Smoked Lamb Shoulder Recipe

Smoking lamb is the perfect way to cook it. Traditionally, we have a mint sauce with roast lamb in my house, but not when it’s we are smoking or bbq-ing it. 

The natural flavor from the wood and charcoal is the perfect seasoning.

However, in this recipe, I go one step further and add a dry rub of a few herbs and spices which help enhance that natural flavor. 

In the recipe I use a boneless lamb shoulder, however, you could use a bone-in leg of lamb or bone-in shoulder of lamb.

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Should You Smoke Bone-In or Boneless Lamb Shoulder?

You can smoke either boneless or bone-in cuts of lamb. In general, you will get a little more flavor from bone-in cuts – however, using boneless cuts do have a couple of pros: 

  • You can easily pull the cooked lamb.
  • Cooking a boneless lamb shoulder is easier to get an even cook with. 
  • You can carve easier and look better when serving on platters or boards. 

    See the other cuts of lamb you can use here

What Temperature Do You Smoke Lamb Shoulder?

For smoked lamb, you want to reach an internal temperature of 205°F. It is very important to use temperature as a guide than an exact cooking time

8 Steps to Simple Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Step 1: Prep Your Lamb Shoulder

Prepare the shoulder of the lamb by trimming any excess fat and membrane. Rinse thoroughly in cold running water. Pat dry with a towel of paper. 

Step 2: Preheat Your Smoker

Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Ensure that you have a water pan set in your smoker to ensure that your smoked lamb shoulder does not dry ou

Step 3: Give Your Lamb a Rub

In a bowl combine salt, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and garlic powder.

Pat the surface of the lamb with a paper towel and cover thoroughly with olive oil. Fully coat with your dry run, ensuring there are no gaps. Tightly tie together with the kitchen twine

Step 4: Place Your Lamb in The Smoker

Once your smoker is temperature place your lamb on the grates fat side up. You want to be indirect cooking here. Spritz the lamb every 25 minutes during the two hours of cooking

Step 4: Monitior The Internal Temperature

When the center of the lamb reaches 165°F, this takes around 3-5 hours. Then wrap the lamb tightly in the foil. Place thermometer probes back into the shoulder and continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 205°F. 

Step 5: Unwrap and Baste With BBQ Sauce.

Once you reach 205°F unwrap the lamb, then baste with your BBQ sauce, put back in the smoker for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Let The Lamb Rest

Remove and rest in foil for at least 45 minutes.

slow cooked bbq lamb shoulder finished cooking and ready to serve with mint sauce

Step 7: Remove The Bone and Slice

Pull the bone out of the lamb, slice

What to do with Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Your options are endless with smoked lamb, however, some of my favorites are:

What Goes with Smoked Lamb

Lamb is super versatile and can go with almost anything. However, here are my top recommendations. 

  • Garlic butter potatoes.
  • Lemon and garlic wilted greens.
  • Grilled pita bread.
  • Hasselback potatoes with A Turkish spice blend.
  • Potato or sweet potato chips.
  • Garlic butter grilled asparagus.
  • Classic red cabbage slaw.

Smoked Lamb Shoulder Recipe

Smoked Lamb Shoulder

The smells that come from this smoked lamb shoulder are incredible. This smoked lamb shoulder recipe is not very difficult but will impress!
My favorite thing to do with this smoked lamb is to pull it and make pulled lamb tacos! It's a huge hit in my backyard.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time5 hrs 50 mins
Course: main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, grill
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 260kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 30

Equipment

  • Smoker
  • Food safe spray bottle
  • Meat thermometer

Ingredients

Dry Rub

  • 2 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp Dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp Dried crushed bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic powder

Spritz

  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Apple Juice

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Ensure that you have a water pan set in your smoker to ensure that your smoked lamb shoulder does not dry ou
  • Prepare the shoulder of the lamb by trimming any excess fat and membrane. Rinse thoroughly in cold running water. Pat dry with a towel of paper. 
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl combine salt, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and garlic powder.
  • Pat the surface of the lamb with a paper towel and cover thoroughly with olive oil. Fully coat with your dry run, ensuring there are no gaps.
  • Once your smoker is temperature place your lamb on the grates fat side up. You want to be indirect cooking here. Spritz the lamb every 25 minutes during the two hours of cooking
  • When the center of the lamb reaches 165°F, this takes around 3-5 hours. Then wrap the lamb tightly in the foil. Place thermometer probes back into the shoulder and continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 205°F
  • Once you reach 205°F unwrap the lamb, then baste with your BBQ sauce, put back in the smoker for 15 minutes.
  • Remove and rest in foil for at least 45 minutes.
  • Pull the bone out of the lamb, slice

Can You Smoke Butterflied Lamb Shoulder?

You can smoke butterflied lamb shoulder. I have smoked a butterflied lamb shoulder in the past and it has turned out fantastic. 

Once butterflied, I filled it with Greek-inspired ingredients like garlic, lemon, paprika, cumin, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and olives then roll into a log and smoke following the same method as below. 

FAQs

I get lots of questions about my smoked lamb recipe, so I have put some of the common ones below. Happy to answer any more questions you have.

Not only do the kids love smoked lamb, but they also love my lamb koftas! I cool spin on burgers and always a hit at our cookouts!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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