Loin lamb chops on the grill served with zingy oregano garlic ladolemono sauce.
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Read on for useful information and workflow pictures (2 mins)
About This Grilled Lamb Chops Recipe
Grilling lamb loin chops is a minimalist affair in that your most important job is to pay attention to how much heat they are getting and how fast.
Their meat is almost as tender as that of lamb rib chops and easily develops rich, brown crust when cooked properly on the grill. We have included all the relevant tips and detailed workflow pictures below.
While the recipe calls for a marinade and a serving sauce that employ the bright notes of lemon, extra virgin olive oil and oregano, you certainly have plenty of other flavoring options and we have included links to those.
You Will Need
- Lamb loin chops. Also known as lamb t-bone chops they are typically cut about one and a half inches thick and their meat is very tender, with a mild flavor in comparison to other cuts.
- Marinade ingredients. You can use the marinade showcased below or any of these Lamb Chop Marinade Recipes.
What is the Difference Between Lamb Loin Chops and Lamb Chops?
Lamb loin chops are a type of lamb chop carved from the animal’s loin primal, also known as the saddle. There are several other kinds of lamb chops depending on the part of the animal they are carved from.
Loin chops are the lamb equivalent of beef porterhouse steaks and include a portion of the loin eye and the tenderloin. They have two very particular visual features – a T-bone that runs through them and a good layer of fat on one side.
FACT: You may hear lamb loin chops referred to as saddle chops. This is a less common double-sided cut, essentially a cross cut of two joined loin primals. It looks like two loin chops joined at the thick T-shaped bone.
Marinade for Grilled Lamb Chops
While you do not need to marinate lamb chops before grilling, a marinade is always a good idea if you have the time. For this post we used the quick, simple mixture shown below. Just some olive oil, lemon zest and juice, oregano and salt and pepper. It echoed the flavors of the lemony sauce with which the chops were to be served.
If you do not have time for marinating, simply brush the lamb chops lightly with olive oil, season them with salt and pepper and take them to the grill.
How to Grill Lamb Loin Chops
If you have the time and the choice we recommend that you use a charcoal grill for more flavor.
Prep. Before you heat the grill, bring the loin lamb chops to room temperature. If you marinated them, pat them dry to remove most of the marinade, then season with kosher salt and black pepper. If you chose to simply brush then with oil and season – do that.
Preheat your grill to medium-hot. For a gas grill first turn on the burners to hot, close the lid and after ten minutes adjust the temperature to medium-hot. For a charcoal grill light a large chimney starter with about 5 quarts of briquettes and when ash covered open the vents almost completely and add the charcoals, closing the lid for about 5 minutes.
Grill. Grill the loin chops for 3-4 minutes per side and about one minute on the short sides. Turn them around as needed. Try to place smaller ones on the periphery of the direct heat source. Remove when the internal temperature registers within the range of your desired doneness (120 to 125 F for medium-rare).
How Long Does It Take to Grill Loin Chops?
While overall you can expect to grill loin lamb chops for about nine minutes per chop, the total time will most certainly vary for each individual one.
- The total time depends on the thickness and the size of each t-bone chop. Inevitably some are smaller than others and some are cut significantly thicker. This is due to the tapered shape of the main loin muscle and the varying gap distance between what are known as the finger bones.
- In addition the starting temperature of the meat and the actual grill temperature are both important.
- And of course, your desired doneness is key.
TIP: It is best to rely on your meat thermometer and your visual perception of the outside sear. If a chop is browning too fast but still has a while to reach the temperature of your desired doneness, simply move it away from the heat source and allow it to cook through slowly, without the outside burning.
What Temperature Should Lamb Chops Be Cooked To?
Lamb loin chops taste best when cooked medium-rare. Below are the temperature ranges that correspond to the different levels of doneness for lamb chops, note that you should pull them off the grill when they are within the ‘stop cooking‘ range because as they rest they will continue to cook and the temperature will climb to the ‘final serving range‘.
Do not cook lamb chops past medium, the meat will become tough.
RARE Lamb Chops: stop cooking when 115-120 F | final serving temperature reaches 120-125 F
MEDIUM-RARE Lamb Chops: stop cooking when 120-125 F | final serving temperature reaches 125-130 F
MEDIUM Lamb Chops: stop cooking when 130-135 F | final serving temperature reaches 135-140 F
Lemon Sauce for Grilled Lamb Chops
Grilled lamb chops taste even better with a well-suited sauce and in this example we made a zippy one that amplifies the flavors of the light marinade and confidently stands up the to richly flavored meat.
It takes only about a minute to prepare.
Our strikingly yellow colored sauce is a take on simple Greek ladolemono dressing for souvlaki skewers – a mixture of equal parts extra virgin oilive oil and lemon juice.
We added a bit less lemon juice than what is typical and complemented the mixture with dried oregano, crushed garlic and seasoned it with salt and pepper. You can mix yours by adding the extra ingredients to taste, or simply follow the recipe card guidelines below. A great variation for both this sauce and the marinade is to use finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves instead of oregano.
Serve Loin Lamb Chops on the Grill
Grilled vegetables are naturally what comes to mind when serving this cut of meat. We love the color contrast broccolini provides to the nicely browned meat. We also like to add a couple of grill-kissed lemon halves for visual impact and for seasoning the veggies.
Also consider grilling romaine hearts, asparagus spears or bell peppers cut into thick rings. A side of couscous or crispy oven roasted potatoes is most welcome, as are Greek inspired salads with feta cheese and olives.
Once the grilled lamb loin chops have rested drizzle oregano garlic ladolemono sauce over them and enjoy!
Grilled Lamb Loin Chops Are Very Nutritious
The average lamb loin chop weighs 3-4 oz and provides excellent nutrition by way of protein, zinc, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. For a typical serving budget two loin chops per person.
You Might Enjoy
- 8 lamb loin chops (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
- salt and pepper, to taste
Greek Oregano Marinade
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 2 tsp dried Greek oregano
- salt and pepper, a pinch of each
Greek Lemon Sauce wtih Oregano & Garlic
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried Greek oregano
- 4-5 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced and pressed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Make the marinade by mixing the olive oil, the zest of the lemon, the juice from the lemon and the oregano and salt and pepper. Coat the lamb loin chops well, cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before you begin grilling.
- Pat dry excess marinade from the lamb chops and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- CHARCOAL GRILL. Light a large chimney starter with about 5 quarts of briquettes and when ash covered open the vents almost completely and add the charcoals, closing the lid for about 5 minutes. Grill the loin chops for 3-4 minutes per side and about one minute on the short sides. Turn them around as needed. Try to place smaller ones on the periphery of the direct heat source. Remove when the internal temperature registers within the range of your desired doneness (see temp chart below).
- GAS GRILL. Turn on the burners to hot, close the lid and after ten minutes adjust the temperature to medium-hot. Grill the loin chops for 3-4 minutes per side and about one minute on the short sides. Turn them around as needed. Try to place smaller ones on the periphery of the direct heat source. Remove when the internal temperature registers within the range of your desired doneness (see temp chart below).
- Transfer the cooked chops to a platter or sheet pan and loosely tent with foil. Allow 5 to 10 minute rest.
- While the loin chops are resting, make the sauce. Combine the olive oil, oregano, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a lidded container or a small jar. Tightly close the lid and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Drizzle the sauce over the chops or allow diners to do so to taste.
Be sure to grill over medium-hot grill. Loin chops meat is delicate and can easily burn before the thick chops are cooked through properly.
- RARE Lamb Chops: stop cooking when 115-120 F | final serving temperature reaches 120-125 F
- MEDIUM-RARE Lamb Chops: stop cooking when 120-125 F | final serving temperature reaches 125-130 F
- MEDIUM Lamb Chops: stop cooking when 130-135 F | final serving temperature reaches 135-140 F
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 31g