How long do you cook a 4 ounce lobster tail?

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It’s a shame to let good lobster meat go to waste, so if you thaw lobster tails and decide within a safe time frame that you do not want to eat them — pop them back in the freezer. Although freezing keeps lobster tail safe to eat for an indefinite period of time, quality begins to diminish within a month. The cycle of freezing and refreezing also affects quality, affecting the taste and texture of the lobster tails overtime.

Thawing Conditions

Refreezing lobster tail is no problem as long as safe thawing practices are followed. While microwave and cold-water thawing — with a fresh water change every half hour — are both safe as long as the lobster is cooked immediately afterward, thawing lobster in the refrigerator allows you a few days leeway for cooking or refreezing. As long as the lobster tails thaw within refrigerator temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, refreezing is OK within two days.

Picked Tail Meat

Whether you are freezing cooked lobster meat for the first time or refreezing, don’t forget the brine. Brine-freezing inhibits moisture loss during freezer storage, resulting in pliable meat after the thaw. Remove the meat from the shell and place in an airtight container or freezer bag and cover with a cup of water and a full tablespoon of salt. There is no reason to add more brine to the meat when refreezing. Simply transfer the bag or container of lobster and brine from the refrigerator to the freezer within two days.

In the Shell

Place tail meat and shells in a freezer storage bag and press the bag with the palms of your hand to remove as much air as possible as you seal the bag. Place the original bag inside of another freezer bag or over-wrap with plastic wrap. If after thawing, you notice that air has entered the bag, remove the lobster tails from the original bag and place in a new bag and over-wrap before refreezing.

Live Lobster

Never freeze lobsters alive. To prevent spoilage and avoid the risk of foodborne illness, always cook lobster while it is alive and fresh. If you have already done so, do not thaw, cook, eat or refreeze. Instead, remove the frozen lobster from the freezer and discard. To prevent foodborne illness, always cook live lobsters. If you are unable to fully cook a lobster before freezing, blanch it at 212 F in salt water, chilling for 15 to 20 minutes afterward in cold running water or a tub filled with half water and half ice. Remove the tails after chilling, wrap and freeze.

To thaw the langostino tails, leave them in the bag they came in to prevent them from drying out and getting gummy. Put the bag into a plastic or glass bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator. Thaw the tails for 24 hours per pound—no longer than two days or you run the risk of contamination.

You could also speed thaw the langostinos by filling the bowl 2/3 full with cold water and letting the frozen tails sit in the water for up to two hours on the kitchen counter. Change the water every 15 minutes or so to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Once thawed, remove the langostino tails from the bag and gently blot them dry with a paper towel or a lint-free kitchen towel. Put them in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in the refrigerator until ready to use.