That’s all you want to know, is it? It’s a lot, actually. First of all, a 9-oz lobster tail is big, so the challenge is getting it cooked through without drying out the top. If you overdo it, the meat will be tough and chewy. The general procedure goes like this: after the tail has been thawed in the refrigerator, cut open the top of the shell lengthwise with a pair of heavy kitchen shears. Cut through the meat with a sharp knife, but be careful not to cut through the bottom shell. Spread open the split tail to expose the lobster meat. Place the tail on a roasting pan, and place it under the broiler.

Here’s where the going gets tough. The challenge is to place the meat the right distance from the broiler and cook it for the right amount of time. Edward Brown and Arthur Boehm, authors of The Modern Seafood Cook (Canada, UK), offer the following comment: "Finding the proper thickness-to-distance-from-the-heat ratio is the key to successful broiling. As for timing, trust only yourself. My broiler tells me that 10 minutes is right for a particular piece of fish, but yours may have a different opinion. Keep looking as you cook."

They also suggest keeping the oven door ajar as you broil to keep the meat from baking, and say that you can add a few tablespoons of water poured into the preheated pan when broiling to create a burst of moisturizing steam that will help keep your lobster moist.

to specifics, we have seen instructions for broiling lobster tail anywhere from 4 to 9 inches from the flame, and cooking times of 6 to 25 minutes. For such a large tail, we’d suggest a good distance from the broiler - 8 or 9 inches - and a pretty long cooking time, probably at least 15 minutes. There are also those who would have you baste the tail with butter or wine occasionally as it cooks. We don’t think that would hurt at all.