How to Choose A Florida Lobster Tail

Updated: Jan 3, 2024

For many seafood enthusiasts, lobster is a delicious and flavorful favorite that’s often reserved for special occasions. And while you certainly can’t go wrong with a Florida lobster tail perfectly prepared by the talented chefs at Billy’s Stone Crab, you can also enjoy this delectable dish at home.

At our Fort Lauderdale and Miami seafood restaurants, we’re often asked: “What is the best way to cook lobster tail?” And even though there are certain tips for preparing lobster, one of the most important steps you can take comes long before you ever set foot in the kitchen. How do you know if Frozen Lobster tails are even good? 

Learning how to choose lobster tails is a must because even the best recipe can’t turn a low-quality lobster tail into a five-star meal. With a few tips – and a solid understanding of what to look for – you can shop like a true seafood aficionado.

Our Top Tips for Choosing Lobster Tail

Before you start planning a fabulous seafood feast, use these handy tips to shop smart and find the best lobster tails for sale online or in your local market.

1. First, learn about the different types of lobster that are available.

Did you know that there are more than 45 different lobster species around the world? That’s a lot of lobster and an overwhelming number of options, even for a savvy seafood lover. When you’re shopping for frozen lobster tails, you’ll generally have two basic categories to choose from:

  • Coldwater lobster tails are sourced from areas such as Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand.
  • Warm water lobster tails are more readily available in the U.S., partly because they come from closer-to-home sources such as Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Both types have their own pros and cons, though you can avoid any disadvantages by simply choosing a high-quality and reputable retailer.

Then, know that certain lobster species are often considered superior to others. And when you’re searching for lobster tails specifically, there are some types of lobster that will be ideal. For example, Florida lobsters are known for their sweet, flavorful, and firm meat that’s primarily stored in the tail. This makes them the perfect choice for top-quality lobster tails and an exceptional meal.

2. Know what to look for (and what to avoid).

If you’re browsing lobster tails in person, it’s extremely helpful to have an idea of the signs of quality. Equally important is knowing the red flags that can indicate lobster that is poor quality, which includes:

  • Any discoloration in the meat, including yellowing or black spots
  • Dullness
  • Grayish coloring (this means the lobster was dead before it was processed, which negatively affects the quality)
  • The tail is thawed (individually-sold lobster tails should be frozen, then thawed just before you’re ready to cook)

3. Remember that, when it comes to lobster tails, bigger is not better.

One of the most common mistakes people make when buying lobster tails is to search for the biggest ones available. But actually, smaller tails will have a far better combination of excellent taste and texture while offering a very good amount of meat.

So, what is the best size for a lobster tail? Anywhere between 5 and 10 ounces is ideal (lobster tails sold at Billy’s Stone Crab target the sweet spot of 6-7 ounces).

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4. Above all, only buy from trusted seafood companies.

It may seem convenient to simply head to your nearest grocery store to buy lobster tails, but more often than not, you’ll end up disappointed. It’s not unusual for grocery store lobster tails to have been injected with water or soaked in sodium tripolyphosphate (a preservative).

Even at some seafood markets, it can be difficult to know if you’re spending your money on something that will make a delicious dinner. You might find yourself wondering how fresh the lobster is, how and where it was caught, and how long it’s been sitting in the freezer.

Instead, stick with a company with a longstanding legacy of quality and customer satisfaction. Billy’s Stone Crab has been a Florida staple for nearly half a century, providing both our restaurant patrons and market shoppers with an extensive selection of the very best in locally-caught seafood. Our Florida lobster tails are harvested from the Florida Keys, and available at our restaurant, Hollywood, FL seafood market, and for purchase online. Learn more about Florida's Spiny Lobster with us here. 

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Enjoy the Best Florida Lobster Tails and Seafood from the Famous Billy’s Stone Crab

Here in Florida, Billy’s Stone Crab has long been a beloved dining destination for generations for seafood lovers. With a dedicated team of local fishermen, as well as our two Florida Keys fish houses (in Marathon, FL and Summerland Key, FL), we’re able to get superior seafood from the ocean to your dinner plate in 24 hours.

Discover the delicious difference of unparalleled quality and fresh Florida seafood when you dine in our restaurant, shop our seafood market, or order lobster tails online today!