These lobster tails are deliciously seasoned and cooked to tender perfection in the Instant Pot. With easy, step-by-step instructions on prepping lobster tails, this recipe makes it easy to indulge at home and really impress!
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- It’s honestly FOOLPROOF. I know lobster tails can be intimidating. They’re on the expensive side of entrée options, they’re often reserved special occasions, and cooking them a minute too long can leave you eating seafood-flavored rubber. This method takes care of everything you need to know, start-to-finish, to easily prep and cook perfect lobster tails right in the Instant Pot.
- The lobster meat is beautifully seasoned before cooking with a simple blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Nothing overpowering, just an incredible compliment to the natural flavor of the lobster and the melted butter.
- Lobster tails take essentially no time at all to cook in the Instant Pot, which is WONDERFUL. That means, though, that you don’t have a real window to prep your butter sauce or your sides while the lobster cooks. Also, the lobster is best when it’s served right out of the pressure cooker. Make sure you’ve got everything you plan to serve ready to go before you start cooking!
- When it comes to seafood in the Instant Pot, timing is crucial. Once you’re done with the lobster prep, the actual cooking process moves really fast. You want to Quick Release the pressure as soon as the Instant Pot beeps. Then you want to remove the lid as soon as the pressure button drops. And THEN, you want to remove the lobster tails as soon as you remove the lid. Leaving the tails in the Instant Pot after any of these steps will continue the cooking process and could result in overcooked lobster meat.
- We’re serving our lobster tails with drawn butter, which is essentially just another term for “melted butter”. Ideally the butter (salted or unsalted) is melted in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and there’s some debate about whether or not the melted butter has to be clarified/filtered to technically be considered “drawn”. You’re welcome to clarify your melted butter if you want, but it’s not mandatory. If you’d rather go with something a little more extravagant, check out the garlic-butter recipe in our post about grilled crab legs.
Even More Incredible Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Crab Legs
- Instant Pot Paella
- Beer-Infused Instant Pot Brats
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Instant Pot Italian Sausage
- Cooking Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot
For the Lobster Tails
- 2 lobster tails approximately 4-6 ounces each, see Notes
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup water or seafood stock
- fresh parsley chopped, for garnish; optional
- drawn butter for serving, see Notes
- lemon wedges for serving
- sharp knife or kitchen scissors
- Small bowl
- spoon or small whisk
- Instant Pot
- Instant Pot trivet
- serving plates or platter
To Prep the Lobster Tails
- Turn lobster tails over so translucent, belly-side of shell faces up. Carefully use your thumbs to crack ribs on underside of lobster tail.
- Once ribs have been cracked, turn lobster tails back over so brown side of shell faces up. Carefully, using sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut vertically down middle of shell from open end of lobster tail toward fin end. Cut through shell and top portion of lobster meat underneath shell, but do not cut through fin at end of tail.
- If needed, carefully devein lobster tail before continuing. Locate black vein in meat and grasp it from open end of lobster tail. Gently pull vein away from fin end and out of tail until vein is removed entirely. Discard vein.
- Carefully slide your finger down cut freshly cut portion of shell (Note: shell will be sharp!) and gently loosen meat from underneath shell on both sides, breaking any membranes if necessary, but do not detach meat from fin. Carefully lift meat up and slightly over top of shell so that meat sits on top of shell. Set tails aside.
To Cook the Lobster Tails
- In small bowl, mix together salt, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika, until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Sprinkle spice mixture on top of exposed lobster meat, making sure to season well.
- Pour 1 cup water into Instant Pot and insert trivet. Place lobster tails on trivet inside Instant Pot with exposed lobster meat facing up.
- Cover Instant Pot with lid and set vent to Sealing position. Set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 1 minute. Instant Pot will come to pressure and then cook time will begin.
- As soon as Instant Pot beeps to signal end of cook time, carefully Quick Release pressure. When pressure button drops, immediately and carefully open lid.
- Use tongs to carefully remove lobster tails from Instant Pot as soon as lid is removed (see Notes). Transfer cooked lobster tails to serving plates or platter and garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired. Serve immediately with drawn butter and lemon wedges.
- Prepare the drawn butter and any desired sides before cooking the lobster tails! They cook quickly and should be eaten immediately after removing them from the Instant Pot.
- Timing is crucial here. Make sure to quick release the pressure as soon as the Instant Pot beeps, then remove the lid as soon as the pressure button drops, and then remove the lobster tails as soon as you remove the lid. Leaving them in the Instant Pot after any of these steps will continue the cooking process and could result in overcooked lobster meat.
- Lobster Tails: This recipe is written for 2 lobster tails, but you can cook up to 4 tails at a time on the trivet. No need to increase the water or cook time, but make sure you double the seasonings.
- Water: You want the lobster to steam, not boil. If your Instant Pot is small, 1 cup water may be too much, so adjust as needed to make sure the trivet and the lobster tails don’t touch the surface of the liquid.
- Drawn Butter: Drawn butter is another term for “melted butter”, ideally melted in a saucepan over medium-low heat. There’s debate about whether or not the melted butter has to be clarified/filtered to be considered “drawn”, so do whichever you prefer. If you’d rather use a garlic-butter sauce, we have a great recipe for one in our grilled crab legs post.
- Make it Whole30/Paleo: Serve with ghee instead of butter.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.