The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

Grill Camp ‘07 - Day 2

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Monday, the second day of Grill Camp ’07 marked the first time I had prepared a bone-in leg of lamb. It wasn’t just any lamb either, It was Icelandic lamb. I was introduced to this fine cut of meat last year. It is only available from mid October to early December. There is a whole story behind this lamb and why it is so good, but let’s just say this is the finest lamb I have ever tried. Now I have made boneless leg of lamb most recently on the smoker, but also on the grill with or without the rotisserie. The recipe I chose was Joellyn’s Championship BBQ Leg of Lamb from Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue. One of the things that appealed to me about this recipe was it;s simplicity. Three simple ingredients for the rub and that was it. Yet Paul Kirk;s offering in the lamb category had placed second to this simple recipe. The simplicity appealed to me from the standpoint of when you are trying something new the less variables the better.

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EVOO, granulated garlic & lemon pepper. It doesn’t get much easier

One of the reasons I chose to make lamb is Icelandic lamb has just started arriving The lamb was rubbed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and granulated garlic and lemon pepper. While I was doing this the smoker was fired up and coming up to 225 degrees (110 C). I put the lamb up on a roast rack.set in a cast iron pan. The cast iron pan catches the drips and the roast rack holds the lamb up in the air so the smoke can reach the bottom side as well. I added in two temperature probes. Where I was unfamiliar with the anatomy of the leg of lamb I wasn’t sure just where the thickest part of the meat was. This was why I used two temperature probes placed in two different areas of the leg. I also realized that I had no clue how to carve this particular piece of meat, but I had some time to cure that.


I had one temperature probe up high & one down low. Neither was just right as the instant read thermometer eventually showed

Once the smoker was ready the lamb went on. I used a 50-50 blend of hickory and pecan wood for the smoke. The CG was rock steady and I didn’t have to make a single adjustment once I got it up to the target temperature of 225 degrees (110 C). It stayed within 5 degrees plus or minus of 225 (110 C) the whole time. I used some of this cooking time to figure out how to carve this beast. I must say that the internet is a wonderful thing. I did a Google search for “Carving Leg of Lamb” and turned up many results. The first one that looked promising was a step by step guide, illustrated with pictures. I printed this out for reference. The only problem was the bone structure in my leg of lamb seemed different. I had taken some pictures of the leg from all sides for reference when I was reading the tutorials on carving the lamb. Perhaps it is the difference between the front and back legs. All I know is mine was somewhat different with an extra bone. Three pages of links into my Google search, I hit the mother lode. A video on AOL showing the carving process. I studied it several times until I felt comfortable with it.

The lamb rested for 15 minutes

Midway through the cook I rotated the pan 180 degrees to even out the temperatures. The side of the meat facing the SFB gets more heat so I usually try to turn the meat to even out the cooking temperature. The cook was otherwise uneventful other than it appeared I was going to be done in two hours not three. Since I wasn’t real sure about the anatomy of the leg of lamb, I wasn’t sure if my temperature probe placement was correct. I took readings with an instant read thermometer which showed I was low by about 5 degrees (2.7 C). It took another 30 minutes to hit my desired end temperature of 140 degrees (160 C).

By virtue of double checking with the instant read thermometer I still ended up with the medium rare meat I was looking for

After a 15 minute rest it was time to carve the lamb. The video I’d watched was pretty much right on. The bones made it a little tricky, but after about 10 minutes the leg was carved. The majority of the lamb was a perfect medium rare. The only parts that were beyond this were some of the smaller pieces closer to the surface. The lamb was very tasty without being gamey and the smoke added a nice element to the mix. It was moist and tender. It really doesn’t get a whole lot easier than this: Three spices in the rub, a 3 hour smoke, 15 minute rest and then what is perhaps the toughest part of all: carving it. The second day of Grill Camp was as successful as the first. This was a really great start! On tap for Day 3 was to be something new for me: Smoked tuna steaks. I was really looking forward to trying my second fish dish ever on the smoker.

  BONE-IN BBQ LEG OF LAMB Lamb Picture Entry

  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 1 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 3 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 4 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 5 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- DAY 6 Blog Entry
  GRILL CAMP ’07- WEEKEND Blog Entry


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