Sunday, November 07, 2010

What's on the Grill #196: Planked Lobster Tails

I'm not sure how this almost passed me by, but I forgot an important part of my previously blogged about planked seafood night: planked lobster tails.  Even though I'm in landlocked Ohio (ocean wise, that is), I keep an eye out for fine frozen seafood, since that is about all we get.  Enter the lobster tails.  Typically, I can pick up a pair at Sam's Club for around $24 dollars, which isn't too bad. A little thawing time in the sink and voila, we are ready to grill.
Everyone on board
Lobster tails are no stranger to my grill.  Although, this is the first time I've planked them without any kind of pre-grill parbroil.  Lobster is one of those finely timed foods, miss the mark and you will probably be disappointed or at least spend a lot more time chewing than previously anticipated.  Parboiling just makes it a little bit easier and a whole lot faster.  Which is, of course, why I eschewed it from this entire process.
I removed the bottom membrane of the tails, which is partially documented here.  I did not, however, cut the tails in half. Because they were planked, I knew the pressure of he boards would keep them flat as they cooked.
With the planks soaked, I arranged one plank directly over the coals, placed the tails flesh down and then stacked the second plank over the tails.  A kind of lobster tail sandwhich, if you will.
A grill full of the sea
Due to the lack of a parboil to pre-cook the tails, I left them on the grill for around 45 minutes (this wasn't entirely planned...I thought it would go faster, but my temps were really low since I had about 5 feet of cedar spread out across the grill!).  It is easy to spot the tails as cooked, as their shells turn bright red.
Planked Lobster
As the tails finished up, I removed the top plank and flipped the tails on to their back.  Then, making a mixture consisting of 1 stick of butter and 2 tablespoons of pureed chipotles, I brushed the tails for their last 5 minutes of cooking.
Planked Lobster with Chipotle Butter
The result ? Lobstery heaven.  When I set out for this planked smorgasbord, I totally blew the timing on the tails.  Regardless, it was well worth the time because they turned out great.  Frozen tails may seem like a special occasion meal, but truthfully, anything standing by in the freezer can be a last minute delight too.

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