How to Smoke a Whole Lamb

Rate this post

entire Hog Barbecue is certainly well-known, but what about entire lamb?

While not as popular, considering the spectacular appearance and the volume of meat it provides, this is a terrific way to serve a crowd for any major event.

If you’ve always wanted to try smoking a whole lamb but have been put off by the prospect, I’m here to assist. I’ll walk you through the procedure and break it down into easy stages for you to follow.

In no time, you’ll be perfecting a smoked entire lamb in your own garden.

Whole smoked lamb

How to Smoke a Whole Lamb

I had never smoked a whole lamb before. It was the main course during our large Greek Easter party.

It was a showpiece, and no one went hungry.

After sharing photographs in a few Facebook groups, I was inundated with requests from individuals eager to try smoked entire lamb. I decided to document all of the processes required.

While this recipe is a little more complex than your normal smoked lamb leg, I’m convinced that anybody with a big enough smoker and a bit of time on their hands can pull it off.

Tools required for smoking a whole lamb

  • Smoker large enough to hold a 50lb whole lamb
  • Plenty of briquettes
  • Smoking wood
  • Table big enough to lie the lamb flat on
  • Pink Butchers paper
  • Multi-Tool If you don’t have a multi-tool, use a meat cleaver instead.
  • Knife for boning With this 6.5 Smoke Kitchen Boning Knife, you can’t go wrong.
  • Butter knife or teaspoon
  • Paper towels
  • Heavy duty alluminum foil
  • Insulated BBQ gloves

Prepping the whole lamb

I used a whole lamb weighing roughly 50 pounds. You won’t be able to get one of them in the store, but your local butcher should be able to help you out.

I suggest cutting the lamb the night before to save time and stress on the big day.

Steps for preparing your whole lamb

  1. Prepare a broad table for cutting.I used butcher’s paper to make cleaning easier. I placed table clips on the corners to keep it from sliding around, but bulldog clips could work as well.
  2. Place the lamb on the table and attempt to open the rib cage by hand at first; this will need some power.Once the door is open, you may enter with the multi-tool in a much more comfortable posture.
  3. Begin with your multi-tool at the first bone, right under the knuckle near the spine. You don’t want to take the blade too deep into the flesh, so cut until you feel you’ve only barely gone through the bone. Cut each bone as you go along the rib cage.Rep the procedure on the other side.
  4. Slide your boning knife along the incision you just made with the multi-tool, just slightly into the flesh, just enough to assist open up the rib cage portion so you can remove the membrane from the rear of the ribs.
  5. Carefully slip a teaspoon or butter knife between the two bones beneath the membrane that runs across the ribs and gently pull that membrane.Take care not to rip the membrane as you raise it; just enough to slide your fingers beneath and thoroughly remove it.
  6. If any of the membrane splits, be careful to remove any remaining parts that are linked to the ribs.
  7. Remove any extra hard fat with your boning knife, leaving just a bit in the larger parts, and remove as much of the silver skin as possible.
  8. Trim any extra belly flap that will not cook properly.

If you don’t have a multi-tool, you can use a meat cleaver, or you can change the cut by advancing up to where the rib bones meet the spine and gently breaking through each one with your knife.

When you’re through trimming, clean up any bone shavings by rubbing some moist paper towels over the places you’ve just cut through.

How to season your lamb

Apply a little layer of yellow mustard evenly to the exposed muscles. If you don’t have yellow mustard, gently spritz or spread oil on the exposed meat. This just aids in the adhesion of the rub to the meat.

Next, take out your lamb rub. For this dish, I used a local rub, but you may use whatever commercial rub you choose or try our lamb spice recipe.

Lamb may take on a variety of tastes, so feel free to explore.

Make careful to cover all of the visible flesh generously.

Setting up your smoker

I utilized my own reverse flow 24 offset smoker with a 47-inch door width.

I made it a few years ago; her name is Christine, and she is stunning.

A big pellet or offset smoker should be able to handle a whole lamb with ease.

Throughout the cook, I began with a bed of briquettes as a foundation layer and topped it with pieces of double split red gum (a popular Australian smoke wood).You may use hickory, or you could use your preferred smoke wood.

When the smoker is finished, it should be cleanly burning and running at 300F on the dial.This was my body temperature the whole time.

Close the cover and carefully place the lamb on the smoking rack, cut side up.

The Mop

Make a Greek lemon and herb basting to use during the cooking of the lamb. The tastes are out of this world and go well with any cut of lamb.

In a mop bucket, combine the lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil, garlic, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, and freshly cracked pepper to taste.

I took a BBQ mop, removed the head, and tied a fresh bouquet of oregano and thyme to it with an elastic band. I highly advise using fresh herbs to baste it with.

Smoking the lamb

I opened the pit for the first time after 2.5 hours and applied a liberal layer of lemon and herb mop.

I opened the pit 1.5 hours later for another application of that delectable homemade mop.

Another 1.5 hours later, I covered the hams (the rear legs) in aluminum foil to speed them up since they cook more slower than the rest of the meat, and then applied another layer of the mop.

Except for the hams, the lamb should be probed like a hot knife into butter four hours after the final mop (9.5 hours total). This is what we want since they will be diced and put with the pulled meat for a wonderful textural diversity.

At this point, some heat-resistant gloves could come in helpful.

Remove the lamb from the smoker (a two-person task!) and begin disassembly.

Chopping and serving the lamb

Begin by removing the ribs one at a time; they will actually fall apart from the flesh.

Remove the meat from the remaining unwrapped area, being care to remove any cartilage, sinew, or extra fat before putting it on the final serving dish.

Shred all the meat on the tray.

Remove the foil and cut away the rear legs, separating the flesh from the bones.

Using two meat cleavers, chop the ham meat.

Once all of the ham meat has been chopped, combine it with the pulled lamb and any residual fluids, including the lemon and herb mop used during the cooking process. To get the ideal texture and taste balance, carefully combine all of the ingredients.

To conclude, I added some of the previously used rub and blended a thick coat into the pulled meat at the end to offer that additional flavor burst.

Wrap the tray in heavy aluminum foil and then in an old towel to keep the meat warm. Put a towel in the bottom of a cooler big enough to contain the tray.

Cover the covered tray with another towel and place it in the cooler. You may keep beef at room temperature for up to four hours in this manner.

What to do with leftovers?

I prefer to divide the meat by vacuum sealing it. That way, you can reheat them later, and even better, on evenings when you want to barbeque but don’t have time to prepare, you’ll have leftovers on hand.

Or you could try our:

  • Recipe for smoked lamb wraps with babaganoush and chimichurri
  • Pull the lamb in lieu of the lamb patties in our Mediterranean Lamb Burgers.
  • Our Greek style Lamb Gyros are killer


If you want to view a breakdown of how Christine was planned and created, you may do so by visiting offset-build.


How do you smoke an entire lamb?

Fat side up on the smoker rack.
Cook until the internal temperature of the leg of lamb reaches 140 – 150 F.Instructions
Preheat your smoker to 225 – 250 F according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Rub the spice mixture over all sides of the lamb.
Grill the lamb immediately on the grill.

How long should you smoke lamb for?

Put the lamb in the smoker. Cook for 2 to 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the beef reaches 145°F on an instant read thermometer. Hot Tip: Unlike other meats, smoking a boneless leg of lamb will take longer to cook than a bone-in leg.

What temperature do you smoke a whole lamb?

Temperature in the smoker for smoking a leg of lamb

Susie advises 225°F (107°C), and you may go as high as 250°F (121°C), but no higher. For two reasons: smoke and doneness, we’ll keep it low and slow.

Is lamb good for smoking?

Smoking lamb is a fantastic experience. A good leg of lamb is the ideal piece to use if you want to smoke it. The lamb tastes stand up well to the smoky flavor. It simply needs a few hours to smoke before it becomes soft and exquisite.

How do you keep lamb moist in a smoker?

How to Keep Smoked Meat From Drying Out
Smoke your meat using indirect heat.
Before smoking your meat, marinate it.
Use less charcoal and more smoking chunks.
Fill a bowl or pan with water and place it in your smoker.
Aluminum foil should be used to wrap your meat.
Allow your meat to rest once it has been smoked.
Is it beneficial to soak smoking chunks in water?

What do you spray on lamb when smoking?

Using a spray bottle, spritz the lamb every hour with the beef stock. Place the lamb on many sheets of aluminum foil and liberally spritz after 4 12 hours, or until fully colored. Wrap the lamb in foil tightly.

What wood is best for smoking lamb?

Because lamb has a strong taste profile, utilize a powerful flavor of smoking chips. Hickory has traditionally been the most preferred wood for smoking lamb, although Apple wood and Mesquite are also popular.

Does lamb get tougher the longer you cook it?

Tougher slices of lamb become fork-tender after slow simmering in liquid.

Should I sear lamb after smoking?

You will remove the meat from the smoker approximately 10 degrees before it is done, then sear it. The temperature should be roughly 5 degrees below the ultimate ideal temperature after searing.

What temp does lamb fall apart?

2 hours.Cook the lamb for 20 minutes, uncovered. Then, closely cover the roasting pan with foil, decrease the heat to 300oF (149oC), and cook until the lamb is soft and registers 160°F (71oC) for medium doneness or 175°F (79oC) for fall-apart tenderness, which should take 2 to 2 12 hours.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *