Today I’m making one of my all-time favorite seafood recipes: Smoked Lobster Tails. The natural goodness of the lobster is amplified by the smoky flavor from the charcoal and woodchips. It gets even better with a Parmesan cheese and garlic butter sauce.

The key to the best-tasting lobster tails is in the lump charcoal, because of the smoky flavors they can impart. My go-to source is Cowboy Charcoal, because they make their lump charcoal without additives, fillers, or chemicals, and there’s no need for lighter fluid. Needless to say, this can make all the difference to the taste of your food!

Sponsored by Cowboy Charcoal
Smoked Lobster Tails with smothered in a garlic butter sauce.

Why You’ll Love Smoked Lobster Tails

I love this recipe because smoking an already buttery lobster creates a unique sweet and smoky flavor explosion. I also like how serving smoked lobster tails impresses any crowd without spending six hours in the kitchen. They taste incredible and look stunning on the plate. In other words, smoked lobster tails are perfect for a special occasion or a casual dinner party with friends. 

As fancy as they look, smoked lobster tails are surprisingly easy to make. With some simple ingredients, you can achieve restaurant-quality results right in your own backyard. Skip to the recipe card, or come with me as we dive into how to make the best-smoked lobster tails ever. 

In the meantime, if you’re a lobster fan, check out these other recipes: Steak and Lobster in a Pizza Oven, Grilled Steak with Lobster Mac and Cheese, Stuffed Lobster Tail with Garlic Butter, Bacon Stuffed Lobster Tails, and Smoked Lobster Tails with Esquites.

Smoked Lobster Tail Recipe Ingredients

  • Live Lobster – The fresh lobster tails inside of the shell are seasoned with black pepper, Kosher salt, and garlic powder. For the best flavor, smoked paprika and cumin add more heat and depth. Canola oil helps make sure the seasonings stay on the lobster while smoking.  
  • Garlic Butter – The essential melted butter sauce comes together easily. Parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, red pepper flakes, and then some lemon juice are all you need for the recipe.

For best results, I strongly encourage an investment in some high-quality coals from Cowboy Charcoal. They will pay off big time in the unbeatable smoke flavor needed for the perfect lobster tail dinner. 

Get The Cookbooks!

Flavor X Fire & FOOD X Fire

By Derek Wolf

All the major tastes—salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami—are explored in depth, along with an investigation of other components you should consider when it comes to flavor, such as aroma, heat, and texture.

How to Make Smoked Lobster Tails

Now let’s get started on making these insanely delicious lobster tails!

Lobster Prep

The easy cooking process for the tastiest lobster tails starts with the prep. First step, grab a knife or a pair of sharp kitchen shears and your cutting board. Next, starting with the top of the tails, carefully cut down the middle of the shell, all the way down, making sure not to slice into the meat.

Once that’s done, take a spoon and gently slide it underneath the top of the shell, separating the meat from the shell. Next, lift the meat up and out from the shell, keeping it attached at the base of the tail. Then, place it on top of the shell. Next, using your knife (or pair of kitchen shears), make some shallow slits lengthwise down the meat. Repeat this process for all the lobster tails.

The fresh lobster tails are brushed with butter before smoking.

In a small bowl, mix the salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and oil to create a thin paste. Grab a brush and generously lather each lobster tail with the seasoning mix.

Smoker Time

Next up, it’s time to fire up the Cowboy Charcoal in our smoker. Preheat the smoker to a medium-high temperature of around 375° degrees F. Feel free to toss in some extra wood chips or chunks for extra smoky flavor.

Once the smoker is ready, place the seasoned lobster tails on the grill grates. Cook them indirectly for about 20-30 minutes. The lobster tails are ready once they turn translucent to a beautiful white color. Or, when the internal temperature of the lobster reaches 145° degrees F.

Parmesan & Garlic Butter Sauce

About 10 minutes before the lobster tails are finished cooking, we’ll make that decadent butter sauce. Place a skillet on the smoker and melt the butter (without burning it) first. Then add the chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice.

The lobster is finished with the butter 10 minutes before removing from the heat.

Mix everything thoroughly, and then lightly glaze the outside of the lobster tails with the sauce. Make sure to save some of that butter sauce for dipping later!

Serving Time

Once the lobster tails are done, remove them from the smoker and let them rest for a few minutes. Pour any leftover butter sauce into a dipping bowl. Now, it’s finally time to serve up those delicious smoked lobster tails. Enjoy!

A lobster tail is ready to eat!

What to Serve with Smoked Lobster Tails

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or celebrating a special occasion, smoked lobster tails pair beautifully with a wide range of sides. I’m thinking some grilled corn, green beans, and some fresh dinner rolls would be my idea of a complete well-rounded meal.

Leftovers & Reheating

Store any leftover cooked lobster meat by wrapping it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil and then storing it in an airtight container for 2-3 days. You can gently reheat the lobster tail meat in the aluminum foil over the grill with some more melted butter and garlic.

Or, why not make some lobster rolls with the leftover meat? The sandwich filling is easy to make with mayo, chopped celery, and a squeeze of lemon. Layer over a roll and you have yourself a killer sandwich!

For more Lobster

FAQS for my Lobster Tails Recipe 

Where do the best lobsters come from? 

The best lobsters live in the cold water environment of the North Atlantic Ocean. Especially, off the coast of Maine, lobsters thrive in the cooler, nutrient-rich water, resulting in the best texture.

Where can I source the best Maine lobsters? 

Your local grocery store seafood counter is the first place I’d check for the lobster tails. The next option is to order them online, which is a great idea, especially if you’re planning a party.

Can you suggest some other even bolder flavors for the lobster?

Certainly! Another great way to season the lobster tails is by making the melted butter sauce with freshly chopped jalapenos and fresh lime juice. Also, check out my recipe for Grilled Lobster with Hot Honey Butter.

Get stoked for life

This sauce is FYR!

an all-new line created for live fire cooking

Born from a deep passion for food and flavor. Whether you’re grilling in the backyard or live fire cooking around the world, we have what you need to transform every meal into an adventure.

Smoked Lobster Tails with Parmesan Butter

Smoked Lobster Tails

Smoked Lobster Tails are insanely delicious and easy to make, especially when you use Cowboy Charcoal in your smoker.
Author:Derek Wolf
4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people


Lobster Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Lobster Tails
  • 1/4 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil

Parmesan Butter:

  • cup Butter
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Lemon juiced


  • Using a knife or scissors, cut in the middle of the top of the lobster shell all the way down to the tail. Try to avoid cutting the meat.
  • Once fully cut, use a spoon to go underneath the top of the shell to separate the meat from the shell. Carefully lift the meat up and out from the shell (while still attached at the base of the tail).
  • Lay the meat on top of the shell. Using a knife, make shallow slits lengthwise down the meat. Repeat this for all the lobster tails.
  • In a small bowl or large Pyrex measuring cup, mix the kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and oil. Make it into a thin paste. Using a brush, lather the lobster with the seasoning.
  • Using Cowboy Charcoal, preheat your smoker to a medium-high temperature of 375 degrees F. Feel free to add wood chips or chunks for additional smoke flavor.
  • Once the smoker is ready, add the lobster tails and cook indirectly for 20-30 minutes. The lobster tails are done when they turn from translucent to completely white (or the internal temperature is 145 degrees F).
  • About 10 minutes before the lobster tails are finished cooking, add your basting skillet to the smoker. Melt your butter in the skillet then slowly integrate the parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Mix together thoroughly.
  • Then lightly glaze the outside of the lobster tails before they come off the smoker. Save some butter for dipping at the end!
  • When the lobster tails are done, pull them off and let rest for 2 minutes. Pour the leftover butter sauce into a dipping bowl. Serve and enjoy!



Serving: 1Lobster Tail | Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 780mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 483IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

4.94 from 15 votes (9 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was an EXCELLENT recipe. I used a little more paprika and less cumin. I also didn’t use any cheese (wife doesn’t like it) and lime juice instead of lemon. Cooking at 375° seemed to be slow enough to impart the wonderful smoky flavor but hot enough not to take too long. I’ll make this many more times.

  2. 5 stars
    I used this receipt to cook lobster for very important people. They absolutely loved it. The left over butter sauce sealed the deal! Thank you.

  3. How much are your lobster tails weighing? Seems I’m only finding 5 oz tails in our markets and thinking your recipe calls for larger tales. Would hate to overcook them. Thanks in advance for your reply.

  4. Derick these look absolutely lovely thanks I’ll be trading these thank you Lee from Liverpool England

  5. Derick these look absolutely lovely thanks I’ll be trying these thank you Lee from Liverpool England

  6. 5 stars
    Outstanding recipe. The parmesan butter sauce was unbelievable. I’m going to use it on all my special dishes moving forward. Thank you!