Last Updated on March 2, 2023 by Practical Cooks
Lobster tails are a fine delicacy to many and a special treat for seafood lovers. You may have recently purchased a lobster and cannot cook it the same day. The question arises how long does a lobster tail last in a fridge?
A lobster tail can last three to four days in the fridge as long as it remains in a cold environment. If it is longer that you cannot get to it to cook, it must be placed in the freezer. It will last up to eight months in a freezer, but six months is the better choice.
The lobster tail must be wrapped well in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh and avoid freezer burn. It must never sit at room temperature but must remain cold at all times. To learn more about lobster tails and how to store them, along with other valuable information, keep reading!
The Importance of Keeping Lobster Tails Cold
To avoid spoiling, all seafood like lobster tails, shrimp, fish, scallops, and freshwater prawns must remain at a cold temperature. Once these items go bad, they can cause severe illness and death if cooked and eaten. Not even the heat will kill the contaminants once they go bad because seafood can turn to poison once it reaches a specific drop in temperature.
The way to store lobster tails is by getting a large Ziploc freezer bag and putting the tail inside. Once it is in the bag, push out as much air as possible and seal it. Get a bowl of ice and place it in the fridge, and put the bag with the lobster tail on top of the ice in the bowl. The tail must stay around 32-34 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are not ready to cook the lobster the same day of buying it, you have three to four days to cook it. Do not let it go past four days, or it could still go bad. If something happens or you know it won’t be cooked for a while, it must be put in the freezer, but not before checking the bag for holes. If it gets freezer burn, the tail is no longer good.
Getting the Freshness Out of the Lobster
The best way to enjoy lobster tails is when it is fresh out of the water. They go best served with fries, steamed clams, baked potato, steak, and drenched with butter. If it is a hardshell lobster, there is a window of it staying fresh for about a whole day but no more than 36 hours.
Softshell lobsters are different and only have a 2-4 hour span to stay fresh. Whether soft shell or hard, they must be kept cold until it is time to cook them. The sooner you cook it, the fresher it will taste.
Another way to purchase lobster tails is when they are in the frozen section. It is essential to check the date on the package and not buy anything over two weeks on the shelf if you desire the freshest flavors. Once again, if it cannot cook the same day, put it back in the freezer immediately after the sale.
Discard the lobster if it has a strong foul odor, if the shell is slimy and stinks, or if the meat is discolored. If it is spoiled, it will have a yellow, white or red color. Its texture will also be mushy. It is an expensive dish, but eating spoiled lobster can kill a person, and there is no amount of money worth the pain or loss of life.
Cleaning the Lobster
If you have a frozen lobster tail, it has to thaw out before you can clean and cook it. It can take one to three hours to thaw out, but it must stay cool. The best way to thaw it out is by keeping it in the fridge, but we understand there may be times when you cannot wait.
Running the lobster tail under cold water or letting it sit in cold water and changing it every thirty minutes will speed up the process. As long as it is cleaned and cooked immediately after, it is feasible to defrost in the microwave. The lobster tail must defrost thoroughly, or it will not cook evenly.
Once it is thawed out, it is time to clean the tail. The tomalley is the liver and must be removed. All it takes is a paper towel to remove the liver. After removing the tomalley, cut the tail in half with a pair of kitchen scissors. The tail is now ready for cooking. How it is cooked depends on your preference. There is grilling, boiling, or oven baking.
How do you keep a lobster alive before cooking it?
Lobster is stored in the fridge for safekeeping, and it comes sold in a container like a Tupperware but with holes at the top of the container for it to breathe. They are kept outside the water but must stay damp to keep them fresh. It is best to wrap them in seaweed and not keep them in fresh or tap water.
Can you refreeze a lobster?
If the lobster has not reached a temperature of 40 degrees F, it can be placed back in the freezer. It must return to the freezer within a few days after it is first defrosted.
Is it safe to eat lobster tails cold?
Yes, you can eat cold lobster tails only if they have been cooked first and not left at room temperature for too long. Before eating a cold lobster tail after being cooked, check to ensure it is correctly sealed in the fridge. Most people will eat cold lobster in salads or eat it with dipping sauce. Never eat raw or undercooked lobster.