Leg of lamb is the perfect cut of meat to feed a large crowd. It’s also high in protein and low in fat. When done right, lamb is both succulent and flavorful. If you’re only used to mild-tasting chicken or pork, you might not like the strong gamey flavor often associated with lamb. Luckily, that’s something you don’t need to worry about with this recipe. This Easy Boneless Rotisserie Leg of Lamb recipe scores pretty high on our M.T.Y. (moist, tender, and yummy) rating, and it’s even kid-approved. Thanks to the hot and fast rotisserie method, you’ll have a tasty leg of lamb packed with flavor—without gaminess!
Why does lamb taste gamey?
Unlike in countries such as Australia, Greece, or China, lamb is not that popular in the United States. While you might find it featured on menus across the country, most home cooks are a bit nervous when it comes to cooking lamb themselves. One of the reasons for this is that lamb meat has a strong and distinct flavor (often called gaminess). This strong flavor comes from branched-chain fatty acids (BCFAs) which are concentrated in the fat. Lamb meat has more BCFAs than any other meat, which explains why fatty cuts of lamb have a stronger flavor.
That’s why in all of my lamb recipes I show you how and when to tame the gaminess, and how and when to embrace it for deep, bold flavors. Take a peek at my bone-in smoked leg of lamb recipe – I’ll teach you how to use a little natural cooking chemistry to tame the flavor!
Why a Rotisserie Leg of Lamb?
If you want to cook a lamb dish that has minimal gamey flavor, I’d recommend a boneless leg of lamb. It has less fat than other cuts, and will therefore be more mellow and mildly flavored. I recommend a combination of Hardwood Lump Charcoal and chunks of apple wood. Both go really well with lamb, helping to mute some of the gamey flavors. And the Rotisserie (I use a JoeTisserie) makes it self-basting so it stays super moist even over the high heat of hot and fast grilling.
Common Mistakes People Make When Smoking Lamb
Skimping on the Seasoning.
Because of its strong flavor, you’ll need to season the meat generously. The intense flavor of lamb will definitely be able to stand up to any bold flavors from your seasoning. For the Boneless Leg of Lamb, I like to first season with salt and pepper, and then add dried thyme, garlic, and onion flakes. But you can also add sage, rosemary, oregano, and mint.
Not using the right oil.
Yes, we know olive oil is somewhat of the golden-child when it comes to cooking. But if you’re going to sear the meat afterward (which you will in this case) it’s better to use an oil with a higher smoke point like Avocado oil. Its high smoke point (520°F) makes it perfect for high temperatures such a searing.
Not using a meat thermometer.
Brisket and Pork Butt, or even leg of lamb that you will be using to make pulled meat get more tender the longer they cook. Don’t cook a rotisserie leg of lamb beyond medium-rare to medium. I usually take off the lamb at 120°F. Then I sear it afterward which will add another 10 degrees or so. The one sure-fire way to make sure you cook it correctly is to invest in a meat thermometer. I like to use a digital probe thermometer so I can monitor the temperature without opening the lid. For rotisserie cooking, you’ll need a wireless thermometer like the MEATER+ (1 Probe) or MEATER Block (4 Probes).
Forgetting the Sear.
Rotisserie cooking does a great job of developing flavors inside and out. For that “extra” flavor that will leave your guests wondering why your food always tastes so amazing you want to maximize the Maillard Reaction. This is the chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that browns the outside of food and gives it that distinct flavor. You see it in everything from a perfectly prepared steak to the top of a loaf of bread. You can sear using a cast iron pan, by cranking up the temperature on your grill and searing over direct flame, or like I do with a flamethrower like the Su-VGun from GrillBlazer (My Review / Buy Here).
Easy Boneless Leg of Lamb
- A Smoker, or a Grill set up for smoking
- 5-6 lbs boneless leg of lamb (netted)
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 2 tbsp coarse ground pepper
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup dried thyme
- ¼ cup dried onion flakes
- ¼ cup dried garlic
- Set up your grill with the JoeTisserie or other rotisserie attachment. Light the grill with your GrillBlazer Grill Gun or charcoal chimney and allow it to come up to a temperature of 400°F for your hot and fast cook.
- Rub the leg of lamb with avocado oil. Season generously with the salt and pepper mixture.
- Add a bit more avocado oil before you add the rest of the seasoning. Add the spice mixture to your tray, and roll the leg of lamb into the spice mixture, making sure it’s evenly coated. Don’t worry about adding too many spices…it’s a big piece of meat, so you don’t want to skimp on flavor!
- Put the leg of lamb on the rotisserie skewer, making sure it’s in the center. If you place it off-center, it will cook unevenly.
- If you find it difficult to work the skewer through the meat, you can use a long thin knife to make a hole first. Secure the rotisserie forks tightly into the meat and place the whole assembly in the grill. If you’re using a Thermoworks Signals and Billows to control the pit temperature, place the pit probe right in the dome to monitor the temperature (there’s no grate to attach to with a rotisserie!).
- Start the rotisserie and cook for 1-1 ½ hours. The internal temperature of the lamb should be 120°F.
- Once the leg of lamb is up to temperature, it’s time for the fun part – the searing. Grab your Su-VGun and sear the lamb while the rotisserie continues running. If you had any temperature probes in your meat, remember to remove them first!
- Remove any of the netting that didn’t burn off, carve, and enjoy!