When it comes to lobster, there’s a big debate over steamed or boiled. Of those two, I prefer steamed, but I want to add a third option to the mix. Smoked. Why not? I love lobster. I love to grill. Why not combine the two?!

Smoked Lobster Ingredients:

  • Whole lobsters
  • Your favorite BBQ rub (optional)
  • Salted butter (optional)

This is more of a method than a recipe, because to me, lobster doesn’t need much other than some butter to dunk in after the lobster has been cooked.

First start with some amazing lobsters. I got these 1.75 pounders from Lobster Anywhere whom I use every year for our New Year’s Eve lobsterpalooza as well as my 4th of July Lobster Boil or whenever I’m craving these spiny, succulent beauties:

How can something look so creepy but taste sooooooo good!

Now some people don’t like putting lobsters in a boiling pot of water because they scream. Well, that’s not a scream. That’s steam escaping the shell. Still, some feel like dropping a live animal into boiling water is cruel. Well, first, realize the closest entomological cousin to the lobster is the cockroach. Yep, lobsters are basically ocean bugs. Delicious, delicious ocean bugs. Even still, if you want to end the suffering of the lobster quick, shove a knife blade through their brain by jamming a knife down right here:

Do you have any last words?

Next up, we need to boil these lobsters. But wait. This post is titled, “Smoked Lobsters?” I know that, but we need to decide to either take the claws off first or cook them quickly in some boiling water to even out the cooking times. See, the claws take a little longer to cook so what I do is boil them for three minutes and then boil the claws for an extra 2 minutes:

But wait, how do you boil just the claws?

Aha! that’s why we boil the whole thing for a couple minutes. By boiling the whole lobster, the tail curls up. So instead of standing there over a pot of boiling water and trying to hold a slippery lobster with tongs so just the claws are in the water like this:

It’s not easy to hold a lobster like this for 2 minutes straight

Instead, let the tail act as a hook on the side of the pot:

Built in pot hook! WINNING!

It’s OK if some of the head is in the water. We just need to keep the tail out and make sure the claws are in the water.

Next up, drop them in some ice water to halt cooking:

Time for a nice cool bath

Now let’s slice these bad boys in half. This can be a little messy:

Time to slice the lobsters in half
Straight down the center of the tail
What a perfect cut with my Shun Cutlery knife

Now it gets a little disgusting. We need to remove the tomalley and the eggs if they are there. It’s a little like changing a diaper. Here’s a lobster with only the tomalley:


And here’s a female with the tomalley and a bunch of eggs:

Double icky

Paper towels are your friends here. Just wipe that stuff out:

Paper towels make quick work of the lobster innards.

Once the gunk is removed, give them a rinse under some cold water and voila:

How does that look?!?

At this point, you can dust with your favorite BBQ rub or just put them straight on the cooker. Prepare the grill for 250 degrees. In this case, my hybrid grill which can use gas, charcoal, wood chunks or even a log from my wood pile to cook. I have some smoldering wood chunks on the outside and the lobsters in the middle:

Yeah, my grill has head lights! 

You can brush some butter on right here if you want. Maybe a compound butter:

And an obligatory smoke shot!

All you need to do is take the tail meat to 140 degrees and these lobsters are good to go!

Nothing says classy like eating smoked lobster off paper plates with a side of smoked corn!

That’s it. The claw and the tail are perfectly cooked and they have a great, subtle smoky flavor you just can’t get by boiling or steaming. If you wanted to leave them whole, you could insert the probe thermometer into the tail between the plates and wait for them to hit 140. It just depends on how you want to present the smoked lobster.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or to send me an email.

Also, you can follow us on our GrillinFools Facebook page and Instagram.

Smoked Lobster

An option other than boiling or steaming lobster - Smoked Lobster
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood
Servings: 6


  • 3 whole lobster (we used 1.75 lb lobsters)
  • your favorite BBQ rub (optional)
  • Salted butter (optional)


  • Boil the lobsters for 3 minutes, then just boil the claws for another 2 minutes
  • Dunk each lobster in an ice bath to halt the cooking
  • Split the lobsters in half, lengthwise and remove the tomalley and roe
  • Rinse out the cavity and pat dry with paper towels
  • Dust with BBQ rub (optional)
  • Prepare the smoker for cooking at 250 degrees
  • Place the soon to be smoked lobster on the cooker until the smoked lobster tail meat reach 140 degrees
  • Remove from the smoker and serve immediately (waiting will result in rubbery lobster)



Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

Latest posts by Scott Thomas (see all)


I work in a BBQ smokehouse. I would like to smoke them whole without boiling.


Nice detail on the smoked lobster. How do you like your AMG 3.6?
I am looking at the 54″ with a sear burner and griddle plate. I believe the AMG is the ultimate multi fuel gas grill.
Keep on grillin man.


I absolutely love it, Mark. I use it for everything from steaks at night to what we call deck breakfast in the morning on the weekends

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating