When seasoning lamb, you have to show a little restraint. Typical BBQ rubs that are super sweet and spicy just don’t do the trick.
Savory is your friend when selecting herbs and spices for your next lamb cook up.
In my household, we eat a lot of lamb and I have found a good balance of the right type of herbs and spices to apply to create a nice savory crust to enhance the flavor of the lamb.
Why buy a pre-mixed packet rub when you probably have the ingredients in your pantry?
We all love the ease and quickness of it, that’s why.
Everything this day and age is how quick you can get it but I’m sure most of you will have all of these ingredients in your pantry and therefore measuring them out and mixing them up will be far quicker than going to the local store and purchasing a pre-mixed rub.
The added bonus is, you can adjust the flavor to your liking. You know exactly what is going into it and therefore you know what you and your family are eating.
How to make it and to tweak it to your taste
As I’ve already stated, Lamb and other game meats do not favor very sweet or spicy, that doesn’t mean you cannot add a little to this recipe.
I personally would add more pepper for the heat fact, rather than heading down the path of adding chilli and if you wanted to sweeten it up a touch, I’d be leaning towards mint rather than going straight for the sugar bowl.
I think it’s all too easy to add chili for heat and sugar for sweetness. In the end, all rubs start tasting the same and we need to remember that proteins not only taste differently, they react differently to various flavors as well.
In saying that, I have found this rub recipe with a little tweak or two lends itself really well to poultry and seafood.
By all means you can skip straight to the recipe but if you read along, you just may pick up a little tip or two that could make your BBQ better.
If you would like to see this rub being made and used, check out my grilled lamb backstrap recipe.
Here are a few other tip to change up the flavors:
- For some added heat, pop in a couple of teaspoons of black pepper. Even add some mustard powder for a little extra kick.
- To sweeten the rub up, add two or three teaspoons of dried mint leaves.
- To tweak it for poultry, I tend to double the salt and lemon pepper and add a couple of teaspoons of paprika.
- For a seafood blend, I only use half the rosemary amount and double the salt and remove the granulated garlic for two teaspoons of powdered garlic.
You can also check out our lemon pepper lamb rub for another flavor profile.
Make it ahead of time
As long as you keep it in an airtight container, this rub will last for months. So make up a batch and you’ll always have it in hand.
Just remember before each use, give it a good mix up as there are different sized pieces of herbs and spices and the smaller particles tend to find their way down to the bottom over time.
By mixing it up before each use, you will be guaranteed the same flavor each and every cook.
Now you can make different varieties up straight away but I suggest making the base rub and if you want to teak it for a different cook, mix it up, take out half a cup or so and add your choice of herbs or spices to change the flavor profile to a sweeter or spicier outcome.
Allowing a rub time to act on the protein
It is always best to let a rub have plenty of time to activate and start to penetrate its flavors into a protein. Hence why I always try to put a rub on my meat as soon as I get it out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature before cooking.
By giving the herbs and spices time to penetrate into your meat, you are only going to enjoy the meal a lot more at the end of the day.
Recipes to try this lamb rub on
- How to Smoke a Whole Lamb
- Smoked Leg of Lamb With all the Trimmings
- Smoked Lamb Wraps with Baba Ganoush and Chimichurri
- Lemon & Rosemary Grilled Lamb Ribs
Lamb Seasoning (Game Meat)
- ¼ cup dried rosemary
- 2 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp lemon pepper
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix up thoroughly.
- Store in an airtight container.