Intimidated by lamb? Don't be! Grilled Rack of Lamb is so tender, flavorful, juicy, and delicious. And did I mention that it's EASY to make?! If you can grill a hamburger, you can grill a rack of lamb. I promise.
So let's do this.
Do you need a marinade for grilled lamb racks?
The first thing you need to know is that lamb marinade is KING. Really, anytime you grill a marinade is going to buy you some time / margin of error, and add great flavor.
Grilling meat is just as much an art as it is a science, so the marinade can help you make a phenomenal product if your "art of grilling" skills aren't perfectly honed yet.
And even once they are, I think you'll still be pro-marinade. I know I am!
How to grill a rack of lamb
There are a few tricks to guarantee success when grilling lamb:
- Marinate the lamb to keep it tender
- Cover the Frenched (exposed) bones with foil to prevent burning
- Don't overcook! Medium Rare to Medium at MOST.
- Cook the exterior on high direct heat, and the interior with indirect heat (I go into more detail on this below)
How to cook with indirect heat on a gas grill
This is KEY to this recipe. If you're using charcoal, carry on. You got this, because direct heat on a charcoal grill is putting the meat, you guessed it, directly over the coals. Indirect heat on a charcoal grill is moving the meat so that it is not directly over the coals.
But for a gas grill? It's a little different, although the concept is the same.
Direct heat is the same - cook the meat directly over where the flame is on the grill.
Indirect heat on a gas grill is easiest with the MOM method - which stands for Medium-Off-Medium. The idea is that you have the outer burners on, set to Medium, and the middle burners off.
For a four burner grill, the outer two would be on Medium, and the inner two would be off.
For a three burner grill, the outer two would be on Medium, and the inner single burner would be off.
How long should you grill rack of lamb?
Cook the rack over high, direct heat for 4 minutes. Flip the rack, and cook for another 4 minutes over high, direct heat. Move the lamb to indirect heat, place the lid on the grill, and cook for another 15 minutes for Medium Rare, 20 minutes for Medium.
Do you cook rack of lamb fat side up or down?
Start cooking the lamb with the fatty/meaty side down, then flip it later. Scroll up a few pictures and you'll see an example. You can tell which side is the fatty/meaty side because you will not be able to see the bones through the meat. The underside of the rib rack shows most of the bones through the chops.
What to serve will grilled rack of lamb:
Grilled Rack of Lamb
- 6 - 8 bone rack of lamb
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice juice from ½ lemon
- 4 - 5 cloves garlic
- 8 - 10 leaves fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Combine ½ cup olive oil, juice from ½ lemon, 4 - 5 cloves garlic, 8 - 10 leaves fresh mint, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons salt in a food processor until well blended.
- Place the rack of lamb in a resealable bag. Pour in the marinade and rub all over the lamb to coat it. Seal the bag and let marinate, refrigerated, for at least for 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Set a gas grill to high heat or prepare a coal grill. The rack of lamb has two sides - one where you see mostly bones and another where you see mostly meet. Grill lamb over direct high heat with the lid open and with the "mostly meat" side down for 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side over direct heat for another 4 minutes.
- Move lamb to indirect heat (see notes for how to cook on indirect heat on a gas grill). Put the lid on the grill. Cook for another 15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 125° for medium rare.
Use this to help you remember how to grill on indirect heat: M-O-M - Medium Off Medium. So on a four burner grill, the outer two burners are on medium and the middle two are off. The meat goes over the off burners in the center of the grill.
Mike D says
First, I will say that I am not the most experienced cook. We had purchased a lamb packet from Costco and put it in the freezer, last year. We had forgotten about it until yesterday morning when I was planning dinner for the evening. I took it out and thawed it in a warm water bath then assembled the marinade using 2Tbs lemon juice to substitute for the zest and I cut the salt to only 1 Tbs. The lamb marinated for roughly 7 hours in the fridge in a zip lock bag. I fired up my charcoal grill and made sure to keep the temp between 350-375 degrees. I followed the cooking directions as written, except I ended up cooking the lamb 10 minutes longer because it felt too squishy. After taking it off the grill, I covered it in foil and let it rest for 10 minutes which was perfect timing for my roasted sweet potato chunks and asparagus to finish in the oven. The lamb was cooked perfectly medium and so freaking delicious! My husband said this was the best lamb he’s “ever” eaten, and the meal I prepared was the best he’s ever ate. This recipe is a keeper! Bravo!
Mine caught on fire twice, and I was wondering how to prevent it.
1. Taking the lamb out of the marinade, it’s still dripping with oil. I let it drop off for 10 minutes, but it wasn’t enough - when it got over the direct heat, the oil dripped into the flames and everything caught on fire.
What is supposed to happen between the lamb coming out of the marinade and going over direct heat?
2. Then I picked it all up and dabbed it dry with paper towels. I didn’t think there was enough oil to drip. But when I cooked it fat side down, the fat rendered and created enough drippings to create a bigger fire.
How does everyone prevent fire with this recipe?
Use a spray bottle filled with water. Whenever the rack of lamb starts flaming, squirter flames with water. You should only cook on direct heat fir 4 minutes each side, then move the rack(s) of lamb to indirect heat. You shouldnt
have any issues with flaming once you're on indirect heat!
Tannis Knutson says
This was really delicious!! the marinade was so tasty. I also roasted blueberries as they are plentiful right now and poured over top just before serving. So good. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks for sharing.