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Smoked Lamb Shoulder Recipe

Smoked Lamb Shoulder Recipe

, by Steven Gray, 4 min reading time

This smoked lamb shoulder recipe is perfect for meat lovers. With a blend of spices and a slow smoking process, you can create a tender and flavourful dish that will impress your guests. Follow this recipe for a delicious smoked lamb shoulder.

Smoked Lamb Shoulder Recipe

There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of slow-cooking a lamb shoulder and pulling it apart to reveal little pockets of meaty goodness. The process of smoking a lamb shoulder is quite similar to smoking a pork shoulder, so you can apply many of the same methods. Lamb shoulder is incredibly versatile and can be served with a wide variety of sides. It's perfect for sandwiches and salads the next day. To take your smoked lamb to the next level, drizzle a bit of honey over it.

How long to smoke lamb shoulder

The time it takes to smoke a lamb shoulder can vary depending on factors like the size of the shoulder, the cooking temperature, and the type of smoker you're using. However, as a general guideline, you can expect to smoke a lamb shoulder for approximately 6 to 8 hours at a temperature of around 225°F to 250°F (107°C to 121°C).

It's important to note that achieving the desired internal temperature is more critical than a specific time frame. The lamb shoulder should reach an internal temperature of about 195°F (90°C) for tender and succulent results. Use a reliable meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. When it reaches the target temperature and the meat probes with little resistance, it's ready to be removed from the smoker.


  • 1 lamb shoulder (usually around 2.5kg)
  • 2.5 teaspoons kosher salt for dry brining
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons paprika


1. Dry Brining

Sprinkle the kosher salt evenly over the lamb shoulder. Place the salted lamb in the refrigerator, covered, for 24 to 36 hours. Dry brining not only enhances flavour but also boosts the moisture levels within the meat. For a scientific explanation, you can read Meathead Goldwyn's explanation here.

2. Preparing the Rub

  • On the morning of the cook, combine the ground cumin, coarsely ground black pepper, brown sugar, dried rosemary leaves, garlic powder, and paprika to create a flavourful rub.
  • Before applying the rub, give the lamb shoulder a light slather of oil, mayo, or mustard to help it adhere.

3. Fire Up the Smoker of your choice

Fire up your smoker, aiming for a temperature of around 300°F (150°C).

4. Apply the Lamb Rub

Liberally apply the prepared lamb rub all over the lamb shoulder, ensuring an even coating.

5. Smoking the Lamb

Place the seasoned lamb shoulder into the preheated WSM. When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 195°F (90°C), start to probe the shoulder with your digital thermometer. If the meat probes with little resistance, it's time to take it off.

6. Resting the Lamb

Wrap the smoked lamb shoulder in foil and allow it to rest for at least an hour. Lamb shoulders can be a bit stubborn, which is why running a bit hotter at 300°F (150°C) can help.

7. Wrapping (Optional)

  • After the bark has formed well on the lamb shoulder, you have the option to wrap the meat in foil or peach paper. Wrapping serves a couple of purposes:
  • To avoid 'the stall': Some cuts of meat may plateau at a certain temperature (usually between 160°F/71°C to 170°F/77°C). Wrapping can help bypass this stall.
  • To keep the meat moist: Wrapping in foil and spritzing with a liquid, like apple juice or apple cider vinegar, helps maintain moisture.

8. Serving and Enjoying

After the resting period, carefully unwrap the lamb shoulder and pull it apart, revealing the tender, smoky, and flavourful meat. Serve it with your favourite sides, condiments, or use it for sandwiches and salads. Drizzle a bit of honey over the pulled lamb for an extra layer of delectable flavour.

Smoking a lamb shoulder with the smoker of your choice is a culinary adventure that rewards you with tender and mouth watering results. Whether you're preparing it for a special occasion or simply enjoying a delicious meal, this smoked lamb shoulder is bound to impress your family and friends.

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