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How to: rack of lamb

Wow your family and guests with a tender, juicy rack of lamb.

  • lamb-rack
  • Cut:Rack of Lamb
  • When it’s Done:
    • 49°C rare
    • 62°C medium-rare
    • 54°C medium
    • 60°C well done

For many, rack of lamb is intimidating, but it’s actually very simple to cook on the BBQ using these seven steps. What’s more, the smoky flavor from barbecuing over Kingsford® Charcoal complements the flavor of the lamb perfectly. Simply cook the whole rack until it reaches the desired temperature, then slice into delicious chops.

  1. KFD_racklamb_sidebyside_trimming_rack_lamb_003

    Trim and french the racks.

    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.

  2. KFD_howtoturkeyBD_2stagefire_0237

    Set up a two-zone fire.

    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.

  3. KFD_racklamb_sidebyeside_seasoning_004

    Wrap the bones with foil and season the racks.

    The exposed bones that make the rack look so appetizing will actually catch on fire while barbecuing, 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.

  4. rack-of-lamb.gif

    Sear the racks.

    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.

  5. 5

    Finish on the warm side.

    Once browned, move the rack over to the cool side of the BBQ 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.

  6. 6

    Check for doneness.

    The rack reaches rare at 49°C, medium rare at 52°C, medium at 54°C, and well done at 63°C and higher. Lamb can take on a gamey flavor when cooked past medium.

  7. KFD_racklamb_slicing_0069

    Rest, slice, and serve.

    Once done, remove the rack from the BBQ 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.

Many recipes call for coating the outside of the rack with an herbed breadcrumb mixture. This is great for the oven, but not the grill, as the breadcrumbs will burn.
Try lamb lollipops. Carefully french the bones all the way down to the eye of the loin, removing most of the meat and fat between bones. You will be left with a small, cylindrical piece of meat with long bones attached. Slice the loin eye between the bones for this lollipop-looking entrée.