If you are like most other people in this world, you love lobster but only have it on special occasions, cause it’s so obscenely expensive. A small tail, prepared in a chain restaurant can easily run you $12-$15 just to add it to your meal! If you really want a good lobster tail, the price can just go up and up without limit. Supermarket price for a single tail (4-6 oz) on average costs about $10.00. A nice discount, but how the heck do you prepare the thing?! It’s rarely worth it. Today it was worth it, because lobster tails were on sale for $5.99 for a 5 oz tail! So this is more of a “how to” than a recipe, because if you understand how basic it really is to prepare the tails for easy baking, you’ll be making it a home a lot more often!
Using sharp kitchen scissors, cut the hard shell (vertically) down the middle, then at the last segment nearest the tail, cut across (horizontally) to make the cut look like a “T”.
Carefully pull the sides apart till they crack and expose all the lovely meat. The shell is very sharp, so be careful!
Using your fingers, or a small knife, separate the meat from the inside of the shell, leaving it attached at the end closest to the tail. Pull the meat out, so it is able to rest on the cutting board (kind of “inside out”).
Snip the membrane from the underside and trim it off, all the way around. Reposition the meat, so it is resting on top of the shell.
At this point your ready to baste, marinate, season, and bake. A squirt of lemon, a brush of butter and a sprinkle of old bay or cayenne is just fine, but there are several other flavor profiles that are amazing with lobster! Always serve with clarified butter on the side! (Microwave 1 stick of butter for 30-40 seconds. Skim off the foamy solids that rise to the top and discard.)
Cooking times will vary so keep an eye on them, especially if you choose to broil. Remember that when the tails are raw the color of the shell is greenish brown, and the meat is grayish and opaque. When the tails are done, the shell will be orangish red and the meat will be white and firm.
Preheat to 400 degrees and bake:
4-6 oz tail 15-20 minutes
8-12 oz 23-28 minutes
Broil 1 minute per ounce of the tail.