We love the rich, unique flavour and wondrous, delicious fat of lamb. Lamb is soft and tasty meat, and it is also more forgiving meat than beef: You can cook it to a higher temperature and still get delicious results. In this how-to series, we’ve covered chicken, pork chops, and fish so far. Let’s take a look at how to grill lamb chops perfectly.
- 1 What are lamb chops?
- 2 What does lamb taste like?
- 3 Which cut of lamb is best for grilling?
- 4 What are the best seasonings for lamb?
- 5 What temperature should lamb chops be cooked to?
- 6 How long should lamb be cooked?
- 7 Delicious lamb chops recipe
- 8 What side dish is best for lamb?
What are lamb chops?
Lamb chops are typically bone-in meat chops cut from the shoulder, loin, sirloin, or animal rib. These are all loaded with flavour, tender, and cook very quickly, typically under 10 minutes depending on thickness. They are also much more affordable than a rack of lamb and simpler to prepare if you are looking for a more casual meal.
In this sense, the loin chop will have a “T” shaped bone for an attractive appearance. Sirloin chops are very meaty and cut from the leg with a round bone in the meat.
What does lamb taste like?
Lamb is a domestically raised sheep that’s under the age of one year. This provides very tender meat with a very subtle gaminess compared to older sheep. Most lamb is grass-finished, which gives lamb its unique flavour. We would describe lamb taste as grassy, robust and pastoral. Also, if we compare it to beef, lamb is firm with a tender texture.
Moreover, the richness comes from the fat on the animal, so look for even distribution in the meat with some surrounding the edges of the chop.
Which cut of lamb is best for grilling?
Lamb offers fewer cuts than beef, but there are still plenty of options. Just about all lamb cuts, such as loin and rib chops, rack of lamb, leg, leg steak, kabobs, ground, and whole carcass, are ideal for grilling or slow roasting on the grill.
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What are the best seasonings for lamb?
Just like beef, you can go simple and practical: season lamb with only coarse salt.
But you can also add other seasonings to it. Marinades are great for large cuts of lamb because they leave the meat softer, more flavorful, and can be used to wash it down as it cooks, thus preventing it from drying out too much.
Pepper, mint, rosemary, and garlic are also interesting seasonings for lamb meat. And for those who like bittersweet flavours, you can brush honey on the meat before bringing it to the fire.
🔥 Advice from BBQ’s Algarve When making marinades avoid using vinegar and acidic citrus juices, as this will begin to cure the lamb and leave you with an undesirable result.
What herbs and spices go well with lamb?
Lamb chops are very robust in flavour. They can even stand up more by adding strong earthy herbs and spices. Other herbs that work well are chopped oregano, basil, sage, or mint. Spices like coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, chilli powder, mustard powder, or paprika will add a nice punch.
🔥 Advice from BBQ’s Algarve Though it’s unnecessary to marinate ahead of time, feel free to season lamb a few hours before you plan to grill them and refrigerate them. Take the chops out 30 minutes ahead of grilling to bring them to room temperature.
Do you want to know more? Visit our blog for more wonderful tips and recipes.
What temperature should lamb chops be cooked to?
Lamb chops range in thickness from ½ to 1-inch in size, depending on the butcher. The tender meat needs brief high heat cooking like a steak, and it’s best to eat at medium-rare to medium temperatures.
Target 125°F (51°C) for medium-rare, or 135°F (57°C) for medium. Ensure to rest the meat for at least 10 minutes to allow for carryover cooking and hitting just the right doneness temperature. Overcooked or well-done lamb will be dry and stringy.
How long should lamb be cooked?
Lamb meat is more delicate than beef. Therefore, the ideal way is to cook it at low temperatures, over a flameless grill and for longer than other meats.
Depending on the cut, lamb gets more tender the longer you cook it. If you cook a lamb shank low and slow, it will become more tender as long as you don’t let it dry out. A lamb chop, on the other hand, will reach optimum tenderness at medium-rare. After that, it will become tougher as it cooks.
So, depending on the cut you choose, in general, the lamb should be cooked for 2 to 3 hours, always paying attention to the grill’s temperature and whether the meat is not getting dry – drizzle it with a marinade sauce so that it does not dry out.
Delicious lamb chops recipe
Note that this recipe is for lamb rib chops. This recipe works for lamb loin chops, but you’ll want to increase the cooking time by 2 or 3 minutes on each side:
What you need:
- 8 lamb chops ¾ inches thick
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (dried rosemary is not a good substitute here)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat your grill to medium-high.
- Combine all marinade ingredients (olive oil through pepper) in a small bowl. Spoon this mixture evenly over both sides of lamb chops.
- Grill lamb chops for 2 to 4 minutes on each side to the desired doneness, 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
What side dish is best for lamb?
A barbecued leg of lamb is great when accompanied by a simple salad.
Why not try accompanying your lamb chops with a fresh summer salad with feta cheese and mint leaves. You can also try grilled aubergines or zucchini. For something a little more substantial, try serving your lamb chops with different sauces.
There’s something irresistible about the prospect of food sizzling over smoky charcoal or a hot griddle and eating outdoors with friends and family on a warm sunny day in Algarve. If you are still looking for the best BBQ to buy in 2021, come to our showroom in Almancil, or check our online shop.
Contact our team, and we will be more than happy to help you decide!
Recipe: Great British Chefs.