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Air Fryer Lobster Tails

Discover the effortless elegance of air fryer lobster tails that are tender, flavorful, and perfect for a fancy dinner at home.

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Air fried lobster tails lined up on a platter with garnish.

Dreaming of a fancy seafood dinner but intimidated by the thought of cooking lobster? These air fryer lobster tails are elegant, easy, and luxuriously delicious!

Tender, succulent lobster is brushed with a lemon garlic butter and then air fried to perfection. Best of all, you can go from fridge to table in under 15 minutes!

Whether you’re planning a romantic dinner or a special family meal, air fried lobster tails are your ticket to a dinner to remember. 

They’re impressive enough to serve guests but easy enough to make any night of the week!

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Air Fryer I recommend: Large, easy to clean, square basket, burner on top and bottom. Click to see it.
Uncooked lobster tails next to other recipe ingredients.

How to Cook Lobster Tails in the Air Fryer

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Use kitchen shears to butterfly the 2 lobster tails. Cut down the center of the top of the shell until you get to the tail, then flip the lobster over and use your thumbs to break each vertebra between the legs to open the tail without breaking it.

Using kitchen shears to cut open to butterfly the meat.
Breaking up lobster vertabra to remove meat.

STEP TWO: With your fingers, loosen the meat along the sides, bottom, and top, then gently pull the lobster meat up and set it on top of the tail. 

STEP THREE: Sprinkle the lobster with paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. 

Raw lobster tails on a plate.

STEP FOUR: In a small bowl, melt the butter, then add garlic and lemon juice. Remove 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture and set it aside. 

STEP FIVE: Brush the tails with the lemon garlic melted butter mixture.

Brushing lobster with lemon garlic butter sauce.

STEP SIX: Place the lobster tails in the air fryer basket. 

Raw lobster tail ready to cook in air fryer.

STEP SEVEN: Set the air fryer to 380 degrees F and air fry the lobster tails for 5-8 minutes until the meat is opaque and lightly brown and the tail is bright red. 

STEP EIGHT: Serve air fried lobster tails with the reserved melted butter.

Lobster tails in air fryer basket.

Tips for Making the Best Air Fryer Lobster Tail

  • When butterflying the lobster tail, it’s okay if you cut some of the meat as long as you avoid cutting through the bottom of the tail. 
  • Breaking each vertebra between the legs allows you to open the tail without breaking it so the meat can sit on top.
  • After air frying for 5 minutes, stick a meat thermometer horizontally into your lobster to see if the internal temperature is 135-140 degrees F.
  • If some lobster tails are pinker than others, this just means they’re female. 
  • Lobster is best served right away while it’s hot and fresh.

More Air Fryer Seafood Recipes

Variations for Lobster Tails in the Air Fryer

  • Try adding fresh chopped herbs like parsley or dill to the butter mixture for an aromatic twist.
  • For a subtle heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili flakes to the lemon garlic butter.
  • Replace the lemon in the butter with lime for a different citrus note.
  • Sprinkle some grated Parmesan on the lobster tails in the last minute of cooking for a cheesy crust.
  • Increase the amount of minced garlic for a more robust flavor in the butter.
Perfectly cooked lobster tails on a plate.

Can You Make Lobster Tails in the Air Fryer?

My favorite way to make lobster tail is in the air fryer!

It’s faster than baking and easier than steaming, plus the lobster turns out succulent and delicious every time.

How Long to Cook Air Fryer Lobster Tails

A 4 oz lobster tail will cook in 5-8 minutes in the air fryer. You want to be careful not to overcook your lobster.

At the 5-minute mark, stick a meat thermometer horizontally into the tail. If the internal temperature has reached 135-140 degrees F, it’s perfect!

Enjoying an air fried lobster tail dinner.

How to Cook Lobster Tails in the Air Fryer from Frozen

I would not recommend air frying lobster tails from frozen. Instead, let the lobster tails thaw beforehand, then follow the recipe as usual.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Lobster Tails

To add a little green to your plate, I always love serving asparagus or green beans with air fryer lobster tail.

Rosemary mashed potatoes, stovetop mac and cheese, and Cajun corn on the cob also make deliciously satisfying sides!

Dipping lobster meat into lemon garlic butter.

More Seafood Recipes:

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Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Lobster Tails

Enjoying an air fried lobster tail dinner.

Air fryer lobster tails are cooked to perfection, boasting a buttery, tender texture and a deliciously subtle sweet flavor. Coupled with a touch of garlic and a hint of lemon!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 lobster tails
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Use kitchen shears to butterfly your lobster tails. Cut down the center of the top of the shell until you get to the tail.
  2. Then, flip the lobster over and use your thumbs to break each vertebra between the legs.
  3. Loosen the meat along the sides, bottom, and top with your fingers. Gently pull the lobster meat up and sit it on top of the tail. 
  4. Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. In a small bowl, melt your butter and add your garlic and lemon juice. Remove 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture and set it aside. 
  6. Brush the tails with the melted butter, lemon juice, and garlic. 
  7. Place the tails in the air fryer basket.
  8. At 380 degrees F, cook your lobster for 5-8 minutes until the meat is opaque, lightly brown, and the tail is bright red.
  9. Serve it with the reserved melted butter. Garnish with parsley (optional).

Notes

  • If you can only buy frozen lobster tails, that is fine; just thaw them beforehand. 
  • When you are butterflying your lobster, it is okay if you cut some of the meat; you just want to avoid cutting through the bottom of the tail. 
  • You will notice that some of the lobster's meat will be pinker than other tails; this just means that it is a female.
  • At 5 minutes, use a meat thermometer and stick it horizontally into your lobster, and when the internal temperature is 135-140 degrees, your lobster is perfect.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 23g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

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