Whether you have some leftover lobster tails, looking to preserve your lobster tails for later use, or simply want to enjoy lobster tails at any possible moment, you may be wondering: can I freeze lobster tails?
Well, you’re in luck. The simple answer is yes! You can freeze lobster tails. However, it is sometimes easier said than done.
With this in mind, this article will be exploring everything you need to know about freezing lobster tails so you can make sure you’re doing it correctly for the best possible results.
Is Frozen Lobster Meat Good?
An assessment composed of an expert panel compared the differences between frozen soft-shell lobster and frozen hard-shell lobster claw and meat when first frozen, as well as after three, six, and nine months of being stored in a freezer.
After nine months in storage, the testers awarded the good meat scores and found that soft-shell lobster’s retention rate allowed them to only require 60 to 90 seconds of blanching, with little to no loss in the quality of the meat.
Whole lobster entirely cooked and frozen or a whole lobster blanched and frozen; fully cooked, frozen claws; blanched and frozen whole tails; and fully cooked, picked fletch from knuckles, tails, and claw were all available as frozen goods.
Periodically, pasteurized and vacuum-packed fresh lobster flesh (see also ‘What Does Lobster Taste Like?‘) is also available, with a shelf life of four months when refrigerated.
How To Freeze Lobster Tails In The Shell
While it may seem like the easiest thing to do, you can’t simply toss a lobster tail in the freezer and call it a day.
When freezing lobster, you want to do everything you can to keep the flavor and texture intact. To help you do so, we have created step-by-step instructions below.
- Blanch the lobster tails in a brine mixture. For the mixture, whisk together 2 quarts of water and half a cup of non-ionized salt until smooth. Bring the water to a boil to ensure all the salt is dissolved.
- For only a minute, submerge the lobster tails into the mixture. Then, take them out and submerge them straight into a dish of ice-cold water for 15 to 20 minutes. This ensures that they don’t overcook.
- Remove the lobster tails and then pat them dry.
- Place the lobster tails in a freezer-safe bag – squeezing any excess air before sealing the bags.
- Place the bags into a second freezer bag then seal them for extra protection, then use a permanent marker to label the bags with the current date.
How To Freeze Lobster Meat Out Of The Shell
Believe it or not, you can also freeze lobster meat out of the shell! Below, we have created a step-by-step guide on how to do so!
First, steam-cook your lobster:
- Using a steamer basket, place an 8-quart stockpot over the top. Fill with 1 to 2 inches of water and then bring to a boil.
- Place the lobsters in the top basket, then lower the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer.
- Replace the lid and cook for 15 minutes.
- Depending on the amount of lobster in the pot, you may need to steam them for an extra 5 to 10 minutes to ensure they’re properly cooked.
Freezing de-shelled lobster meat:
- Once the lobsters have been steamed, lift with tongs and allow them to rest, then remove the meat to ensure it cools.
- Place the picked, cooled lobster into a freezer zip-lock bag or an airtight container. If you have them, vacuum-sealed bags would be the best option!
- Make sure you don’t overflow the bags with meat. If you require more than one bag, then do so. When placed in the freezer, the meat should lay flat.
- Write the date on the zip lock bags, then place them in the freezer to allow proper air circulation (make sure not to place these in the same freezer with other foods).
- If stored at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius) the frozen lobster should last up to 3 to 6 months.
How Long Can You Freeze Lobster Tails?
Now that we have determined how to freeze lobster, you may be wondering how long frozen lobster lasts exactly. Well, this is generally dependent on the lobster’s storage conditions. Below, you will find more information:
- When lobsters are frozen in the shell, you can expect them to retain their quality for approximately 9-12 months in the freezer.
- Due to the process of freezing meat out of the shell, this frozen lobster should last from 3 to 6 months.
How Long Can Frozen Lobster Last At Room Temperature?
Typically, room temperature can fall between 40-degree F and 140-degrees F, the prime temperature for the growth of bacteria. Therefore, once unfrozen, you should consume the lobster within 2 hours, any longer it should be discarded.
For this reason, it isn’t recommended to defrost frozen lobsters at room temperature. This is chiefly due to the risks of getting food poisoning.
Other Methods For Freezing Lobster Tails
In addition to the above-mentioned methods, there are a few other tips and tricks by which you can freeze lobster tails.
- Following the same procedure as before; however, wrap the lobster tails in paper towels to prevent the bags from puncturing.
- Use a lobster tail to make an ice cube! When kept in ice, it prevents the lobster tails from drying out.
- Trim, devein, and clean the lobster tails before serving. Add them to a plastic container. Then, fill the container with enough water to cover the lobster tails.
- Replace the lid on the container and then place it in the freezer. Using this method, the lobsters will remain as fresh as when they were purchased!
- One of the best methods of preserving lobster tails is by using a vacuum seal machine. Place the lobsters into a ziplock bag with a few paper towels lined inside (this acts as a protective layer). Then wrap the bag up and place it into the freezer to be frozen.
When it comes to freezing any kind of meat, you want to make sure you’re doing it properly. Not only do you want your food to remain fresh but you also want to ensure that it is safe to eat.
In this guide, we have outlined the best and safest ways to freeze lobster tails. Hopefully, this guide has informed you on everything you need to know about freezing lobster tails.