What You Need to Know About Costco Lobster Tails [Make Sure You Read the Label!]

I have bought lobster tails a couple of times at Costco and, while at first glance they looked the same, many people would say that they were fundamentally different products.

I greatly enjoyed both types of lobster when I cooked them on my grill but I am not a hardcore lobster fanatic. If you have a more refined seafood palate then let me point out some key features of the lobster tails so you can be aware of what you are buying.

Lobster Tails from Costco Being Grilled

What Kind of Lobster Does Costco Sell?

I have found two types of lobster tails being sold at Costco:

  • Cold Water Lobster tails from the USA
  • Warm Water Lobster Tails from Brazil

How different are these types of lobster?

Cold Water Lobster from the USA

The cold water lobster in Maine is the species Homarus Americanus and it is the largest of all of the lobster species.  These lobsters are found from North Carolina to Canada and are prevalent along the New England coast.

The meat from these lobsters is primarily in the tail but also is found in their two large claws, one of which is typically bigger than the other.

Price of Costco Lobster Tails

Warm Water Lobster Tails from Brazil

The warm water lobster from Brazil are primarily the species Panulirus Argus and is often referred to as a Caribbean Spiny Lobster.  These lobsters are found of the coast of Brazil as well as the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.

While these lobsters do have claws they are much smaller than the massive pinching claws found on cold water lobsters.

Warm Water Lobster Tails

Brazil is one of the top three producers of this type of lobster along with Cuba and Nicaragua.

Differences in Flavor and Texture Between Cold and Warm Water Lobster

When you look up the differences between Cold and Warm water lobster the general consensus on the Internet is that cold water lobster is superior in terms of taste and texture while warm water lobster tails are meatier.

The lore is that:

  • Lobsters grow at a slower rate in cold water.  The slow growth makes the tail meat more firm and imparts a sweet taste.
  • Warm water lobsters grow faster so you tend to get more tail meat but the meat is a little squishy and has more of a seafood flavor.

I will say that I was unable to tell a difference between the Warm and Cold water lobster tails that I have purchased at Costco.  I will also note that most of the Internet resources saying that warm water lobster is inferior is provided by companies that are selling cold water lobster.

These Tails Are Thawed from Previously Frozen

Both the warm and cold water lobster tails were thawed from a previously frozen state and this is another point of contention among hardcore lobster fanatics.

It is “general wisdom” that fresh lobster is better than frozen but, when evaluated in a blind taste test, most eaters cannot tell a difference.

There is also “general wisdom” that you should only buy a fresh or frozen lobster tail but never ones that have been thawed.


The price of the lobster tails were:

  • $29.99 per pound for Cold Water Lobster Tails
  • $25.99 per pound for Warm Water Lobster Tails

The price difference between the cold and warm water tails is consistent with the cold water variety being a superior product.  That being said, I bought these several months apart and the price difference might be a result of fluctuations in market pricing.

You typically get five lobster tails per package with an average weight of around 4 ounces per tail.

While nearly $30 per pound looks expensive, these are a bargain compared to Costco’s King Crab Legs which come in at nearly $40 per pound!

Taste Test

My standard way of serving lobster tails are to grill them over high heat for 8-12 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 140F.  We pull the meat from the shell and dip it into a bowl of melted butter with lemon juice.

Personally I think the lobster is okay but not great.  There isn’t anything wrong with the lobster but it is not so incredible to justify a price tag of almost $30 per pound.

A package of these tails will set you back between $40 and $50 at Costco and I think I would rather spend the same amount of money on shrimp and ribeye steaks.

Lobster Tails on the Grill


Good morning and welcome to the site dedicated to helping you find great products at Costco and other stores! My name is David Somerville and these are hands on reviews of products that I have bought and used or am seriously considering purchasing. I do most of my shopping at the Costco in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but will check out any other Costco warehouses I find while travelling. Please get in touch with any questions and let me know of any great products that deserved to be featured in this blog!

7 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Costco Lobster Tails [Make Sure You Read the Label!]

  1. Great info! Exactly what I was looking for in regards to the price and quality of Costco lobster tails. Thanks, keep up the good work!

  2. I love Costco lobster tails! The best I’ve had around the State of Indiana! Yes real pricey though! Worth every bite! Anyone want to supply and I will make you a great dinner!

  3. I bought on 5/23 .. says good to 5/30. How can that be? Should I freeze again?Didnt think about this until after purchase

  4. Thank you for the article. Yes, I was doing the same study about taste and price. I agree on the difference in taste. We steam the tails not grill because we like the moisture but it is only our personal preference. We used insulated butter the same as you do.
    I just want to share that last my visit to Denver Costco the price of the lobster tail is now almost $12 per tail if you buy 6 of them.
    We found out that the best price and the same size and taste for only $9.90 per lobster tail in King Supper.
    Thank you again and I hope you will continue to share with us your studies on seafood or other meats.
    Thanks, VP

  5. Just found your sight while I was looking for the best priced lobsters. Thank you for the information. I will be a devoted follower.

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