Smoked Leg of Lamb – Recipe and Step-by-Step Instructions

Get ready to learn about all the deets of a smoked leg of lamb. This includes choosing and buying the best one, how to cut and prepare, smoking tips, and a recipe.
By
reviewed
Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: August 29, 2021
LilGrill is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Whether or not you are a fan of lamb, the fact remains that the meat of a young sheep (especially its leg – called the ham) is one of the most delicious meals in the world. And when smoked with a good smoker, the tenderness, juiciness, and sweetness of the meat are brought to life on your taste buds. But if you are not careful, you might end up with dry and burnt meat on your plate. So, there are a few things you need to know before placing your piece of meat in the smoker. Luckily in this article, we have provided all you need to know about a smoked leg of lamb, from the cut to the buying, preparation, recipe, and presentation. And who knows, this might come in handy during one of those holiday dinners where you want a smoked lamb served at the table.

About the cut

Let’s begin from the cut – the physical appearance of the meat. The cut is from the leg of the lamb (which is the young sheep), and it is located at the top and bottom area of the rear leg bone. It is usually soft and tender, with thin layers of fat covering the meat. The top area is fattier and has a sirloin end which cools more evenly and is more render. The lower part of the lamb’s leg is less fatty and is harder to carve, but both parts still serve great health benefits.

Also, the lamb leg can come as boneless or with a bone-in. This depends on preference. There are no obvious benefits and disadvantages of having the bone-in or not; it’s just the two varieties that lamb leg comes in.

Finally, the cut can be prepared with or without the fat peeled off. Some prefer the fat because it makes the meat juicier since it tends to melt during cooking. At the same time, others cut off the fat because, well, too much fat. Whether or not the fat is added, your lamb meat will still taste good as long as you add the right amount of spice and flavor to the meat during rubbing (we will get to that in a bit).

Choosing and buying the lamb

You’d thank us right after this section. You’ll see. If you have been going to a grocery store to buy lamb meat, then you have been making a huge mistake and should stop at once. For a lot of people that say they don’t like a lamb, it’s probably because it wasn’t the right meat to begin with. Most of the lamb meat sold in grocery stores is not even lamb. It’s probably sheep or mutton (old sheep).

So, to pick and buy the best lamb meat, especially when you want to make smoked lamb leg for your guests at any dinner or picnic, go to a rancher or a butcher that is in the business of lamb. They would be aware of when the lamb is ripe, and its meat is at the right stage. One way to know when your lamb meat is right is when it smells fresh. One good thing about buying it from a butcher is that you can dictate if you want boneless or the bone-in cut.

How to prepare it before smoking?

Smoked Leg of Lamb - Recipe and Step-by-Step Instructions

This is the stage where you decide how your smoked leg of lamb would come out after putting it in your favorite smoker. This step involves the preparation of your piece of meat for smoking. After you have bought the meat, bring it home, and place it on a wooden or metal tray.

Normally, your roast should come with a silver-toned skin at the top of the piece (you should see this if you have bought the right kind of meat). The skin looks similar to fat, and it gets very tough after smoking, so it is best to remove this later while preparing your piece of meat.

To remove this later, use a very sharp filet or boning knife to cut away the piece gradually and gently. After this, you can take a look at the overall shape of your meat piece. You are allowed to use the knife to cut away pieces of meat that are hanging along the sides of the whole roast, making the shape irregular.

When the trimming is done, you can move on to coating with oil and lamb rubbing. Ensure that your roast is at room temperature before doing any of the things mentioned above.

Lamb rub

The Lamb rub consists of all the ingredients and spices that you would use to rub the surface of the lamb. It is also what adds to the taste and flavor of the lamb. These spices get soaked into the meat during smoking and deliver a tasty meal full of flavor.

Smoked Leg of Lamb - Recipe and Step-by-Step Instructions

Depending on the size of your roast, you would need varying quantities of the following:

  1. Salt
  2. Black Chilli Pepper flakes
  3. Coarse Black Pepper
  4. Dried Rosemary leaves (chopped)
  5. Dried Thyme
  6. Chopped Garlic

Above are the main ingredients, but you can always add any other seasoning you’d love to use. Make sure that your rub is enough to fully cover the two sides of your roast.

How to smoke it?

The best way to smoke the leg of a lamb is to use the reverse sear method. Not familiar with this? It is when you first begin smoking at a low temperature. Then you increase the temperature to induce a delicious crust when the roast is almost done. But that’s not all about smoking lamb. To enjoy the result of your smoked lamb, follow the steps below:

  1. Use a fruitwood to preheat the smoker from about 225°F to 250°F.
  2. Smear the lamb with olive oil.
  3. Rub the smeared roast with your choice of seasonings and spices, as explained above.
  4. Slide your rubbed roast and leave to roast at low heat.
  5. You can leave your roast for either 2 hours or until the temperature falls to 120°F. That’s why having a smoker that can serve your need is the best.
  6. After two hours or when the temperature has dropped to 120°F, increase the heat to 400°F and leave to continue roasting for about 20 more minutes.
  7. Remove the lamb from the smoker, place it in foil paper and allow it to sit for another 20 minutes so that the roast can absorb the juice from the rub very well.
  8. And finally, your dish is ready. Slice and serve hot.

How do you know that it’s done?

It’s not just first-timers that can get it wrong with knowing when the lamb is done. That’s why there is a recommended safety zone Trusted Source Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart | Food Safety and Inspection Service Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time – 145 °F (62.8 °C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes www.fsis.usda.gov for the cooking of lamb.

The recommended temperature for a well-cooked lamb leg is around 130 to 140°F.

Sauce recipe

A smoked leg of lamb is better paired with a sauce than eaten ordinary. The sauce would add extra spice, taste, and flavor to the already delicious smoked lamb. And one of the many sauces taken with lamb leg is the Garlic Butter Sauce. Extra-delicious, rich in nutrients, and juicy, below is the recipe for garlic butter sauce to serve with your roast.

  • Place a dry and clean pan over low heat.
  • Grace the pan with olive oil.
  • Still, on low heat, add garlic chops into the pan and allow it to soften. (Make sure the oil isn’t too hot, hence, it won’t turn out well).
  • Leave for about 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add a reasonable quality of wine and allow it to simmer with medium heat.
  • Then add butter, and mix with wine as it melts.
  • Add salt, pepper, and some herbs of your choice and turn off the heat.
  • Stir well.
  • Serve by pouring over the lamb to improve the taste and look.

How to slice it?

Smoked Leg of Lamb - Recipe and Step-by-Step Instructions

Just as you would other meat types, slice the meat according to meat lines so that you don’t end up messing the slices up. Slice in thin layers (but not too thin). And when you get to the area with bones, cut in larger pieces.

Smoked Leg of Lamb – The Recipe

Our favorite recipe that will help you impress your guests with no big effort!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Servings 6 people
Calories 356 kcal

Equipment

  • Smoker
  • 2 chunks fruit wood

Ingredients
  

  • 1 leg of lamb
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black Chilli Pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp coarse Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp dried Rosemary leaves (chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped Garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Use a fruitwood to preheat the smoker from about 225°F to 250°F.
  • Smear the lamb with olive oil.
  • Rub the smeared roast with your choice of seasonings and spices.
  • Slide your rubbed roast and leave to roast at low heat.
  • You can leave your roast for either 2 hours or until the temperature falls to 120°F.
  • After two hours or when the temperature has dropped to 120°F, increase the heat to 400°F and leave to continue roasting for about 20 more minutes.
  • Remove the lamb from the smoker, place it in foil paper and allow it to sit for another 20 minutes so that the roast can absorb the juice from the rub very well.
  • Slice and serve hot.

Final thoughts

Apart from the fact that lamb meat has many health benefits Trusted Source Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance - PubMed High-intensity exercise results in reduced substrate levels and accumulation of metabolites in the skeletal muscle. The accumulation of these metabolites (e.g. ADP, Pi and H(+)) can have deleterious effects on skeletal muscle function and force generation, thus contributing to fatigue. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov , it is very tasty, especially when it is bought from the right place and cooked the right way. There are also many recipes to try with a smoked leg of lamb, as well as the sauce. You can have your lamb roast with many drink types such as beer, cocktail, fruit juice, or even mineral water. It is also a meal that can be taken during dinner with guests or as a homemade snack. So whether or not you are having your lamb roast with a bone-in or as boneless meat, you can enjoy a good meal with different other food types, including potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables.

References

1.
Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart | Food Safety and Inspection Service
Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time – 145 °F (62.8 °C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
2.
Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance - PubMed
High-intensity exercise results in reduced substrate levels and accumulation of metabolites in the skeletal muscle. The accumulation of these metabolites (e.g. ADP, Pi and H(+)) can have deleterious effects on skeletal muscle function and force generation, thus contributing to fatigue.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating