Lobster tails are a real treat. They are best eaten fresh, but sometimes the timing of being able to get lobster tails and that special occasion you want them for simply don’t coincide. Well, in that case, you can definitely freeze your lobster tails. It’s a great way to preserve them.
How to Freeze Lobster Tails
#1 Blanch The Lobster Tails
Blanching lobster tails before freezing not only makes sure that the meat will be safe to consume, but also helps preserve the original texture of fresh lobster tails. It also makes it easier to remove the meat from the shell – in case you want to.
In any case, you’ll want to start with the lobster tails still intact, shell and all. Blanching or parboiling means cooking your lobster tails just slightly. In order to do this, you’ll need a pot of boiling water. However, it is recommended that lobsters are boiled in a brine instead of plain water. While this might sound exotic, this brine is actually just salty water. To prepare it, you’ll need to add about 4 tablespoons of salt per quart of water. It’s best to use sea salt for this (do not use iodised salt). Simply let the salt dissolve in the water as it comes to a boil.
Once the water has reached the boiling point, you can go ahead and drop your lobster tails in there (warning: do not do this before you read step 2, as things will go very quickly from here). The lobsters don’t need to boil for a long time. In fact, they should only stay in the boiling water for 1 minute (best to use a timer). Keep them in the water much longer than that and they will be cooked rather than blanched.
#2 Ice Bath
While you are preparing your pot of hot brine, you should also consider how you will cool down your lobster tails. The ice bath is a necessary step after blanching in order to cool the meat quickly and stop the cooking process. You can literally create an ice bath using a large bowl filled with half ice and half cold water. This is our favourite method, but if you don’t have ice at hand or don’t want to do this for any reason, you can also place your lobster tails under running cold water. This step needs to be done immediately, as soon as the 60 second cooking time for lobster tails has expired, so just be prepared.
#3 (Optional) Get The Meat Out Of The Shell
Depending on how you plan to cook your lobster tails afterwards, you might want to preserve the shells. In that case, you can skip this step and go ahead and freeze your lobster tails in their original form. On the other hand, if you know you won’t need the shells later, then this is a good time to remove the meat from the shell. The blanching process should have loosened the meat and getting it out now should be quite easy. Pat the lobster meat dry, cut into pieces if necessary, and you are ready to freeze.
#4 Pack, Label, and Freeze
Once your lobster tails are chilled after the blanching, you can go ahead and freeze them. The simplest method to do this is with a regular old freezer bag. Simply place the lobster tails in, squeeze out as much air as possible and then close the bag. Make sure to label it with the date, especially as we’d recommend using up the lobster tails packed like this within 2-3 months. The flavour might start to deteriorate after this time period expires.
How To Make Frozen Lobster Tails Last Longer?
Lobster tails, in general, shouldn’t be frozen for too long, but you can extend their life in the freezer to about six months. The best way to do this is with a food saver machine. Also called vacuum sealers, these things will extract all the air from your bags and seal them, which does wonders for preserving all kinds of food.
Another trick many fishermen talk about is freezing your lobster tails in water. Essentially, you’ll be turning them into large ice cubes. You can do this with a freezer bag by simply filling it up with water, but be careful as handling the water-filled bag can be a bit awkward. It’s actually probably easier to use a rigid plastic, freezer-safe container. Just put your lobster tails in there and fill the container up with water until they are completely submerged.
How To Defrost Lobster Tails
Before using your lobster tails, you’ll definitely need to thaw them first. Pretty much the only way to do this right is by letting them thaw in the refrigerator. This is best done overnight, as it will take at least a couple of hours.