King of the crustaceans, fresh lobster, especially its prized tail meat, is a favorite of meat lovers and seafood lovers alike. With its succulent meaty texture and delicately sweet flavor, lobster tails turn any occasion into a feast fit for royalty!
Freezing lobster tails at their peak of freshness and quality preserves their flavor and ensures you can enjoy lobster all year long. Before you can dive into your lobster tail meal, you first will need to safely defrost them.
How do you thaw frozen lobsters tails? You can thaw frozen lobster tails overnight in the refrigerator, submerge them in cool water for a couple of hours, or defrost them in the microwave.
Options For Safely Defrosting Frozen Lobster Tails
Depending on how much time you have available, there are a few different options for thawing your lobster tails in a safe and responsible way. You can let the lobster tails sit and thaw in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours, you can submerge the lobster tails in cool water, or you can defrost the tails using the microwave.
Whichever option you decide on, there are several factors to take into consideration with each one. So, let’s get to thawing!
Put the Lobster Tails in the Refrigerator Overnight
This is the best option for thawing your frozen lobster tails for several reasons. When you freeze a protein, ice crystals are created within the structure of the meat and those sharp ice crystals can wreak havoc on meat if it is not thawed slowly and properly. Letting your lobster tails thaw slowly over time helps to preserve the texture and integrity of the meat.
To do this, simply place your frozen lobster tails on a plate and place it on the lowest shelf in your refrigerator for about twenty-four hours, give or take a couple hours. Keeping the plate of lobster tails on the lowest shelf helps to prevent any cross contamination.
If you are thawing multiple lobster tails at once, make sure to arrange them in a single layer on the plate so that they can thaw evenly. Once defrosted, cook the lobster tails immediately and do not refreeze them.
Submerge the Lobster Tails in Cool Water
The next best option for defrosting frozen lobster tails is by submerging them in cool water for a couple of hours. While substantially quicker than defrosting overnight in the refrigerator, thawing lobster tails in water over the course of an hour or two is also a safe and effective method for preparing your lobster tails for cooking.
You can still preserve the texture and integrity of the meat as long as you can keep the temperature of the water around that of a refrigerator. Water is a much better conductor of heat than air which is why you can safely thaw proteins quickly and efficiently submerged in cold water in less time than overnight in the refrigerator.
To defrost your lobster tails in water, fill a large container or stock pot with cold water. Place the lobster tails, in a single layer, into a large plastic zip top bag making sure the bag is closed tight. If water gets in the bag it will result in mushy lobster meat and no one wants that!
Remove as much air as possible from the bag before adding it to your container of cold water so that it won’t float to the surface. It is crucial that your lobster tails stay fully submerged under water, so they fully defrost.
If the bag does float to the surface, simply weigh it down with a sauce pot or a small plate. Check the doneness every thirty minutes or so until the meat at the open end of the shell is soft. Cook immediately to prevent spoiling and do not refreeze after thawing.
Microwave the Lobster Tails
With no other options available, defrosting in the microwave should only be used as a last resort if you do not have the time to thaw overnight in the refrigerator or submerged in water. There is a risk of partially cooking the meat during the process which could result in a tough and chewy texture. It is extremely important to pay close attention to timing when using a microwave to defrost frozen lobster tails.
To get started, place the frozen lobster tails on a plastic or glass microwave-safe plate. If defrosting more than one, make sure to place them in a single layer and not bunched up together so they thaw evenly. Most modern microwaves have a “defrost” setting, so start by microwaving the lobster tails for two minutes using the defrost setting.
After the first two minutes, remove the lobster tails from the microwave and check for doneness by touching the thickest part of the exposed meat. Continue using one-to-two-minute intervals on the defrost setting until the lobster tails are defrosted throughout. Cook immediately to prevent spoiling and do not refreeze lobster after thawing.
- Using lobster tails that have been frozen at their peak of quality and freshness, you are able to enjoy delicious lobster for dinner all year long.
- When deciding which defrosting method to use, be sure to take into account how much time you have until you will be needing to cook them.
- No matter which method you choose, make sure to cook the lobster tails immediately after thawing for best results.
- Never refreeze the lobster tails after they have been defrosted as this could result in harmful bacteria growth.
- The best method for thawing frozen lobster tails is by letting them slowly defrost in the refrigerator over night. This method ensures the best final product while also being the safest since the lobster tails are kept at a constant temperature below forty degrees.
- If you use the water method, be sure to properly and tightly seal the bag to prevent any water from entering. Failure to do so can result in mushy lobster. Check the lobster tails every thirty minutes until they are defrosted while also changing the water to maintain a proper cold temperature.
- When using the microwave method, slow and steady wins the race. After each time interval, be sure to check the lobster tails closely to make sure they are not cooking internally.