Already have an account?
Get back to the
Food & Recipes

How to Reheat Lobster So It Stays Tender and Tastes Delicious — Chef’s Best Secrets

The best way to keep lobster from getting rubbery when reheating using an oven, stovetop or microwave

Lobster is sweet, succulent and luxurious. It’s not an everyday kind of meat, so when you’ve got some leftover, you don’t want it to go to waste. But reheating it the wrong way can turn that once-tender meat tough and rubbery, ruining the texture, flavor and, honestly, your night! We talked to some professional chefs and food experts to find out the best way to reheat lobster, plus bonus options if you’re in a pinch. And if you prefer to eat it cold, we’ve got tips for that, too. Keep reading to learn more.

Chef’s #1 pick: How to reheat lobster in the oven

When it comes to the best way to reheat lobster, the oven method comes out on top. Clare Langan, senior content manager at Williams Sonoma and former chef, says that regardless of the method you choose, gentle heat is key. It makes sense then to use the oven to reheat lobster. After all, the meat is fully cooked; you’re just getting it nice and warm again. Langan recommends heating the lobster meat (shell off) in any sauce that’s also leftover to keep it from drying out. If there’s no sauce, a bath of stock or melted butter works, too. Here’s Langan’s step-by-step guide for reheating steamed lobster in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. 
  2. Put the lobster in a heat-proof/oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Make sure there is liquid in the dish (the lobster’s sauce, stock or butter). 
  3. Heat in the oven until the lobster is warm. Depending on your oven, this will take about 10 minutes. 

Want to reheat a whole, shell-on lobster in the oven? Ed McFarland, chef and owner of Ed’s Lobster Bar, recommends cutting it in half and laying it on a sheet tray. He says it will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to heat up. 

Short on time? How to reheat lobster on the stovetop

If you’re looking to eat fast, then this 15-minute stovetop method is the way to go. McFarland says it’s best to start with lobster out of the shell for the most delicious results. Here, he goes over how to reheat lobster on the stovetop:  

  1. Choose a saucepan or skillet that’s big enough to heat the lobster evenly. 
  2. Pour a little stock or broth in a sautée pan. (First for Women test kitchen manager Susan Chiusano recommends using seafood stock, or brushing meat with melted butter to keep it moist.)
  3. Bring the stock up to a simmer and add the lobster. It will take about 10 minutes to warm up, then add the butter. 
  4. Heat until thoroughly warm and serve.  

If you don’t have time to remove the meat from the shell first, you can still reheat your lobster on the stovetop. Here’s how:

  1. Find a pot large enough for your leftover lobster and add water. Make sure it has a steamer basket in it. 
  2. Bring the water to a boil. 
  3. Place the lobster in the basket (on its back) and cover.
  4. Reheat on medium heat for about five to eight minutes. 
  5. Take the lobster out of the pot and let it cool before serving. 

Want extra flavor? How to reheat lobster on the grill

Lobster tails meat-side down on a hot grill with flames
rez-art/Getty Images

The grill makes almost all meats even more delicious, and leftover lobster is no exception. Here are the steps McFarland follows to reheat steamed lobster on the grill:

  1. Preheat your grill on high. 
  2. If the lobster is out of the shell, lightly coat the meat in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. If the cooked lobster is still in the shell, heat it shell side down, and do not flip it over.
  4. Grill until thoroughly heated. 
  5. Remove, cool and serve.

In a pinch? How to reheat lobster in the microwave

Microwaves are kitchen superheroes. They get things hot — fast. That said, the rapid heat doesn’t make for the most tender reheated lobster. For that reason, McFarland does not recommend this method. However, he does recognize that some people need to make things happen in a jiffy, so if you need reheated lobster quickly, here are the steps he recommends:

  1. Make sure the lobster is removed from the shell. 
  2. Wrap the lobster in a damp paper towel so it stays moist. 
  3. Heat in three- to five-minute increments until the lobster is hot. 
  4. Take out of the microwave, unwrap from the towel and serve. 

(All that said, some meats, however, do reheat beautifully in the microwave. Click through to see how you can reheat ribs in the microwave so they’re just as juicy as they were fresh.)

Tips for reheating frozen lobster

If your leftover lobster is in the freezer, your first step is to thaw it gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re short on time and need to thaw quickly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says to seal the leftover lobster in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water. Or, if you plan on reheating it immediately, you can microwave it on the “defrost” setting and stop the defrost cycle while the lobster is still icy but pliable.

And on days when taking the time to reheat your leftover lobster is not in the cards, Langan recommends serving it cold. “Chop some herbs, maybe a stalk of celery or some shallot, and fold it into chilled lobster meat with some mayo or warm butter, add a squeeze of lemon, and you have the best lobster salad for a homemade lobster roll or to top a salad.” (Click through for another delicious homemade lobster roll recipe.)

Want more tips for reheating leftovers? Check out our stories below:

Chefs Share 5 Ways To Reheat Crab Legs That Guarantee They’ll Be Sweet & Succulent

Food Network Chef: The #1 Mistake People Make When Reheating Steak

How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken So It’s as Delicious as the Day You Bought It

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.