How to Defrost Lobster Tails Quickly (3 Best Thawing Methods)

Are you trying to figure out the best way to go about thawing lobster tails quickly and safely?

Today, I am going to show you three full-proof methods that you can use to defrost your lobster tails, especially if you’re in a rush.

So, let us take a deeper look at the options below.

Why It’s Important to Defrost Frozen Lobster Tails Properly?

Why It's Important to defrost lobster tails

Before you start the process of defrosting your lobster tails, you should take a moment to understand why it is extremely important that they are defrosted properly.

One of the common mistake that I notice that people make is that they often thaw lobster tails at room temperature. While this quick thawing method is convenient, it is also poses a huge health risk.

The truth is, food should never be defrosted at room temperature or in warm water.

The reason for this is “Danger Zone”

So what exactly is the Danger Zone? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Danger Zone is the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, where bacteria grows rapidly, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes.

Harmful bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureusSalmonellaE. coli, and others, can grow to dangerous levels, which can cause food poisoning.

The methods that we look at below, will allow you to thaw lobster tails properly, while keeping them at safe temperatures.

Related: How to Thaw Frozen Salmon

How to Thaw Lobster Tails: We Look at The 3 Best Options

How to defrost Lobster Tails: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know that you should be safely defrosting lobster tails, let us take a look at the three defrosting options available to you:

  • Overnight in the Refrigerator
  • Quick Thaw: Cold Water Method
  • Microwave

How Long Does It Take to Defrost Lobster Tails?

Before we look at the different defrosting methods for lobster tails, here is a handy guide you can refer to, as it breaks down the estimated defrosting times.

You can see which method will work out best for you.

Lobster Tail SizeRefrigerator Method (Approximate Time)Cold Water Method (Approximate Time)Microwave Method (Approximate Time)
Small (4-6 oz)8-10 hours15-30 minutes5-7 minutes
Medium (6-8 oz)8-12 hours15-45 minutes5-9 minutes
Large (8-10 oz)8-16 hours30-1 hour17-12 minutes

It’s important to note that the time required for defrosting may vary depending on the size of the lobster tails and the method chosen.

How to Defrost Lobster Tails Overnight in the Refrigerator

If you are not necessarily in a rush and you plan to cook your lobster tails in a couple days, you can let them defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

The consistently cold temperature of refrigerator, provides a safe environment for the lobster tails to thaw, without the worry of them entering the danger zone.

While it isn’t the quickest option, it is a good choice for those who plan their meals ahead of time.


  1. Remove the frozen lobster tails from the freezer and place in bowl/container.
  2. To prevent possible cross-contamination, the bowl/container with the lobster tails should be placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, away from any ready to eat foods, open food packaging as well as fresh foods like fruit and vegetables.
  3. Let them sit in the refrigerator overnight (8-12 hours), they should be fully defrosted the next morning.
  4. They can be kept for up to 4 days in the refrigerator after thawing.

How to Defrost Lobster Tails Using the Cold Water Method

If you are in a rush and need the lobster tails defrosted quickly, then you can always go with the quick-thaw (cold-water) method.

By letting the lobster tails sit in cold water, you can have them thawed and ready to be used in under an hour (depending on size)


  1. For this method, you’ll need to fill a large bowl/container with cold water.
  2.  Take the lobster tails from the freezer (they should have been stored in a freezer safe bag) and place in bowl/container.
  3. Place the bag in the bowl of cold water, ensuring that the water covers the lobster tails.
  4. It should take about 20-45 minutes for the tails to thaw out (depending on how many & their size), but during that time, you should change the water every 10 minutes.
  5. Once thawed, prepare and cook immediately.

Related: How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

How to Defrost Lobster Tails in the Microwave

The last thawing method we will look at is the microwave.

While the microwave is pretty effective at defrosting lobster tails quickly, please be extremely careful when using it.

Microwaves cook food and even with using the defrosting setting, there is a possibility that you could end up cooking the lobster tail meat if you leave them in too long.


  1. Remove the lobster tails from the freezer and place in a microwave-safe plate or container.
  2. Microwave for 5-8 minutes, using the defrost or low power (usually 30% power) setting.
  3. Check to see if the lobster tails have been fully thawed out, if not, microwave for another three minutes until fully defrosted. You should constantly check to ensure that the microwave hasn’t started to cook the lobster tails.
  4. Once defrosted, you should cook them immediately.

Wrapping it up

When it comes to thawing lobster tails, you have many different options available to you.

I am a bit curious to know which method you plan on using.

Are you someone who plans meals ahead of time, which means refrigerated method works best for you? Or everything needs to be thawed quickly, which means either the cold water or microwave will be used?

Let me know which option you went with or any other questions you may have in the comments below.

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