posted January 13, 2020
Smoked Leg of Lamb
Smoked Leg of Lamb is an amazing way to enjoy the taste of lamb. This recipe marinates the lamb for up to 24 hours in a lemon mint marinade, giving it a fresh, herbaceous flavor.
Smoked Whole Leg of Lamb
I’ve had quite a few followers requesting this recipe for a while, and I don’t blame them. Smoked whole leg of lamb is extremely tender, delicious, and a great way to feed a family or group of friends. Additionally, my recipe is easy and straightforward, so you can feel confident that your lamb will turn out great.
When purchasing a leg of lamb, it is often separated into two cuts. The first is the upper portion that is a nice, fatty sirloin. The second is the lower shank portion. I purchased a boneless sirloin from Costco, as it is more uniform (which means more even cooking), and it has oodles of flavor.
While lamb has a mildly gamey flavor, the herb marinade in this recipe really cuts through the gaminess and makes it taste fresh and delicious. If you’ve never had lamb before, this is a great recipe to try out. In fact, my 11-year-old daughter absolutely LOVES this recipe and asks for it often. If a pre-teen is a fan, hopefully you’ll be too!
Smoked Boneless Leg of Lamb
This recipe uses a boneless leg of lamb, and I highly recommend you also purchase boneless for your smoke. If you purchase this from your local butcher, ask them to tie it roast-style before you head home. Even though you can smoked a bone-in leg of lamb, I find smoking boneless is easier, faster, and more convenient.
If you purchase your boneless leg of lamb and it is not tied, you can do it yourself using butcher twine and wrapping tightly around the lamb prior to marinating.
To marinate you lamb: Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a large zip-top bag and add the leg of lamb. Lightly massage to evenly distribute the marinade over the lamb. Place the marinating lamb in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours.
How to Smoke a Leg of Lamb
Now that you have your leg of lamb tied, and it’s been marinating in the fridge for a while, you’re ready to get it in the smoke! Follow these instructions on how to smoke a leg of lamb for the best results. All you have to remember are the 3 S’s: smoke, sear, and serve.
- Smoke. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. I recommend using pecan for this smoke as it gives the lamb a gorgeous flavor without being overpowering. Remove the leg of lamb from the marinade, and place it directly on the grill grates of your smoker. Close the lid, and smoke the lamb for approximately 3-4 hours, aiming for an internal temperature 130 degrees F (for Medium doneness). I do not recommend cooking lamb above medium because the lamb will begin to dry out and not taste as juicy and flavorful.
- Sear. Increase the heat on your grill to 400 degrees F. Continue to cook the leg of lamb until the internal temperature reaches 135-140 degrees F. This sear helps to crisp the exterior and give it a gorgeous golden crust.
- Serve. Remove the lamb from the grill to a serving platter. Allow the lamb to rest for 15-20 minutes before removing the twine, slicing, and serving.
How Long to Smoke a Leg of Lamb Per Pound
It will take approximately 3-4 hours to fully smoke a 5-7 pound boneless leg of lamb to Medium doneness with the smoker running steady at 225 degrees F. You can estimate approximately 30 minutes per pound of lamb for total smoke time.
Remember that cooking to time is not an accurate estimation of a meat’s doneness, as many factors will affect how long it takes to fully cook your lamb. Allow yourself some leeway in time, and always, always use a reliable meat thermometer to track the temperature of your meat while it is smoking.
What Sides to Serve with Lamb?
Since lamb is a slightly fancier fare at the dinner table than your typical steak or roast, I recommend serving it with some veggies and bread that pack an extra flavor punch. Check out a few suggestions below to plan your perfect lamb dinner.
Smoked Leg of Lamb Recipe
Follow the recipe below and let’s make something delicious! I’m all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a BBQ hero. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind the scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!
Smoked Leg of Lamb
- 1 5-7 pound boneless leg of lamb (tied)
Lemon Mint Marinade
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons fresh mint (chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme (chopped)
- juice and zest of 2 lemons
- Marinate the lamb. Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a zip top bag. Add the leg of lamb to the bag and massage to evenly distribute. Place the bag in the refrigerator and allow the lamb to marinate overnight for 8-24 hours.
- Preheat the smoker. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. I recommend using pecan wood for this smoke.
- Smoke the leg of lamb. Remove the lamb from the marinade and place it directly on the grill grates of the smoker. Close the lid and smoke for approximately 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 130 degrees F (for medium doneness).
- Sear. Increase the heat on the grill to 400 degrees F and finish cooking the lamb until the internal temperature reaches 135-140 degrees F (for medium). This will give the lamb nice crispy edges for a fantastic finish.
- Rest and serve. Remove the lamb from the grill to a serving platter. Rest for 15-20 minutes. Remove the twine from the leg of lamb, then slice and serve.
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