Air Fryer Lobster Tail

air fryer lobster tail
Air Fryer Lobster Tail

This air fryer lobster tail recipe is by far the easiest, quickest, and best tasting you will find. When you think of the word gourmet, lobster is definitely one of the first things that comes to mind.

Lobster is a deliciously decadent meal usually reserved for special occasions and the top of the price list on a swanky restaurant menu. If you’ve never cooked it at home, it can be a little intimidating! However, preparing lobster at home is most likely going to be cheaper than it would be served at your favorite seafood place, and it really is a lot simpler than it looks. Start to finish, you can have fresh lobster tails on your dinner table in less than twenty minutes.

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Lobster tails are arguably the best part of the crustacean, and also where you’ll find the richest meat. You may have wandered through the seafood section of your local grocery store and seen whole lobsters still swimming away in their tanks. Talk about intimidating! Buying just the tails means you can keep those live snappers away from your fingers, simplify the process and focus on the most delectable part of the lobster. 

Choosing your tails

Usually, you can buy lobster tails at the seafood counter of your local grocery, but it is also frequently sold frozen. As with most food, fresh is best, but if you’re shopping frozen, look for lobster that is labeled as cold-water raised. The greatest majority of America’s lobsters come from Maine or the Atlantic provinces of Canada. Lobster raised in cold water tends to have a fresher, meatier taste, whereas lobster caught in warm water closer to the equator sometimes has an ammonia smell and flavor.

air fryer lobster tail
Air Fryer Lobster Tail Ingredient List & Cost

It goes without saying that the larger the tail, the more meat it provides – but it also means a slightly longer cook time. There is some speculation that smaller lobster tails provide a more tender finished product, but I have found that the toughness of the meat has more to do with overcooking than the size of the tail.

Cooking the lobster

There are a multitude of ways to cook lobster, but the allure of an air fryer is often the time savings. For this dinner, I thinly sliced a fresh lemon and laid the slices side-by-side in two rows on the bottom of the Pyrex oven safe dish. I then added butter and freshly minced garlic. I laid one tail on each row of lemons and sliced open the top of shells with kitchen scissors.

air fryer lobster tail
Air Fryer Lobster Tail Prep

Once cooked, the lobster shell turns a bright, appetizing shade of orangey-red. The meat should be an opaque white color, but to be sure it’s fully cooked, the meat thermometer should read about 135 degrees.

Lobster tails are most frequently served butterflied, which makes for a fancy-looking plate. Let the tails cool just long enough that you can butterfly the meat. Gently pry back the shell, lift out the meat and then tuck the shell back underneath. The meat revealed, brush it again with melted butter, sprinkle with paprika, top with chives, and now you’re ready to plate it!

air fryer lobster tail
Air Fryer Lobster Tail Presentation

Serve your air fryer lobster tails with some steamed green vegetables, wild rice, homemade biscuits, or better yet…a big juicy steak for a meal that will look like you slaved for hours in the kitchen!

air fryer lobster tail

Air Fryer Lobster Tail

Lobster tail in the air fryer
4.83 from 17 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian, French, Italian
Servings 2
Calories 300 kcal


  • Air Fryer, or Oven (50 degrees warmer)
  • 8.1" Square Two Quart Oven Safe Pyrex


  • 2 whole Lobster Tails
  • 1 whole Lemon
  • 3 cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 pinch Paprika optional, this is for presentation only
  • 1 Clove Or Green Onion optional, this is for presentation only
  • 3 tbsp Butter


  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
  • While the air fryer is preheating, slice six thin pieces in the middle of the lemon, and place on your Pyrex oven safe dish. Add half a tablespoon of butter on top of each lemon slice, and then top with half a clove of garlic. Lay each lobster tail on a row of three lemons.
  • Add the lobster to the air fryer and cook for 12 minutes.
  • Remove, and allow to cool. Top with leftover lemon garlic butter, and sprinkle paprika and chives for garnish.


All air fryers cook at different speeds.  These recipes are meant to be a general guide.  Cooking times depend on various factors including thickness, cut, and type of meat used.  I use an Instant Pot Vortex Plus shelf air fryer.  If you’re using something different, especially a bucket type air fryer, I advise keeping an eye on food so it doesn’t under, or overcook. 


Calories: 300kcal
Keyword Air, Air Fried, Air Fryer, Air Fryer Lobster Tail, Lobster, Lobster Tail, Seafood
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  1. Yup. Been wondering about using my Vortex Pro for this. On the list now. :O)

    1. I’m a massive lobster tail fan, and will tell you that I was honestly surprised at how well these came out. I think cooking them in that lemon garlic butter really does something amazing. If you do it, let me know what you think!

  2. Great recipe! Do you need to split the shell before cooking?

    1. I did cut the top before cooking.

  3. About fresh versus frozen: according to that Babish guy, fresh shrimp at the grocer arrived frozen and was thawed out, so frozen shrimp is actually fresher. Do you think the same is true of lobster?

    1. I would think so, at least in most locations. Unless you’re by the ocean, which I’m not, I’d guess all the seafood at the grocery arrives frozen. You make an excellent point.

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