Tips for Smoking Lamb

The process of smoking is slow and is a low cooking method that brings an outcome of tender, juicy and very flavorful cut of meat and in this case lamb. 

What is the best wood for smoking lamb?

Generally, woods used wood for smoking lamb include hickory, applewood, and mesquite. The best wood for smoking is hardwood such as nut or fruitwood. These types of woods burn clean and do not contain or have any unwanted resins. Note: It is very important to look for untreated hardwoods and avoid softwoods like pine or cedar, since their natural sap causes a thick smoke that’s not recommended for smoking. We always recommend that you stay away from any treated or scrap lumber. It is also recommended that you check the smoker manufacturer’s instructions and purchase the recommended type of wood, such as pellets or chips specific to your cooking device.

General types of woods used for smoking.

The best woods for smoking lamb, from oak and hickory hardwoods to fruity applewood and strong mesquite.

The woods listed below are some of the most popular choices for smoking lamb:

HickoryThis is a dense wood that can burn over long periods of time, it is perfect for lamb cuts that need several hours to cook, such as shanks and ribs. When smoking a leaner cut such as lamb loin or chops, one may want to consider a softer hardwood, such as apple or oak.

Apple – Applewood provides a milder and sweeter smoke. This is a more subtle smoky flavor and works well with leaner lamb cuts, like chops or loins. Some say that it even works well to tone down the strong, gamey taste that some lamb cuts carry and are not enjoyed by all.

Mesquite – Mesquite provides an intense smoky flavor, which can be great for lamb. We recommend that you use it sparingly to prevent overpowering. This smoke is known to bring a distinctive earthy flavour and intense smoke plumes.

Oakwood – Oakwood is known for delivering a smoke that is not overly intense and strikes a balance between the milder woods such as apple, hickory, and mesquite. This is a popular choice for barbecue due to its long smoke time and flavor. It complements lamb nicely without overpowering it.

Tips for smoking lamb

Here are some tips to smoke lamb for any occasion. Try some, experiment and have fun!

Choose a large cut – Choose a larger cut such as a lamb shoulder or bone-in or boneless leg of lamb to get juicy, tender smoked meat. If using a boneless cut, use butcher’s twine to tie the lamb to a uniform thickness, ensuring even cooking. Remember Lamb is a leaner meat, and small pieces like chops can dry out during the smoking process.

Use a thermometer – The best way to achieve your desired doneness is to use a thermometer. For the best results using a thermometer insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the leg of lamb or shoulder. It is recommended that for medium rare, pull the lamb from the smoker at 130–135 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium well, 145–155 degrees Fahrenheit, and for well done, leave it in until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let the meat rest. It is always recommended that after smoking lamb let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing or shredding. Resting will ensure the juices are redistributed evenly throughout the meat and you should see less on the cutting board.