Lobster Insights

How to Eat Lobster Tail: A Step-by-Step Guide for Seafood Lovers

Lobster tails are one of the most delicious seafoods available, but they can also be intimidating to eat if you don’t know how to crack them open and get to the meat inside. Fortunately, with a few simple tools and techniques, you can enjoy a lobster tail feast without any hassle. Here’s how to eat a lobster tail like a pro.

What You Need

  • A lobster tail (or more if you’re feeling hungry)
  • A sharp knife or kitchen shears
  • A fork
  • A bib
  • Clarified butter (optional)

How to Eat a Lobster Tail

  1. Wear a bib. Lobster tails can be messy, especially if you dip them in butter. To avoid staining your clothes, put on a bib before you start eating. You can use a cloth napkin or a paper towel as a bib if you don’t have one.
  2. Separate the tail from the body. If you have a whole lobster, you’ll need to detach the tail from the rest of the lobster. To do this, place one hand on the body and one hand on the tail, and twist them in opposite directions until they come apart. You can also use a knife or a nutcracker to cut through the joint if you prefer.
  3. Brush off the tomalley. The tomalley is the green substance that you might see inside the lobster’s body. It’s the lobster’s liver and pancreas, and some people consider it a delicacy. However, it’s not recommended that you eat it, as it can contain toxins and pollutants that the lobster filtered out. To remove it, just scrape it away with a fork and discard it.
  4. Split the tail in half. To get to the meat inside the tail, you’ll need to cut open the shell. The easiest way to do this is to use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut through the underside of the tail, where the shell is softer. Flip the tail over so that the underside is facing up, and cut along the middle of the tail from one end to the other.
  5. Pull out the meat. Once you’ve split the tail in half, you can easily pull out the meat with your fingers or a fork. The meat should come out in one piece, but you might need to run your fingers along the inside of the shell to make sure you don’t leave any behind.
  6. Remove the vein. The vein is the black line that runs along the center of the lobster tail meat. It’s actually the lobster’s intestinal tract, and it’s not very appetizing to eat. To remove it, just pull it out with your fingers or a knife and discard it.
  7. Dip in butter. Clarified butter is the classic dipping sauce for lobster meat, as it enhances its flavor and texture without overpowering it. You can dip your lobster meat in butter as you eat it, or drizzle some butter over it before serving.
  8. Enjoy! You’ve successfully eaten a lobster tail! You can savor it by itself, or pair it with some lemon wedges, salad, bread, or other sides of your choice.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you don’t have kitchen shears or a knife, you can also crack open the lobster tail by tearing off the tail fins and pushing the meat out through one of the openings with a fork.
  • If you want to add some extra flavor to your lobster tail, you can season it with salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, or spices before cooking it. You can also bake, grill, or fry your lobster tail instead of steaming or boiling it for different textures and tastes.
  • If you’re eating lobster at a restaurant, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your server if you’re not sure how to eat it. They’ll be happy to show you how to crack open your lobster tail and enjoy your meal.


Lobster tails are a delicious treat that anyone can enjoy with a little bit of practice and patience. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to eat a lobster tail like a pro and impress your friends and family with your seafood skills.