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Smoked leg of lamb


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Until I started reading UK & Oz BBQ sites I hadn't thought to smoke lamb , despite hailing from Blighty .

Today I changed that and smoked this small leg .

Rub ; Dried Provençal Herbs, celery salt , Rock salt, Smoked Paprika.

8 Hours at 100c

Smoked over Thyme and Oregano pellets .

Although the flavour was fantastic the smoke ring leaves a little to be desired and although I took it off at 70 IT the flesh was a little dry  at the edge yet Rosa on the inside I think to correct that I need to inject into the first 1 cm of meat. 

Served with a truffle butter and some plain Veg. Well nearly true I half inched one of my Vegan wife's garlic mushrooms.9CD23E10-8F71-4A11-A59D-D49E4FF36E0F.thumb.jpeg.0fe0e724503b47d89bd10b5f7dd4cbd7.jpeg



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Hi Paul and welcome to the forum :thumb1:

A couple of questions and suggestions regarding the dryness and lack of smoke ring...

Did you foil wrap the joint after the first 3 hours or regularly baste it? If you did not then the 8 hours cooking will remove a lot of moisture - especially from the outside of the meat. With regards to the smoke flavour, it is almost all imparted into the meat within the first 3 hours of cooking. Longer exposure to smoke has little noticeable effect on flavour and the cooking time after that is all about getting the structure of the meat to break down and become tender. The addition of a water pan into the smoker may also help retain moisture however foil wrapping or regular basting will also be necessary.

The smoke ring is a different matter. This is caused by a lack of Nitric Oxide (NO) (and Carbon Monoxide (CO)) around the meat as it is cooking. When cooking at these low temperatures the burn of the charcoal/briquettes is very efficient and so very little NO is produced. This lack of NO plus the dryness around the meat will seriously inhibit the formation of a smoke ring as the little NO that is present needs something to dissolve in so that it can penetrate the meat. Again, placing a water pan in the smoker or regular basting during the early stages of cooking will also help the smoke ring to form. Using a nitrogen rich rub on the surface of the meat will also help, especially if it is high in Nitrate or Nitrite.

Although the smoke ring looks good it really does not reflect how well the meat has been cooked and is easily created chemically. Because of this BBQ competition judges are told to ignore the presence or absence of a smoke ring when scoring.

I am glad that it tasted good.

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Hi Wade, Thank you for the very comprehensive and instructive answer, it's about the most helpful insight to getting good results I've seen on any forum ! ?

Joint  was not foil wrapped (2nd stage)  , or basted but a water trough was put  in . So there's one error so to speak.

I did smoke only the first phase about 4 hours and the oregano and thyme flavours were certainly evident which is as Id expect from smoking the pelletised herbs themselves with no fillers .

The Truffle butter worked very well but after I half inched the garlic mushroom there was a bit of  bonfire of strong competing flavours so will keep me mitts to myself next time .

ill answer your other note a bit later on !!   :-)

Thanks , Paul

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The distributor for our briketts for Germany manufactures them , he grows fresh herbs and dries them for export . This was just a natural add on , The pellets are 100% the plant , no infusions or sprays whatsoever . The first batches he had pelletised the next ones he will do himself. I'll arrange some to be sent over !! :-)

Thyme, Oregano and 'fresh' Hops!!!

We often make up 'Smoking Packets ' made up of brikett ,pellets and some wine or spirit barrel  chunks - they go down very well over here .


Edited by CoCoCabana
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