October 2, 2019

Smoked Leg of American Lamb with a Texas-Style Dry Rub


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Cook Time

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Total Time

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Smoked American Leg of Lamb with a Texas-Style Dry Rub on a cutting board with corn on the cob


  • 5 to 7-pound bone-in whole American Lamb leg

Texas-Style Dry Rub

  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano


The night before, make the Texas-style dry rub. Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add coriander, mustard seed, and cumin. Toast, shaking pan gently, 2 minutes or until seeds are fragrant and just golden.  Use either a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind toasted seeds into a powder, and combine with remaining dry rub ingredients.

Generously massage dry rub all over the leg. Cover and set in fridge overnight.

To smoke the leg, light charcoal and allow it to become completely gray. If you are using a gas grill, turn one side to 250 degrees F.

Soak 1-pound hickory chips in a bowl of water for 15 minutes, then drain.

When coals are completely gray, bank them to one side of grill, then place pan of water on other side. Cover and allow coals to cool to 250 degrees F as measured by a grill thermometer or meat thermometer inserted through vent in lid.

Add a handful of hickory chips to coals or, for a gas grill, make a packet of chips in aluminum foil, poke holes in it and place it on grill. Place shoulder on grill over pan of water and close lid quickly.

Every 30 minutes, add a handful of chips or another foil packet of chips. Maintain cooking temperature within 25 degrees F of 250 degrees F by adding coals to bring temperature up or closing vents to bring it down.

Smoke until leg is tender with a thick crust on the outside and internal temperature of 190 degrees F, 7 – 10 hours. (After 5 – 6 hours, the internal temperature may stall out as fat breaks down and meat tenderizes – continue feeding fire and monitoring temp, it will begin to rise again eventually.)

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

Remove to a cutting board. Slice meat from bone and serve with thick-cut toast and your favorite sides.

Notes on smoking: No matter what kind of grill you are using, it’s essential to keep grill closed as much as possible so the temperature remains steady and smoke doesn’t escape too quickly.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

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


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