How to Grill a Rack of Lamb
For many, grilling a rack of lamb is intimidating, but it’s simple to cook using these seven steps. Following this recipe will sure to leave your family and guests wowed.
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You can buy some lamb racks pretrimmed or have your butcher trim it for you. Otherwise, it’s not difficult to do it yourself. First, use a sharp paring knife to cut away the meat and fat between the bones to expose about two inches of bone from the rack. Then use the paring knife to scrape excess meat and fat from the surface of the bones. Finally, trim the fat cap off the top of the rack. If you like, you can also remove the silver skin surrounding the eye of the rack by inserting a knife between the meat and the silver skin to slice it off in strips.
For a rack of lamb, you want to set up a two-zone, medium-hot fire. Fire up a full chimney of Kingsford® Charcoal, or light a pile of about 100 briquets. When the coals are ready, arrange them in a two-zone fire. Replace the top grate, allow it to heat up—all vents should be fully open—then just before placing the rack of lamb on the grate, dip a folded paper towel in cooking oil and oil the entire grate using long-handled tongs.
The exposed bones that make the rack look so appetizing will actually catch on fire while grilling, so it’s important to shield them. Take strips of foil and wrap the exposed bones all the way to the end. The foil will protect them from the high heat needed to sear the meat. After the bones are foiled, drizzle the lamb with olive oil then season the meat with your favorite rub or herb seasoning. Lamb is a delicate flavor, so a simple rub of salt, pepper, and fresh herbs like thyme or mint will work perfectly.
Sear the lamb rack on the hot side of the two-zone fire, directly over the coals. If there is a flare-up, move the rack to the cooler side until the flames subside. Make sure to flip the rack so you get a nice brown color on all sides of the meat.
Once browned, move the rack over to the cool side of the grill to finish cooking. Depending on size, the rack will be done in roughly 15 to 20 minutes total cooking time. But don’t rely on the clock. Be sure to have a good meat thermometer on hand to pull the meat from the fire at your desired temperature and not overcook it.
The rack reaches rare at 120°F, medium rare at 125°F, medium at 130°F, and well done at 145°F and higher. Lamb can take on a gamey flavor when cooked past medium.
Once done, remove the rack from the grill and let it rest, tented loosely with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. This resting period is essential to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. With a good sharp knife, slice down between the bones to make delicate little rib chops.
For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.
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