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I'm not sure about you, but I absolutely LOVE smoked lamb! Actually, I enjoy lamb cooked with charcoal in general, whether it be a whole lamb on a spit, a few shoulders cut up into Greek-style gyros, cutlets over the grill or a shoulder or a leg cooked low and slow in a smoker. 

I feel that lamb is often overlooked in favour of the more popular cuts such as brisket, pork ribs and pulled pork. If you haven't tried smoked lamb before, I'm hoping that this will twist your arm.  Grab your thermometer, lamb and smoker and you're good to go. 

Before we get started though, I just wanted to go right back to basics, especially if you've never smoked anything before. There are two types of smoking, cold smoking and hot smoking. To be clear, what I'm talking about here is hot smoking, where the temperature of the smoker is at least 100 degrees. If you're just starting out you could cheat a little and use a gas smoker and get the smokey flavour by adding wood chips, but I personally use charcoal and wood in what is commonly referred to as an offset smoker or a stick burner

Once you're all set up, the key is to keep an eye on your smoker temperature as well as the internal temperature of the lamb. There are so many variables as to how long it'll take the lamb to be ready (how many kgs it is, the outside temperature etc) but below is a rough guide to get you started. 

 

  Time Smoking Temp Finished Temp
Leg 8 hrs 107 - 120 C or 225 - 250 °F 80 C or 175 °F
Shoulder 7 hrs 107 - 120 C or 225 - 250 °F 88 C or 190 °F
Shank  5 hrs 107 - 120 C or 225 - 250 °F 93 C or 200 °F

 

Tips: Lamb Leg

Spit Roasting Leg of LambLamb leg ideally cooks for a duration of 8 hours at smoker temperature of 225 – 250 °F. Until your lamb shows a temperature of around 80 C which you can check via a meat thermometer, you should not remove it. Technically lamb is completely fine to eat at 60 degrees, but what you're aiming for is for all the connective tissues in the lamb to simply melt and be super moist. 

 

Tips: Lamb Shoulder

Smoking Lamb shoulder in Offset SmokerLamb shoulder typically takes 7 hours to cook at smoker temperature 225 – 250 °F. You could go for a boneless lamb shoulder, but I personally like it to be cooked with the bone in.  

Also before cooking, make sure you trim the excess fat and rub the meat with your favourite mixture or paste. Like all smoked meat, stick your knife into it to see if it’s done and make sure to spray occasionally if it’s not done yet.

 

How to measure the temperature?

To check the temperature, you should probably have to buy a good digital meat thermometer.  We recommend the EZTemp thermometer. It has 2 probes which allow you to stab one into the lamb and the other at grill level on your smoker. The beauty of this thermometer is that you can set minimum and maximum alarms so that you get a reminder when the temperature of your smoker falls/spikes and also when your meat is ready. While gauges on smokers give you a guesstimate" of the ambient temperature inside your smoker, a digital thermometer. is more accurate. 

Remember, this is just a general guide. Other factors can affect how your meat is cooked in the smoker, such as:

  • The thickness of the meat
  • Whether the meat has been deboned
  • How much fat the meat has
  • How hot/cold it is outside and how well insulated the smoker is 
  • The type of smoker ( Click here to help you choose the best smoker for you)
  • Using wood charcoal, as well as the type of wood you use, affects the flavour of the meat.
  • Whether the meat was brought up to room temperature or not

To see some delicious recipes, Click here. To see how to cook a whole lamb on a spit, click here.

Want to get hands-on experience on how to prepare awesome BBQ from experienced pitmasters? Check out the dates for our upcoming BBQ Masterclasses and in-store demo's in our Sydney and Melbourne stores.

 

 Rhiannon Peterson   By: Rhiannon Peterson

 

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