (that’s the hardest step), then it’s a quick and easy process.

brushing melted butter on lobster tails

You’ll be using salted water, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves. That’s all you need. Once those ingredients are in the pot, you’ll add your basket and carefully arrange the lobster tails so they are standing in it. You will then brush your lobster tails with melted butter. Yum!

Essential Items

Here are some essential prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.

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Appliances & Cookware

These are the appliances and cookware that I used to make this recipe:

Prep Tools & Utensils

Here are the prep tools and utensils that you’ll need:

Kitchen Accessories

While not necessary, these accessories will make things quicker and easier. So, if you welcome anything that offers more convenience, then check these items out:

28 Must-Have Instant Pot Accessories

Make sure to check out my Ultimate List of Instant Pot Accessories! I’ve included everything you could ever need to help make your pressure cooking quicker, easier, and even more convenient.

Once you close your pot and set it to sealing, you’ll be doing a short two-minute cook time. The best way to make them is by adjusting your pot to low pressure if you have that choice. This ensures the delicate lobster meat doesn’t get overcooked.

cooked lobster tails in the instant pot

Once the 2 minute cook time is completed you will perform a QPR (Quick Pressure Release). When all the pressure is released you can open the pot. At this point, you will still allow the lobster tails to sit in the pot for 2 more minutes with the lid OFF. This allows the tails to continue cooking. If you let them sit there longer they will overcook.

close up of a lobster tail

That’s it! Perfect Instant Pot Lobster Tails are ready for you to enjoy. Make sure you dip them in some delicious garlic butter! Let me know when you make these. I’d love to hear your results in the comments.

instant pot lobster tails

Instant Pot Lobster Tails


4.40 from 33 votes
Cooking Method(s)
  • Pressure Cooking
Pressure LevelLow
Program SettingManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Total Time
19 minutes
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
Enjoy decadently sweet and tender lobster meat in minutes. Making lobster tails in the Instant Pot is so quick, easy, and the results are perfect every time. You'll wonder why you ever cooked them any other way.
lobster tails meat dipped in melted butter

Essential Equipment

  • instant pot
  • Stainless Steel Steamer



  • If the lobster tails are frozen, allow them to fully thaw before preparing.

butterfly the Lobster Tails

  • Step 1: Hold the lobster tail in one hand with the top of the hard shell facing up. Then, using kitchen shears, start in the center at the open end of the tail, placing the bottom point of the open shears into the center of the meat, and then cut lengthwise through the top of the shell and halfway into the meat, stopping just before the end of the tail.
  • Step 2: Carefully, but firmly, spread the halves of the tails open where you’ve made the slit. The meat will be attached to the bottom of the shell, so slip your fingers under the meat (between the meat and bottom of the shell) and carefully, but again firmly, slide your finger in a back and forth motion between the meat and shell, separating it from the bottom of the shell. Make sure to leave the meat attached near the end of the tail.
  • Step 3: Lift the lobster meat out and over the shell always being careful to leave the meat attached at the end of the tail. Close the empty shell beneath the meat, and rest the meat opened and draped over the top of the closed shell. If needed, you can check out this post with photos showing exactly how this is done.

prepare the Instant Pot

  • Add Water and Salt: Pour the water into the pot, add salt to the water, and mix until the salt has dissolved.
  • Add Herbs: Place the garlic cloves and sprigs of fresh rosemary in the water on the bottom of the liner.
  • Add Steamer Basket: Place a collapsible steamer basket into the pot and partially close the basket so that the opening is just wide enough to make the shape of a deep bowl.
  • Arrange Lobster: Place the lobster tails, standing upright, inside the basket with the tail fins sitting in the bottom center of the basket and the tail openings resting over the edges of the steamer basket. If you need visuals of this, check out this post.
  • Brush Tails With Butter: Using a basting brush, spread the melted butter over the lobster meat.

cook the Lobster Tails

  • Set Cook Time: Place the pressure release valve in the 'Sealing' position and set the Instant Pot to cook on 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook', 'Low Pressure', for 2 minutes. I cook on 'Low Pressure' to prevent overcooking of the lobster meat.
  • Quick Pressure Release: As soon as the cooking time has completed, perform a quick release and open the pot immediately once all the pressure has been released.
  • Let Sit: Allow the tails to sit for a couple of minutes in the pot (with the lid off) before serving. The lobster meat will continue to cook during this time. However, don't let them sit any longer than this before serving.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 318mg | Potassium: 127mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.2mg
instant pot lobster tails

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26 thoughts on “Instant Pot Lobster Tails”

  1. Best instapot lobster tails I have ever made. The rosemary really is a nice addition. We did not even need side dipping butter. Winner.

  2. So incredibly easy! And best lobster I’ve made at home. Thanks Valerie! The test post with the photos was really helpful too.

  3. Wow Perfect. I made two tails that will become Lobster bisque and lobster mac and cheese for tomorrow. So fast so easy and perfectly cooked!!!

    1. Hi Frankie. I’m sorry to hear they didn’t turn out for you. Were your tails the size I suggested? Were they completely thawed out? Did you take them out very soon after they were done?

  4. I made 3 lobster tails last night and they were perfectly delicious! I didn’t have a steamer basket, so I set them on top of the trivet making sure they were not in the water. It was such an easy dinner to prepare and definitely my fanciest meal. Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Hi Amy! Those are some giant lobster tails! The ones I make are only 4 to 6 ounces. I’ve never made any that big and I can only assume there would have to be a big adjustment in cooking time. I cannot tell you how much though unless I tried it myself. Sorry, I can’t be more help. I appreciate you stopping by the blog!

    1. Hi Mindy! Do you mean all together?? If not those are some giant lobster tails! I’ve never made anything that big and I’m hesitant to give you a time on cooking something so expensive. Let me know.

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