This Smoked Leg of Lamb Recipe is the perfect entree for a special occasion. Smoking the lamb gives you a great smoky flavor, a delicious bark, and a perfectly juicy center. If you haven't smoked lamb, you need to give this a try.
Most people that "eat" lamb, say that have it once in a while. Maybe around Easter, Passover or another holiday. I try to find reasons to eat lamb. A smoked rack of lamb is great and I cook that a few times a year as a treat. With a big family, there either isn't enough to fill your stomach on lamb alone, or it gets very expensive. Smoked lamb shank is more inexpensive but doesn't feed that many people.
But a whole leg of lamb can feed a crowd, and if you smoke it, they will all be coming back for seconds.
Lamb - We used a boneless leg of lamb roast for a cleaner presentation. It is also easier to slice and takes up less room in my smoker. A boneless lamb leg usually comes in netting. You will need to remove that before you prep. Lamb meat has a bit of gamey flavor but it is not as gamey as venison or elk.
Garlic - Garlic is a classic flavor accompaniment of lamb. Any big meat roast is going to be able to hold up to the strong taste of garlic and mellow it out as it roasts.
Rosemary - This is my go-to herb with lamb. It works well with other gamey meats too. I like to use fresh rosemary but if you have dried rosemary that will work just fine.
Olive Oil - The olive oil really helps to hold the garlic and rosemary onto the leg of the lamb. It adds a nice flavor to the bark of the lamb.
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper - Season this well. You will need about ½ - 1 teaspoon of salt for each pound of meat. I like freshly ground pepper. Be generous with it and coat all sides.
How to Smoke Leg of Lamb
Slow cooking lamb on a pellet smoker is a great way to impart rich flavor.
Step 1: Remove the leg of lamb from any packaging and netting and let it come up to room temperature.
Roughly chop the garlic and rosemary. Drizzle the lamb with olive oil and then rub in the garlic and rosemary all over. Generously salt and pepper on all sides of the lamb.
Once done seasoning the lamb make sure it sits tightly together as a roast. If the leg of lamb is falling apart, use butcher's twine to tie it back up into a roast.
Step 2: Place the land directly on the preheated smoker grill grate. If you have multiple racks, place it on the bottom. Leg of lamb will release lots of juices as it cooks so if you want to make gravy place a water pan with just a bit of water underneath it.
Insert your internal meat thermometer into the thickest part of the lamb to gauge the internal temperature of the lamb as it cooks. Cook the lamb on the smoker at 250°F for approximately two hours or until the internal temp reaches 135 degrees f.
Step 3: Once the lamb is cooked, remove it from the smoker and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving it.
Bone-In Leg of Lamb - You can swap out the boneless leg of lamb for a bone in leg of lamb. You may need to increase the cooking time a bit.
Seasoning - Try other fresh herbs like thyme or sage or rub it down with dijon mustard and add a favorite dry rub.
What temperature do I cook lamb to?
135°F will give you medium-rare doneness. If you want to have your lamb more on the medium to medium-well done, cook it until the internal temperature of the meat reads 145°F. It helps to have a thermometer probe that can stay in smoked boneless leg of lamb as it cooks.
What type of wood should I use for smoked lamb?
I cooked this on my Traeger grill with hickory pellets. I almost mixed in some cherry, I think I might try that next time. Combining hickory and cherry is one of my favorites. If you are doing this in a WSM or WK you can easily play around with different wood chunks to get the flavor you want. Lamb will work well with any type of wood.
What to serve with Smoked Leg of Lamb
A side dish for lamb is typically starch such as mashed potatoes or rice. However, many variations are possible, such as roasted vegetables or a salad. In general, the side dish should be simple so that it does not overshadow the flavor of the lamb.
- Potatoes - Roast potatoes are a classic side dish served with lamb by roasting chopped potatoes in hot oil or butter. The potatoes are usually seasoned with salt, pepper, and other herbs and spices before being roasted.
- Veggies - Our favorite vegetables to serve with smoked meats are green beans and broccoli. You really can serve any steamed or roasted vegetable with lamb. A common pairing is asparagus spears because they are in season in the spring around Easter.
Other Holiday Main Courses
- Turkey - Smoked turkey is made by smoking the bird in a smoker. The heat and smoke from the burning wood flavor the meat. The process can take several hours, but it results in a tender, juicy bird.
- Prime Rib - To really cook up your dinner table make a Smoked Prime Rib.
- Brisket - Smoked brisket is a type of beef that is cooked slowly using low heat and smoke. The meat is often marinated in a sauce or seasoning before it is smoked, which adds flavor and helps to keep the meat moist. Brisket can be cooked in a smoker or in an oven.
- Pork Loin - The smoking process gives the pork a smoky flavor and a tender texture. Pork loin is a popular cut of pork that can be used in a variety of dishes.
- Salmon - Smoked salmon is another great choice for a holiday entree. Smoking the fish gives it a great flavor will keeping it moist and tender.
Smoked Leg of Lamb
- Traeger Grill or other smoker
- 3.5 lb leg of lamb (3 to 4 lbs boneless leg of lamb)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Rub the leg of lamb with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Preheat smoker to 250.
- Place the lamb directly on the smoker grate.
- Smoke lamb for approximately two hours or until it reaches your desired doneness. 135°F for medium-rare.