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Smoked Leg of Lamb (Boneless or Bone-in)

Smoked Leg of Lamb (Boneless or Bone-in)

Smoked Leg of Lamb, with a flavorful garlic herb rub and smooth smokey flavor, makes the best addition to your Christmas dinner menu or Easter dinner menu. Just like Smoked Rack of Lamb, smoked lamb leg is cooked low and slow and finished with a quick sear to develop a perfectly seasoned crust and tender interior.

More popular smoker recipesSmoked Prime RibSmoked Beef Tenderloin, Smoked Tri Tip and Smoked Picanha.

Raw roast on a baking sheet surrounded by herbs.

Smoked Lamb

While we usually make a smoked boneless leg of lamb, this recipe for smoked boneless lamb leg and smoking method can be used on a bone-in leg of lamb or other cuts of lamb, such as: butterflied leg of lamb, smoked lamb shoulder, smoked lamb shanks or smoked lamb ribs.

The smoke time will vary depending on the cut and weight of the cut you utilize. The “pull time” and final temps will stay the same.

Lamb seasonings in a white bowl.

Lamb Seasoning

Our lamb seasoning recipe uses a simple, yet flavorful, garlic herb marinade comprised of olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary, dijon mustard, kosher salt and black pepper.

If you’re not into Rosemary, fresh Thyme (or a mix of both herbs) will taste just as lovely.

You can also serve smoked leg of lamb with Horseradish Aioli, Horseradish Sauce for Prime Rib or Cajun Sauce for added flavor.

Garlic paste in a mortal and pastle

Smoked Lamb Leg

This boneless leg of lamb recipe can be made on any grill. We provide detailed instructions for all methods in the below recipe card. For beginners, here’s a quick cheat sheet for each type of grill:

Charcoal

Using charcoal or wood is a bit more “manual” than the other grill options listed below. This is the method we prefer, simply because we enjoy managing the grill.

To prep a charcoal grill, pre-heat the coals until just washed over. Dump them on the far side (either left or right) of your grill and open the vents to 25%. Create smoke by placing wood chunks directly on the pre-heated coals. You want to maintain the temperature between 225 – 250°F.

Pellet/Electric Smoker

Pellet smokers are awesome for maintaining smoke and temperature without much effort. They’ve exploded in popularity over the past few years. Pellet smokers are excellent for beginners and advanced cooks.

To prep, pre-heat your grill to 225°F. Follow the manufacture’s instructions to get an even smoke.

Gas Grill

While you can utilize a gas grill, we don’t recommend it for long cook times like this lamb leg recipe requires. You’ll use a crazy amount of propane.

If you do want to use a gas grill, a good setting to test out is turning half the burners (on the same side of the grill) to medium-low while the other burners are off. You’ll create smoke by using a smoker box to add chips/chunks.

Seasoned raw meat roast on the grill.

Temperature For Cooked Lamb

According to the USDA, smoked leg of lamb should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F, almost a medium-well finish. Personally, that’s a bit overdone for my taste so I stick with medium. But you do you!

  • Rare Lamb: 120°F (Final Pull temp is 110°F)
  • Medium Rare Lamb: 130°F (Final Pull temp is 120°F)
  • Medium Lamb: 140°F (Final Pull temp is 130°F)
  • Medium Well Lamb: 150°F (Final Pull temp is 140°F)
  • Well Done Lamb: 160°F (Final Pull temp is 150°F)

Boneless Leg of Lamb Cooking Time

It’s hard to give an exact estimate as there are many factors to consider including the shape of the meat, size of the meat and even outdoor weather. 

As a guideline, plan 2.5 – 3 hours to smoke boneless leg of lamb to medium rare and 3 – 3.5 hours for bone-in leg of lamb.

Smoked leg of lamb still on the grill.

Wood Recommendation

When smoking leg of lamb, stick to a fruit wood, like cherry wood and apple wood as to avoid masking the flavor of the lamb.

Supplies

  • Energy Source – Make sure to stock up on your selected energy source: charcoal, pellets, propane, gas, etc.
  • Smoking Wood –  Chunkschips or pellets.
  • Thermometer – Always use a thermometer. Our go-to digital thermometer is the Thermaworks Dot.
  • Smoker Box – You’ll need one to impart the smoke flavor if using a gas grill. We’ve used this one from Amazon in the past.

Recipe Tips

  • Always use a thermometer. You want to cook based on temperature not time. Our go-to digital thermometer is the Thermaworks Dot.
  • Prepare the lamb by trimming the excess fat and silver skin prior to seasoning if your roast isn’t netted. If it does have a net, keep it on and skip trimming.
  • Reverse sear to add a bit of crunch to the crust. It’s not necessary, but if you’re looking for the classic blackened exterior, reverse searing is the way to go.
  • Slice thin and against the grain. I repeat. Slice thin and against the grain.
  • Add this smoked leg of lamb to your list of Christmas Dinner ideas.

Lamb smothered in lamb seasoning.

Game Flavor

As you may have already noticed, some lamb tends to have a gamey flavor. For a less gamey flavor, purchase American lamb. American-bred lamb has the mildest flavor, due to the diet and farming practices used when raising the cattle.

Lamb Side Dish

Here are our favorite side dishes to serve with smoked leg of lamb:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Smoked Asparagus
Smoked Potatoes

Pairing Wine With Lamb

Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot or Red Bordeaux

Smoked leg of lamb sliced on a silver baking sheet.

Smoked leg of lamb sliced on a silver baking sheet.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Smoked Leg of Lamb

Smoked Leg of Lamb, with a flavorful garlic herb rub and smooth smokey flavor, makes the best addition to your Christmas dinner menu or Easter dinner menu. Just like Smoked Rack of Lamb, smoked lamb leg is cooked low and slow and finished with a quick sear to develop a perfectly seasoned crust and tender interior.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Holiday Recipes, Lamb, Smoked Meat, Smoked Recipes
Servings: 8 Slices
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $40

Ingredients

  • 3-7 Lb Leg of Lamb, Bone-in or Boneless (*Note 1)

GARLIC HERB PASTE:

  • 4 Large Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary (*Note 2)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Add the garlic herb paste ingredients to a mortar and pestle and grind to make a paste. If you don't have a mortar and pestle use minced garlic cloves and a heavy knife to mash on a cutting board.
  • Pat dry the lamb roast and trim any excess fat (if it doesn't have netting around it). Rub generously with the garlic herb paste.

SMOKE THE LAMB:

    Pellet or Electric Smoker

    • Pre-heat the smoker to 225°F. Add the wood chips to the smoker and place the lamb, fat side up, on the smoker rack.
    • Smoke the lamb for 2.5-3 hours or until the internal temperature reads 120°F for medium-rare (or your preferred "pull" temp).
    • Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
    • The final temperature, after resting, will be 130°F (Medium Rare). Slice into 1/4" slices and serve.

    Gas or Charcoal Smoker

    • Pre-heat the smoker to 225°F. Add the wood chips and place the lamb, fat side up, on the smoker rack. Aim to keep the temperature between 225 - 250°F., if using a charcoal grill.
    • Smoke the lamb for 2.5-3 hours or until the internal temperature reads 120°F for medium-rare (or your preferred "pull" temp).
    • Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
    • The final temperature, after resting, will be 130°F (Medium Rare). Slice into 1/4" slices and serve.

    Notes

    Note 1 - The smoke time will vary depending on the cut and weight of the cut you utilize. The “pull time” and final temps will stay the same. The roast needs to be 100% defrosted.
    Note 2 - If you're not into Rosemary, fresh Thyme (or a mix of both herbs) will taste just as lovely.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 960mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 2mg
    Recipe Rating




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