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posted February 23, 2022

Grilled Leg of Lamb

Treat yourself to a delicious and decadent meal with this grilled leg of lamb. It’s marinated in red wine, fresh herbs, and garlic to give you a delicious roast that is worth the time and effort.

Sliced leg of lamb on a wooden cutting board with text overlay - Grilled Leg of Lamb.

Grilled Boneless Leg of Lamb

I understand how intimidating it can be to purchase and grill a whole leg of lamb. This most definitely isn’t the same as snagging a chicken from the grocery store and tossing it on the grill.

Lamb takes a bit more care and love to ensure it cooks nice and tender and without a lot of gaminess.

This recipe will help you get the most bang for your buck with your grilled lamb and ensure you get perfectly cooked meat every time. Leg of lamb is perfectly cooked to medium, and it’ll come off the grill tender and easy to serve as a centerpiece dinner roast.

Leg of lamb in a red wine and garlic marinade.

Grilled Leg of Lamb Marinade

This leg of lamb marinade is the perfect lemony-herby marinade with plenty of garlic to balance out the mild flavor in the lamb. Here’s what you’ll need to make this marinade:

  • Olive oil
  • Red wine
  • Minced garlic
  • Chopped fresh rosemary
  • Chopped fresh thyme
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add the leg of lamb to the marinade and massage to coat it evenly. Place the marinade in the fridge and marinate the lamb for around 8 hours.

Marinated leg of lamb on the grill.

How to Grill Leg of Lamb

Grilling lamb isn’t the same as roasting it in the oven, so let’s walk through the steps of cooking this wonderful cut of meat on the grill.

  1. Prep the meat. As an optional step, use a meat mallet to even the thickness of the meat.
  2. Marinate. Marinate the lamb in a zip-top bag or non-reactive glass or plastic bowl in the fridge for 8 hours prior to cooking. This will help to tenderize the meat, decrease some of the gaminess, and infuse it with flavor.
  3. Grill over indirect heat. With your grill preheated for two-zone cooking to 275 degrees F, remove the meat from the marinade and place it over the indirect heat. Close the lid, and grill until the meat reaches 125 degrees F (around 30-45 minutes). Flip once about halfway through cooking.
  4. Add some char. Move the lamb over to the direct heat side of your grill. You can also kick up the heat if using a pellet grill or sear the meat in a cast-iron skillet. Sear the lamb for 5 minutes per side.
  5. Rest. Remove the meat from the grill to a large cutting board. Rest for 10 minutes while you finish preparing dinner.
  6. Slice and serve. Slice the meat into 1/2 inch thick slices and serve with extra rosemary or thyme as a garnish.

Instant read thermometer measuring temperature of a leg of lamb on the grill at 125 degrees F.

Grilled Leg of Lamb Temperature

Grilled leg of lamb should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (according to the USDA). This will result in lamb cooked to Medium doneness.

I like my lamb to a nice medium to medium-rare, so I recommend removing the leg of lamb from the grill when it reaches 125 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat. From there, sear it for 5 minutes per side to bring it up to around 130-135 degrees F. Next, allow the meat to rest for around 10 minutes to let it come to it come to its final temperature of 135-145 degrees F.

Here’s a breakdown of final temperatures if you’d like to adjust your lamb to your preferred doneness. The best way to gauge the temperature of your meat is with a reliable instant-read thermometer.

  • Rare – 125 degrees F
  • Med Rare – 135 degrees F
  • Medium – 145 degrees F
  • Med Well – 155 degrees F
  • Well Done – 165 degrees F

Grilled leg of lamb on grill grates over hot coals.

How Long to Grill Leg of Lamb

It takes approximately 30-45 minutes to grill a leg of lamb with the grill preheated to 275 degrees F. Following this initial cook, follow up with a 5-minute sear per side of meat to give it a nice char on the exterior. The total cook time from start to finish will be between 40-55 minutes total.

Make sure you are using this time as a guideline only, and cook the meat until it reaches the correct internal temperature. Leg of lamb should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (for Medium doneness). 

Grilled leg of lamb on a wooden cutting board.

More BBQ Lamb Recipes

Can’t get enough lamb? Nether can we! To satisfy all your lamb cravings, Hey Grill Hey has a nice collection of both grilled and smoked cuts of lamb to add to your recipe book.

Grilled Leg of Lamb Recipe

This grilled leg of lamb recipe will never disappoint. It’s juicy, delicious, and perfect for the whole family. If you loved this recipe, let us know! Sound off in the comments below, and share any tips or tricks you used to make this recipe work for you.

Sliced leg of lamb on a wooden cutting board.

Grilled Leg of Lamb

Susie Bulloch
Treat yourself to a delicious and decadent meal with this grilled leg of lamb. It's marinated in red wine, fresh herbs, and garlic to give you a delicious roast that is worth the time and effort.
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 30 mins
Marinade Time : 8 hrs
Total Time : 8 hrs 45 mins
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 14kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 5-7 pound boneless leg of lamb (any ties or twine removed so the leg stays butterflied)

Red Wine and Garlic Marinade

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Instructions

  • Make the marinade. Assemble all marinade ingredients in a non-reactive glass or plastic bowl or marinating bag. Add in the butterflied leg of lamb and massage to thoroughly coat the lamb. Cover and refrigerate the lamb in the marinade for 8 hours.
  • Preheat your grill for two-zone cooking. If using charcoal, bank the hot coals on one side of the grill and leave the other side as your cool zone. If using gas, turn on half of the burners to medium-high and leave the others off. If cooking on a pellet grill, preheat the grill to 275 degrees F (you’ll need to increase the heat later on).
  • Grill. Remove your lamb from the marinade and place it on the indirect heat zone of your grill. Close the lid and allow the lamb to cook until you reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. This will likely take 30-45 minutes, with flipping your leg of lamb once during the cooking process.
  • Sear. Once your lamb reaches the correct internal temperature, it’s time to turn up the heat and get some nice char and sear on the exterior. Move the lamb directly over the coals or high heat of your grill. If using a pellet grill, you can turn the heat up to high for this step, or sear in a cast iron skillet or under your broiler. You’ll need to sear the lamb for around 5 minutes per side. If you start having issues with flare ups, move the lamb back over to the indirect side until they die down. Sear until you’ve got a nice golden brown crust on all sides of the lamb leg.
  • Rest, slice, and serve. Remove to your cutting board to rest. Rest your leg of lamb for at least 10 minutes before cutting into ½ inch thick slices and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 14kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 134IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
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