Smoked Leg of Lamb With all the Trimmings

Tender and flavorful smoked leg of lamb served with roasted potatoes, lemon butter carrots, minted snow peas and homemade gravy.
smoked leg of lamb

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This smoked leg of lamb is a moist and tasty twist on your classics roast lamb.

A leg of lamb is traditionally cooked as a roast at higher temperature, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be cooked in a smoker.

The bone-in lamb shoulder would be our usual go-to cut for low and slow style smoking due to it having more connective tissue and intramuscular fat than the leg. A lamb leg doesn’t require those long cook times, so you can effectively put it in the smoker and bring it up to temp, give it a small rest and carve it up.

You’ll also learn how to make herb and butter Hasselback potatoes, carrots, snow peas and gravy to turn this into a complete roast meal.

Smoked lamb leg

If this shoulder is better suited to low and slow style cooking, why are we suggesting you smoke a leg?

The first time I heard someone was smoking a bone-in a leg of lamb I actually questioned them why they were doing it. I had only ever cooked them at a higher temp in a roasting style. I knew the leg was a much leaner cut and therefore wouldn’t lend well to being cooked for a long period, I felt it would dry out.

Boy was I wrong, this leg was moist, tender and the flavor was absolutely incredible. It was an eye-opener for me. I don’t tend to pigeonhole cuts of meat anymore, I look at other ways of cooking them all the time.

The finished product itself is just as versatile as how to cook it. By thinly slicing it you can use it in tacos or wraps and by slicing it slightly thicker you can serve it up as a traditional roast style meat but obviously with a nice smoky hit and a more tender version of its traditional roasted variety.

You can get your lamb leg from any supermarket or butcher, or get domestic, pasture-raised lamb delivered to your door from our friends at Porter Road.

Items that will help you cook these are:

Bone-in or bone out for smoking? 

You’ll see a lot of lamb recipes that call for a boneless leg of lamb. Bone out the leg, keep it butterflied and you can roast or grill them in around 30 minutes. That’s quicker than you can roast potatoes. 

You can also roll up the boned leg of lamb and tie it up using butcher’s twine, this again will help roast it quicker, usually within an hour or so. Some butchers will already have a deboned leg of lamb rolled up in a netting, ready to roast for your convenience.

uncooked bone-in leg of lamb
A bone-in leg of lamb is the best option when smoking

While you can definitely cook this lamb recipe with a boneless leg cut, I find that keeping the bone helps with hitting our exact doneness temperature as the bone acts as insulator.

So bone-in is the best option when smoking, as you will get better results by allowing a longer cook time and the bone absorbing some of the heat to allow you to hit the internal temp exactly with less fuss. 

What flavors work well with lamb? 

Lamb lends really well to earthy herb flavors. You can pair it with garlic and wine, you can even add some spice to lean towards a Middle Eastern flavor profile.

I have a tried and tested seasoning for lamb, be it smaller cutlets and chops or bigger cuts like shoulder, rack and leg. 

lamb seasoning ingredients
Earthy herb flavors work great with lamb

The only difference is that instead of using powders with some seasonings, I use granules and flakes for these larger cuts.

Mine consists of sea salt flakes or kosher salt, lemon pepper (black pepper works fine too), dried rosemary and oregano, garlic granules and onion flakes. These larger pieces of seasoning don’t get lost on a larger cut like some powders do. 

Cover the lamb with a few Tablespoons of olive oil, and then apply a generous coating of the lamb rub.

If you want a really strong garlic flavor you can grab a few garlic cloves, slice them into little sticks and then make small incisions in the lamb and then stuff the garlic.

How much is too much seasoning? 

I find when it comes to larger cuts, you can afford to be a lot heavier on the application of your rub or seasonings. Especially when it comes to lamb, it works so well and due to its gamey flavor, it can handle the extra flavors.

I feel I keep telling people that when you are seasoning a leg or shoulder, put the amount of seasoning you think is needed, then add more, now double that. Trust me it works.

lamb seasoning in a bowl
The gamey flavor of lamb allows us to be a lot heavier on the application of rub or seasonings

I love a good crust with a heap of flavor on my lamb, in fact if I could get away with just trimming that off at the dinner table, I would do it but my family knows all too well that the crust or bark is brimming with punchy flavor.

Hence why I always take a few test cut pieces off near the BBQ before bringing in the roast.

Setting up the Weber Smokey Mountain for Lamb

I’m using a 22” Weber Smokey Mountain for my cook. I’ll be utilizing the minion method with lump charcoal.

I’ll start by lighting up a half full chimney starter with lump charcoal, once it is fully alight, I’ll place this into a well created in the charcoal ring with unlit charcoal.

I’ll place a few chunks of cherry wood around the lit charcoal, not touching the lit fuel as this will allow it to warm up and burn cleanly without giving us any thick white smoke that will add a bitter taste to our lamb.

Weber Smokey Mountain minion method set up
Set up the smoker using the minion method, ensuring that the smoking wood is not touching the lit fuel

I have removed the water pan for this cook and I’m using a deflector plate to stop the direct radiant heat hitting the bottom of the leg of the lamb. By removing the water pan, it will allow the fat or the leg of lamb as it renders down to drip onto the hot charcoal and create a nice extra smoky element to our meal.

Once the smoker is stable at 250°F, I’ll place the leg of lamb into the middle of the cooking grate and insert an internal meat probe, I’m using the Thermoworks Smoke X4 today.

seasoned leg of lamb with internal meat probe on a smoker
Place the leg of lamb on a cooking grate and insert an internal meat probe

I’ll let this smoke away for around 4 hours in total until it reaches an internal temperature of 150°F, I’ll give it a second test with a Thermapen M4, just making sure every part of the leg of lamb is at or above 150°F internally. This will give you medium, which I find works well with lamb.

If you want a little more pinkish hue, you can remove the lamb when the temperature of the meat hits the 135°F mark for medium rare.

Then I’ll take it off the heat and rest it for 10 minutes before carving.

The 4 hour cooking time is perfectly spent preparing vegetables to go with our roast.

smoked leg of lamb on a smoker
Once the internal temperature reaches 150°F, take the leg of lamb off the heat and rest for 10 minutes

By only taking the internal temperature to 150°F, the lamb will still be carvable. If I wanted to I could push it further until it was ready up near 200°F for pulled lamb, but I wanted this to be a roast-style cook.

Side dishes for smoked lamb

Generally you would serve lamb with any vegetables. Roasted, steamed or baked would be a good choice. See below for our recommended sides and methods.

Or you can thinly slice it and have it in lamb tacos.

Leftovers make great pies, add a thick gravy and you’ll be in food heaven.

1. Herb and butter Hasselback potatoes

Start by preheating an oven to 425°F, as the smoker is not running hot enough to cook roasted potatoes.

Wash and dry the potatoes and cut slices around ⅛ to ¼ apart, you can use chopsticks as guides so you do not cut all the way through.

uncooked potatoes with chopsticks on a wooden cutting board
Using chopsticks will help you not to cut the potato all the way through

Place the potatoes on a baking dish and brush with melted butter, then season with salt and pepper.

Put into the oven for 30 minutes.

buttered potatoes on a metal tray
Brush potatoes with some butter, season and put in the oven for half an hour

After 30 minutes, give the potatoes another brush with butter, by now the slices should have started to open up, so you can get the butter down into each slit.

Put back into the oven for another 30 minutes.

By now the edges should be crispy and the interior of the potatoes should be soft, you can check with a skewer or sharp knife. 

herb and butter Hasselback potatoes
Sprinkle roasted potatoes with chopped chives before serving

Take them out of the oven and sprinkle with freshly chopped chives and serve immediately.

2. Steamed Honey and Lemon Carrots

You’ll need to boil some water in the bottom of a steamer, adding some lemon juice to the water as it will permeate a lovely citrus flavor into the carrots.

Peel and top and tail the carrots, then chop into even pieces of roughly 1 and a half inches to 2 inches long.

sliced carrots
Slice the carrots into 1 ½ inch long and ¼ inch thick pieces and place into a steamer for 10 minutes

Next slice in half lengthways and slice into strips roughly a quarter of an inch thick.

Place into a steamer for 10 minutes.

Drain water and put into a bowl, add butter, honey and salt and pepper and toss until butter is all melted and all carrots are covered.

steamed honey and lemon carrots
Once cooked, add butter, honey and season the carrots before serving

Serve immediately. 

3. Minted Snow Peas

You’ll utilize the steamer along with the carrots for these.

So just remove the stems and spines off each snow pea and add to the steamer for 4 minutes.

minted snow peas in a bowl
Steam snow peas for 4 minutes, season and serve with butter and chopped mint leaves

Once steamed, place in a bowl and add butter, freshly chopped mint leaves, salt and pepper and toss.

Once the butter is all melted and all snow peas fully coated, serve immediately.

4. Homemade Gravy made simple

It’s not hard to make your own homemade gravy, it just takes a little prep.

Start by peeling and thinly slicing 2 medium onions. Now add these to a frypan on medium heat and cook until softened. Add some chicken stock or vegetable stock if you wish and also some white wine.

onions and chicken stock in a saucepan
Combine cooked onions, chicken stock and white wine in a saucepan

Bring to the boil and then simmer until it reduces by about a third.

In another pan, melt some butter and add some all purpose flour and whisk. When the color changes to a nutty look, add this to our gravy mixture and you will see it thicken pretty much instantly.

Homemade gravy in a pouring jug
Add the butter and flour mixture to the gravy. Once thickened, season, strain and serve.

Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly.

Strain and serve.

Serving suggestions 

smoked leg of lamb on a wooden board
Serve smoked lamb with any vegetables or slice thinly to have it in tacos.
smoked leg of lamb

Smoked Leg of Lamb

Tender and flavorful smoked lamb served with roasted potatoes, lemon butter carrots, minted snow peas and homemade gravy.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 620kcal
Author: Dean “Schuey” Schumann

Ingredients

  • 1 6lb leg of lamb
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Lamb seasoning:

  • 3 parts salt flakes
  • 2 parts lemon pepper
  • 1 part dried rosemary
  • 1 part dried oregano
  • 1 part garlic granules
  • 1 part onion flakes

Butter and herb Hasselback potatoes:

  • 20 medium to large potatoes
  • 10 tbsp melted butter melted
  • 3 tbsp fresh chives chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steamed honey and lemon carrots:

  • 10 large carrots
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 3 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Minted snow peas:

  • 5 cup snow peas
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Homemade gravy:

  • 2 medium onions peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Lamb:

  • Set up Smoker to smoke at 250°F.
  • Add some cherry wood for smoke.
  • Mix all the seasoning ingredients together.
  • Lightly oil the lamb and coat heavily with seasoning.
  • Smoke for 4 hours until internal temp of 150°F is reached.
  • Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.

Herb and butter Hasselback potatoes:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Wash and dry the potatoes and cut slices around ⅛ to ¼ apart.
  • Place the potatoes on a baking dish and brush with melted butter, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Place potatoes into the oven for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, give the potatoes another brush with butter.
  • Put potatoes back into the oven for another 30 minutes.
  • Once potatoes have softened, take them out of the oven and sprinkle with freshly chopped chives.

Steamed Honey and Lemon Carrots:

  • Boil some water in the bottom of a steamer, adding some lemon juice to the water.
  • Peel and top and tail the carrots, then chop into even pieces of roughly 1 ½ inches to 2 inches long. Next slice in half lengthways and slice into strips roughly a quarter of an inch thick.
  • Place into a steamer for 10 minutes. Cooking time may differ depending on how many carrots you have in your steamer.
  • Drain water and put into a bowl, add butter, honey and salt and pepper and toss until butter is all melted and all carrots are covered.

Minted Snow Peas:

  • Remove the stems and spines off each snow pea and add to the steamer for 4 minutes.
  • Once steamed, place in a bowl and add butter, freshly chopped mint leaves, salt and pepper and toss.

Homemade Gravy:

  • Add the onions to a frypan on medium heat and cook until softened.
  • Add the chicken or vegetable stock along with some white wine.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer until it reduces by about a third.
  • In another pan, melt some butter and add some all purpose flour and whisk. When the color changes to a nutty look, add this to the gravy mixture to help thicken.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly.
  • Strain contents and serve.

To Serve:

  • Serve lamb with roasted and grilled vegetables or thinly slice and have it in tacos.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 620kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 2249mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 11401IU | Vitamin C: 120mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 5mg

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