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May 11, 2021

Smoked Lamb Shoulder


Recipe Provided By
"Salt and Pepper Skillet"
Prep Time

1 HR

Cook Time

8HRS, 15min

Total Time

9hr, 15 Min



Smoked lamb shoulder



  • 3 to 5 pounds American lamb shoulder (boneless or bone-in)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup spritz: 50/50 ratio of water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle 4 to 5 oak, hickory or apple wood chunks pellets or chunks
  • The sauce: BBQ vinaigrette

Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, (crushed up)


Preferably salt the lamb liberally the night before, or at least an hour prior to placing it in the smoker.

Bring the shoulder to room temperature while you set up the smoker for indirect heat with a water drip pan in place and pre-heat to 250 degrees F.

While the smoker comes to temperature, make the rub by combining the pepper, paprika and rosemary.  Drizzle a little neutral oil over the shoulder and sprinkle the rub on all sides.

Place in the smoker.  Start spritzing every hour or so after the first two hours.  Monitor for moisture to make sure it isn’t drying out, but try not to open the lid too often.

When the shoulder reaches 165 degrees F and the bark looks good, you can optionally wrap the meat in foil or butcher paper for the remainder of the cook.

The lamb is done when the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees F to 205 degrees F after a total of 6 to 8 hours*.

* Note: The USDA recommends that lamb reach an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest.

Wrap and rest preferably in a cooler for 30 to 60 minutes before shredding or slicing.


If using a boneless lamb shoulder, make sure to use butcher twine to tie it together.

A note about salt: use 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt to 1 pound of meat.

Use a probe thermometer to remotely monitor the temperature while it cooks.

The cook time will be approximately 5 to 7 hours for boneless and 6 to 8 for bone-in.*

** Note: The USDA recommends that lamb reach an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest.

raw lamb shoulder roast
lamb shoulder slider
thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.
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