Smoked Rack of Lamb With Pistachio Crust 

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Smoked rack of lamb is unbeatable whether you’re preparing for a holiday or simply for the family.

It looks and tastes fine, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. This takes approximately 45 minutes to prepare, but everyone will believe you spent all day!

I’ll teach you how to prepare, season, and smoke a whole rack of lamb with a pistachio crust in this recipe. This results in a lovely crumbly crust with a lot of taste and texture in every mouthful of lamb. Finish with a sprinkle of apricot and balsamic sauce, which only has two ingredients!

Cooking a whole rack vs chops 

Smoked Rack of Lamb With Pistachio Crust 

Cooking a complete rack of lamb vs breaking it into chops (or cutlets) comes down to personal choice and appearance. I elected to leave the rack whole so that I could smoke it for a longer period of time, giving the lamb a deeper, richer taste.

Plus, leaving protein whole rather than breaking it into smaller parts helps to keep moisture, resulting in a juicer, tastier mouthful.

If you’re in a hurry, you may cut the rack into chops yourself or have your local butcher do it for you. If you choose that option, the cooking time will be substantially less since you will just be grilling the chops for a couple of minutes on each side before brushing on the glaze.

Its a tasty option.

Can you get the gamey taste out of lamb? 

Smoked Rack of Lamb With Pistachio Crust 

Lamb has a negative reputation because to the gamey aftertaste it often has. Some individuals like the flavor, while others despise it.

I don’t mind it, but when I prepare for people, I soak the lamb in buttermilk for 24 hours. The buttermilk helps to counteract the gamey taste of the lamb while also tenderizing it. If you are taking this step, be sure you rinse your lamb, pat it dry, and then go to the following step.

Rack of lamb, particularly from New Zealand or Australia, does not seem to have a gamey flavor.

I don’t want to upset any local farmers, so I’ll simply advise try to obtain whatever is local and from a reputable source.

What kind of wood is best for smoking lamb? 

Lamb, like fish or fowl, absorbs smoke. Avoid stronger woods that may quickly overwhelm lamb, such as hickory or mesquite. Fruit woods are excellent, as are maple and alder woods.

I chose cherry wood for this dish because I adore the sweet smoky taste it gives lamb and the color it imparts on the meat.

As I often say, if the smoke is dominating the meat you’re cooking, switch to wood chips or even try it on a pellet smoker for a more delicate smoke taste.

How to make smoked rack of lamb 

1. Make the lamb rub

To begin making this lamb meal, we must first create the homemade rub. It is quite easy.

1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika should be combined in a dish.

Combine the dry rub ingredients and sprinkle them over the lamb until it is equally covered on both sides. If you’re having difficulties with the rub adhering to the meat, cover it with olive oil beforehand to serve as a binder.

2. Sear the lamb

1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. When the cast iron pan begins to smoke, it is hot enough to sear.

Sear the lamb for a few minutes on the flesh side down, then turn it over and sear the other side.

Doing this before adding the pistachio breading will provide more flavor to the lamb, which you deserve!

Remove the lamb from the pan and leave aside while you prepare the pistachio and bread crumbs.

3. Make the pistachio and bread crumb mix

Combine 1 cup shelled pistachios, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 teaspoons olive oil in a mixing bowl. Then, in a food processor, combine everything.

Don’t over-blend the pistachios. You want a coarse mix since it will result in a good thick crust.

If the mixture is too dry, drizzle with a little additional olive oil. You don’t want it too wet, simply moistened with olive oil and melted butter so that everything combines together without separating.

Next, smear some dijon mustard on the flesh side of the lamb. This will function as a binder for the pistachio breading and provide flavor to the lamb.

Coat the lamb evenly in the breading mixture, being careful to cover the whole front and bottom. It is unnecessary to cover the rear of the lamb where the bones are. Because there is so little flesh on the rear, it will be difficult to get anything to stick.

4. Fire up the smoker to 275°F

You want to smoke something moderate. I selected cherry because I like the sweet smokey taste it imparts on the lamb.

This was smoked on my Large Big Green Egg, but any smoker would suffice.

When the lamb achieves an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, take it from the smoker and set it aside for 10-15 minutes while you make the apricot balsamic sauce.

5. Prepare the sauce

There are just two ingredients in this sauce! Balsamic vinegar with apricot jam. Simply put the two in a pot and warm up.It’s a basic glaze, but it goes so well with the lamb.

6. Slice and serve

When it’s time to carve the lamb, I prefer to turn it over to examine the back of the bones. That way, I’ll know where to cut without accidentally cutting a bone. This will result in a more even slice.

Serve the lamb in individual chops, two per person, with a tablespoon of the apricot sauce on top.

I prefer to serve the lamb over smoked potatoes with rosemary and garlic.

Try these delicious lamb recipes next

  • Grilled Lamb Chops With Mint Chimichurri
  • Whole Smoked Lamb
  • Grilled Lamb Cutlets with Pomegranate Sauce
  • Smoked Leg of Lamb
  • Lemon & Rosemary Grilled Lamb Ribs
  • Stuffed Grilled Lamb Backstrap with Spinach and Feta


Can you overcook lamb rack?

Because rack of lamb is thin and delicate, it may easily overcook and dry out in the oven if left in for too long.

Do you rinse rack of lamb before cooking?

Rinse and wipe dry lamb racks, then heavily cover with salt and chill for at least 2 hours, but overnight is preferable. The salt will not only season the meat, but it will also change the protein’s structure, boosting its capacity to retain fluids during cooking.

What to serve with rack of lamb?

8 light and easy lamb side dishes
Carrots with Dijon mustard glaze.
Jersey Royals were grilled with herbs and spices.
Spring greens with a kick.
Roasted baby leeks with croutons of oak-smoked bacon.
Peas with pancetta.
Lemon-roasted courgettes.
Clementine carrots with roasted garlic.
Butternut squash roasted with garlic and herbs.

What is the best temperature to eat rack of lamb?

Lamb Cooking Temperatures

The USDA advises cooking lamb to 145 degrees F for medium-well doneness.

What is the ideal temperature for rack of lamb?

Don’t risk spoiling the lamb or any other kind of meat. To check the temperature, purchase and use an instant read thermometer. The ultimate internal temperature of the meat should be about 125-130 degrees.

Do you put lamb rack skin up or down?

Place the lamb rack on a roasting pan lined with foil, bone side up. Wrap the exposed rib bones with foil to prevent them from burning.

Should lamb be cooked covered or uncovered?

To maintain the soft juicy flesh, cover the lamb leg for the majority of the cooking time. A fatty component of the animal is not a leg. The simplest method is to cover your dish with another baking dish. If you don’t have a suitable container, tent the meat with foil.

Should you bring lamb to room temperature before cooking?

Allow the lamb to come to room temperature before placing it in the oven. This will shorten the cooking time and help the meat cook more evenly.

How many racks of lamb per person?

How many people can a rack of lamb feed? The rack is a portion of ribs with the loin meat attached; it’s excellent and very tender. One rack of lamb may be cut into 8 lamb chops to feed 2 to 3 persons. You should expect 2 to 3 lamb chops per person.

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