Grilled Lobster

Capture the feeling of summer in Maine with these grilled lobsters with a lemon-chive butter sauce.

Grilled lobster along with asparagus, corn, tomato

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Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
4 servings

Chef Rebecca Charles has been known in New York City for her lobster since she opened Pearl Oyster Bar in 1997. Her seafood menu transported beach shack classics from Maine to Manhattan, and her signature lobster roll started a national trend that never diminished. Charles’s family has deep roots in Maine; they’ve summered in Kennebunk for nearly 100 years. But their preferred lobster cooking method is a little unorthodox: They prefer to grill it. “The dry heat imbues the lobster meat with the taste of the shell, giving it a more complex, caramelized flavor,” Charles explains. “It’s the same reason meat cooked on the bone tastes better.”


  • 4 (1 1/2-pound) lobsters, cleaned and halved lengthwise

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 large lemons, cut into wedges

  • 1/3 cup white wine

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

  • 3 shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 pound unsalted butter

  • 4 ears corn

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat, 400°F to 450°F (if you’re using charcoal, build a medium-high fire and wait for the coals to turn gray). Here’s a good test to see if your grill is ready: Place your hand 2 or 3 inches above it; you should only be able to keep it there for a couple of seconds before pulling away.

  2. Drizzle lobster halves and corn with olive oil.

  3. Place lobsters on grill over direct heat, shell sides down. Place ears of corn next to lobsters.

  4. Grill corn until kernels are tender, about 10 minutes, turning cobs to a new side every 3 minutes.

  5. Grill lobsters until meat is firm and white with no translucency, 5 to 7 minutes. DO NOT turn lobsters over during grilling, or you will lose the oil, juices and any tomalley or roe. If shells start to blacken, move them to a cooler part of the grill. Lobster claws will need an extra minute or two over direct heat to cook through.

  6. Transfer lobsters and corn to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to hold warm.

  7. Make the lemon-chive butter sauce: Combine wine, vinegar, and shallots in a stainless steel saucepan on grill or on a stove over medium heat. Bring to a simmer (or move to a cooler part of grill) and reduce until there are 2 tablespoons of liquid. Reduce heat to low and start adding butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until each piece melts. Whisk in lemon zest and chives.

  8. Serve lobsters on platters with lemon wedges, an ear of corn, and lemon-chive butter sauce.

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