A smoked leg of lamb is a delicious and flavorful dish that will leave your taste buds craving for more. This succulent lamb recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a family gathering or a barbecue party with friends.

Overhead shot of smoked lamb carved for serving on cutting board with fork and knife.

In this recipe:

The unique smoky flavor and tender texture make this smoked leg of lamb recipe a crowd favorite that’s easy to prepare and guaranteed to impress your guests. This is our favorite smoked leg of lamb recipe that you can easily recreate in the comfort of your own backyard. It’s simple and has tons of rich flavor, but takes a little longer than our quick grilled lamb chops. Skip the prime rib, fire up the smoker, grab some wood chips or chunks, and try this amazing smoked leg of lamb recipe!

For the best flavor, you’ll want to start by marinating the lamb in a mixture of herbs, spices, and lots of garlic (and even more if you love garlic like we do). Then, you’ll need to smoke the lamb for several hours and finish with a sear for an amazing crust. The smoky flavor will add a delicious depth of flavor to your dish, making it a crowd-pleaser, perfect for holiday meals like Easter, Passover, or any special occasion.

If you’re not sure your family will love lamb, consider making a smaller smoked leg of lamb as well as a more traditional dish like smoked spiral ham or smoked turkey with stuffing to give everyone options.

The Cut: Boneless Leg of Lamb

A boneless leg of lamb is a cut of meat from the top of the animal’s rear leg. It’s one of the most tender and flavorful cuts of lamb, but because it is a working muscle, it requires a low and slow cook to become tender, just like braised lamb shanks. From the whole leg of lamb, this lamb meat has the bone removed by the butcher. When the bone is removed, the meat is usually butterflied, meaning it is opened up and flattened out, making it easier to season with layers of flavors, roll, and cook evenly.

Removing the bone from a leg of lamb allows for more flexibility in cooking methods, such as grilling, roasting, or even slow cooking, like this smoker recipe. It also makes it easier to carve and serve the meat. A boneless leg of lamb roast, around 3-5 pounds, is also smaller than a bone-in leg of lamb, around 5-7 pounds. However, this recipe and method work for both, so if you are feeding a large crowd, feel free to go with the bigger cut; but make sure to extend the cooking time.

Ingredients for this recipe.

Ingredients for Smoked Leg of Lamb Recipe

  • Boneless leg of lamb – these are usually at the local grocery store around spring or the Easter season. If you can’t find one locally, check out our article on the best online meat delivery services for where we buy meat online.
  • Salt  – we use kosher salt when cooking
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Fresh Rosemary 
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Olive oil – or your favorite neutral cooking oil
  • Lemon zest 
  • Pepper – we use freshly ground black pepper when cooking.

How to Smoke a Leg of Lamb

Prep the lamb

For this boneless leg of lamb, start by removing the meat from the package and patting it dry with paper towels. If it’s already been tied for you by your butcher, you may want to snip the kitchen twine to expose more surface area to season. This can help with that ‘gamey flavor’ some people associate with lamb.

Season the meat liberally with salt, and then combine the mustard, minced rosemary, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, and pepper in a bowl to make a coarse paste. Cover the meat, roll it back up with the thin layer of fat on the outside, and tie it securely with butcher’s twine every 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Add smashed garlic cloves to the seams of the rolled meat for even more garlic flavor (or go even bigger with smoked garlic confit).

Wrap the lamb in plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.

Prep the smoker

When ready to cook the lamb, prep your smoker for a temperature of 250 degrees. See our notes about smoker pellets and wood varieties below.

Remove the lamb from the fridge and unwrap it and let it come to room temperature while the smoker preheats for 30 minutes.

Smoke the Lamb

When the smoker has come to temp, add the boneless leg of lamb to the grill grates over a drip pan. Close the lid and smoke the lamb checking the internal temperature of the lamb after 2 hours and every 25-30 minutes until the lamb has cooked to 110-120 degrees (depending on your desired finished internal temp).

Remove the smoked lamb from the grill and set aside. Then, adjust the air vents or turn the pellet smoker to the sear setting. Allow the grill to heat up to around 400-450 degrees F and return the lamb to the grill for a quick sear on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes a side.

Rest, Slice, and Serve

Remove the lamb from the grill and tent it with foil. Allow the smoked leg of lamb to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

When ready to serve, snip the kitchen twine and remove it. Then, carve the roast into thin slices with a sharp knife for serving.

Hands holding fork and knife carving smoked lamb.

GIRL CARNIVORE EXPERT RECIPE TIPS

For a Gas Grill (Minimal smoke flavor):

Start a directed above to prep the smoked boneless leg of lamb recipe. Then preheat your grill with all the burners on low, clean, and oil your grate. Then When the grill holds an even temp around 250F, turn off one of the 2 burners (the middle one). Arrange a smoker box or foil packet filled with woodchips over the lit burner to use wood chips on a gas grill for added flavor.

For a Pellet Grill (some smoke flavor):

After you’ve prepped the lamb, Preheat your Traeger grill or pellet smoker to 250 degrees F according to the manufacturer’s directions. Cook as instructed in the recipe card.
We use Jack Daniel’s charcoal pellets and put a smoker box filled with wood chips right on the grill grates for extra flavor.

For a charcoal grill (true smoke flavor):

When ready to grill, build a 2-zone fire by lighting charcoal in a charcoal chimney. After 15 minutes, when the coals are about 70% ashed over, carefully pour the coals to one side of the grill. Add wood chunks and cover the lid, adjusting the air vents as needed for the grill to preheat to 250 degrees F. When the smoke is clean (light blue and transparent, not dark and ‘dirty’), and the grill holds an even heat, add a water pan under the grill grate. Then return to the grill grate and add the leg of lamb to the cooler side of the grill. Cover and smoke as directed above.
For charcoal grills, we use Cowboy All Natural hardwood briquets (and would even recommend the garlic and onion briquets if you can find them near you for an added aromatic) and wood chunks.

Close up of lamb roast, sliced to show the center with garlic cloves inside.

What to Serve with smoked leg of lamb

We love a variety of our favorite side dishes with the smoky flavor of this leg of lamb. It’s perfect with creamy mashed potatoes, smoked brussels sprouts, hearty Dutch oven mac and cheese, or keto creamed spinach. Fresh green beans and umami-loaded smoked mushrooms also go great with this.

Leftovers and reheating

Wrap leftover lamb tightly in aluminum foil and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. To reheat, slice off new portions and only reheat what you need to avoid drying out the lamb. Reheat in an oven preheated to 325 degrees f, wrapped in foil with a touch of chicken broth or stock to retain moisture, until warmed through 10 to 12 minutes.

Alternatively, use the leftover smoked lamb for a variety of dishes and easy dinners all week long. We love leftover lamb grilled cheese or making wraps out of it. Chopping it up for egg scrambles and over smoked baked potatoes. Like roast beef, the leftovers from this great recipe for Sunday Supper have many ways to be used up all week.

Backlit slices of smoked lamb roast garnished with thyme, salt and pepper.

Recipe FAQs

WHAT TYPE OF WOOD SHOULD I USE FOR SMOKED LAMB?

Lamb has a unique flavor and can handle the robust flavor of different wood chips and smoking wood chunks. We love hickory or post oak wood chunks. Apple is a solid fruit wood if you want something a little lighter.

HOW LONG TO SMOKE A LEG OF LAMB PER POUND

Aim for around 25-30 minutes per pound for your lamb if your grill holds a consistent temperature of 250 degrees F. If it’s running hotter or cooler, adjust your cooking time and use a meat probe to monitor the temperature.

WHAT TEMPERATURE DO I COOK LAMB TO?

Cook your lamb to your desired internal temperature, aka, how you like to eat it. Cook it to 130 to 135 F for medium-rare or 135 to 140 degrees F for medium. Always use a digital meat thermometer with the probe inserted at the thickest part of the meat for an accurate reading. Remember, as the lamb rests, the internal temperature of the meat will rise another 5 degrees.

More Savory Lamb Recipes

What do you think of this smoked leg of lamb? Are you serving it at Easter or for Passover? If you’ve tried this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe. This helps the next reader and keeps fresh content coming from the Girl Carnivore Meat Labs!

Smoked Leg of Lamb

5 from 22 votes
Prep: 1 day 25 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 3 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total: 1 day 3 hours 38 minutes
Servings: 10
Discover the ultimate smoked leg of lamb recipe, infused with mouthwatering flavors and a perfect smoky aroma. Learn how to create a tender, juicy, and unforgettable feast for your next gathering with our step-by-step guide and expert tips.

Ingredients  

  • 5 lb boneless leg of lamb
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary minced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions 

PREP THE LAMB

  • For this boneless leg of lamb, start by removing the meat from the package and patting it dry with paper towels.
  • Snip the kitchen twine to expose more surface area and pat dry.
  • Season the meat liberally with salt.
  • Combine the mustard, minced rosemary, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, and pepper in a bowl to make a coarse paste.
  • Cover the meat with the mustard paste, roll it back up with the thin layer of fat on the outside, and tie it securely with butcher’s twine every 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
  • If desired, shove a few more garlic cloves into the seams.
  • Wrap the lamb in plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.

PREP THE SMOKER

  • When ready to cook the lamb, prep your smoker for a temperature of 250 degrees. See our notes about types of smokers and wood varieties below.
  • Remove the lamb from the fridge and unwrap it and let it come to room temperature while the smoker preheats for 30 minutes.

SMOKE THE LAMB

  • When the smoker has come to temp, add the boneless leg of lamb to the grill grates over a drip pan.
  • Close the lid and smoke the lamb checking the internal temperature of the lamb after 2 hours and every 25-30 minutes until the lamb has cooked to 110-120 degrees (depending on your desired finished temp).
  • Remove the smoked lamb from the grill and set aside. Then, adjust the air vents or turn the pellet smoker to the sear setting.
  • Allow the grill to heat up to around 400-450 degrees F and return the lamb to the grill for a quick sear on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes a side.

REST, SLICE, AND SERVE

  • Remove the lamb from the grill and tent it with foil. Allow the smoked leg of lamb to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  • When ready to serve, snip the kitchen twine and remove it. Then, carve the roast into thin slices with a sharp knife for serving.

Notes

For a bone-in leg of lamb: this recipe will work for a bone in leg of lamb as well. We suggest lowering the grill temperature to 225 degree F and smoking until the internal temperature reaches your personal preference taking into account the additional temp it will gain when the legis reverse seared and rested.
For a Gas Grill:
Start a directed above to prep the smoked boneless leg of lamb recipe. Then preheat your grill with all the burners on low, clean, and oil your grate. Then When the grill holds an even temp around 250F, turn off one of the 2 burners (the middle one). Arrange a smoker box or foil packet filled with woodchips over the lit burner to use wood chips on a gas grill for added flavor.
For a Pellet Grill:
After you’ve prepped the lamb, Preheat your Traeger grill or pellet smoker to 250 degrees F according to the manufacturer’s directions. Cook as instructed in the recipe card.
We use Jack Daniel’s charcoal pellets and put a smoker box filled with wood chips right on the grill grates for extra flavor.
For a charcoal grill:
When ready to grill, build a 2-zone fire by lighting charcoal in a charcoal chimney. After 15 minutes, when the coals are about 70% ashed over, carefully pour the coals to one side of the grill. Add wood chunks and cover the lid, adjusting the air vents as needed for the grill to preheat to 250 degrees F. When the smoke is clean (light blue and transparent, not dark and ‘dirty’), and the grill holds an even heat, add a water pan under the grill grate. Then return to the grill grate and add the leg of lamb to the cooler side of the grill. Cover and smoke as directed above.
For charcoal grills, we use Cowboy All Natural hardwood briquets (and would even recommend the garlic and onion briquets if you can find them near you for an added aromatic) and wood chunks.
We love hickory or post oak wood chunks. Apple is a solid fruit wood if you want something a little lighter.
Quick Temps for Lamb:
Medium-rare 130-135F
Medium 135-140F

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: barbeque
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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5 from 22 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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