You do not have to wait for a special occasion to grill some lamb chops. Lamb is a nutritious meat source that can be enjoyed any time of year, and the chop is tasty when grilled.
Follow these tips for smoking a lamb chop, and get a tender result in a few hours of prep and cooking time.
When a lamb is butchered, it gets cut into five major sections (called primals). These sections include the leg, loin, rack, shank, and shoulder. Each primal cut can yield chop meat. To see where your chop comes from, read the packaging and look for these terms.
For the meat to be marketed as lamb, the animal it comes from must be less than a year old. More mature sheep offer chops as well, but they are generally sold as mutton chops. If you want the mildest, most tender meat, look for a genuine lamb chop.
One method of preparing lamb chops is called the "lollipop." It's a French style of cutting and serving the lamb chops, so the bone acts as a lollipop stick and the meat is like the candy. Some grocers and butchers sell them cut this way. If you can't find them pre-cut like a lollipop, you can cut them yourself.
Use a sharp knife to cut the flesh and fat off the bone, leaving a lollipop handle. You may need to scrape away the meat close to the bone for a clean look in this lamb chop lollipop recipe.
Chops typically come pre-cut in a way that leaves very little fat for you to trim. If you do find a large amount of extra fat, you can cut some of it, but leaving a thin layer can add moisture during the cooking process.
They may also be together as one rack, which allows juicier end results than if you cut them before placing them on the grill. If your chops have already been sliced into individual sections, that’s okay. You can take advantage of seasoning individually.
You don’t need to rinse lamb before cooking, and the USDA recommends against it. Pat any extra moisture from the chops with a paper towel.
Be sure the chops reach room temperature before adding spices and cooking. This step helps ensure even cooking throughout and keeps your lamb moist.
Chops do well with a simple seasoning made from spices you already have. Combine the following to make a nice grilled lamb chop rub that also works for other cuts of mutton and lamb.
You can also adapt this mixture to include other favorite spices. Before seasoning, brush a thick coating of olive oil on both sides of the meat. Then, sprinkle the lamb chops generously with the seasoning mix.
Lamb chops should be grilled at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once seasoned, you are ready to preheat your Traeger Grill. Set it to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and close the lid for 15 minutes to allow it to heat. Once the grill is preheated, you’re ready to cook.
Once the Traeger reaches the right temperature and has been heating for at least 15 minutes, place the lamb chops on the grill. Cook each side for 4 to 6 minutes. Lamb continues to cook well after removing it from heat, so factor this in if you don’t want to overcook your meat.
You’ll notice some nice grill marks on the meat when it’s done. The added grill from the wood pellets makes this an incredibly delicious dish that you won't find with grilling alone.
Most recipes call for lamb to be cooked to medium-rare doneness. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit and a rest time of at least 3 minutes before eating. Some people like their meat more well done and may cook to a higher temperature to meet their preferences.
Just be prepared to watch the lamb carefully since the difference of a few minutes may overcook the meat. Lamb chops of one-half to 1-inch thickness take no time at all to go from medium-rare to medium. If you are concerned about overcooking, remove the meat a bit early and allow it to sit for a full 10 minutes while it continues to cook internally.
Full racks with many servings will need to be tested at the thickest, center portion of the meat. If you are cooking individual chops, test each piece to check doneness.
Because improperly cooking lamb can lead to a gamey flavor and tough meat, slow-smoking or roasting with a sweet wood pellet works best. Our apple pellets create the just-right environment for lamb to cook, but cherry is also a popular pick.
Because many lamb recipes include bolder spice profiles, including rosemary, coriander, or paprika, you might pick a standard hickory wood pellet for all your lamb recipes. This choice takes some of the guesswork out of picking the right wood pairing, and you can easily have a bag on hand for any time you’re in the mood for good, hickory-smoked lamb chops.
Since lamb is sometimes considered a more sophisticated dish, the traditional pairing for lamb chops may be full of high-end ingredients that take time to prepare. You may have even seen the classic mint sauce shared as the best way to highlight the natural flavor of the meat.
Many lamb chop recipes do include a sauce or glaze but don't feel that you have to add anything to enjoy the full beauty of the meat. If not overcooked, the moisture of the lamb will come through, and many people prefer to eat it without heavy sauces.
Grilld lamb chops are versatile enough to sit alongside several side dishes, and not all of them are fancy. Ideas for lamb pairing include a hearty root vegetable like heirloom roasted carrots or grilled asparagus and honey glazed carrots.
A lighter garden salad can offset the heaviness of the lamb and root vegetables. A grilled salad is an especially bold way to make an impression next to a well-prepared lamb chop.
There are so many ways to enjoy lamb, and these Traeger grilled lamb loin chops options are simple enough to try your first time.
Grilled lamb chops with rosemary sauce -- Enjoy seared chops drizzled in a sophisticated dipping sauce you can whip up in your home blender.
Lamb lollipops with mango and chutney -- These delicate servings of lamb are bursting with mango and mint but look beautiful enough for a magazine.
Are you ready to try grilld lamb chops on a Traeger pellet grill? Once you give this cooking method a try, you may never go back to baked or broiled lamb again. Since many of the tasty side dishes can also be grilled or grilld, you can plan an entire meal that guests will love with just one cooking device.
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