Lamb chop recipes and tips on the best ways the cook them.
How to Cook Lamb Chops?
The best way to cook lamb chops depends on the type of chop you have in front of you and what part of the animal it comes from.
The meat texture, fat content, connective tissue, and whether bone-in or boneless all play a role when determining what method to use.
Lamb Chop Recipes
The recipes below are suited to the type of chop named and shown in the corresponding picture and also specify which other types you can substitute with.
Types of Lamb Chops
These are listed from the front of the animal going towards the back. If you were to list them by popularity – lamb loin chops will probably top the list.
Lamb shoulder blade chops – they are cut across from the shoulder, higher up on the front of the animal and include the shoulder bone. Great marbling and flavor.
Lamb arm chops – also considered a shoulder chop, they are cut from where the shoulder transitions into the foreshank. Sometimes they contain a cross section of the top of the leg bone, sometimes it is removed. They are much tougher than the blade chops.
Lamb rib chops – cut from the rack (rib primal cut) and are the most tender of all lamb chops. Imagine a frenched rack of lamb, cut into chops – this is exactly what these are.
Lamb loin chops – cut from the loin primal, situated behind the rack. Due to the way they are cut, they contain a T-shaped bone and one side is capped by a thick layer of fat. The meat is tender and mild flavored.
Saddle chops – these are simply double loin chops – imagine two of them joined at the T-shaped bone and you have a saddle chop. They are a cross cut of two loin primal sides that were never separated. Not a common cut because when butchered lamb is usually separated into left and right sides right away, before the primal cuts are even made.
Sirloin chops – typically boneless, they come from the sirloin that sits on top of the leg. Tender meat with rich flavor.
Lamb steaks – also known as sirloin steaks they are harvested from below the sirloin and the meatiest top of the leg. These chops are quite large, hence usually referred to as steaks. One can easily feed two people.
How Long to Cook Lamb Chops
Most lamb chops are best when their internal temperature reaches the 130-135 F range for medium-rare.
Depending on the recipe, type of chop and its thickness & size this can take from six to twelve minutes. Do not cook them longer, especially not over medium, because the meat will start getting tough.
In order to not overcook them, stop cooking a few degrees before the final desired temperature is reached and allow them to rest, loosely tented with foil. They will continue cooking and get to the intended doneness.
Use this chart as a guideline (going a couple of degrees over the ranges is not fatal) or follow a specific recipe’s instructions.
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
The heat of an oven can dry lamb meat if it is not well marbled or exceptionally tender and cooks fast.
Sirloin lamb chops (shown above, boneless and simply dreamy) and lamb loin chops are best suited for this recipe because they have just enough fat and their meat is tender. You can also bake (or roast if you set the oven for over 400 F) lamb rib chops. Full recipe and tips here.
Lamb loin chops lend themselves particularly well to grilling and beautifully take on the charcoal notes.
You can finish them with a variety of sauces, but when you are grilling them in spring or summer time the vibrant ladolemono sauce you see above is a real treat. You can grill any lamb chops using this recipe.
To make lamb lollipops you need a frenched rack of lamb or already precut rib chops from a New Zealand or Australian animal because they are smaller than their American counterparts. The rib chops from these racks are perfectly sized for the ‘lollipop’ illusion.
Otherwise the method of preparation is simple – you can pan sear, pan grill or outdoor grill these little numbers. Here is a lollipop lamb chops recipe that explains it all.
You can smoke, with great results, any type of lamb chop and enjoy moist, smokey meat.
As a bonus our clever smoking method will give you a pan full of exquisitely flavored, tender potatoes. In the above example we smoked two types of lamb shoulder chops – blade and arm cuts. But really – you can cook any kind of lamb chops using this recipe (the cooking times and internal temperatures are noted accordingly).
Shoulder chops, with their generous fat content, need little more than salt and pepper before you pan sear them, but we like to employ a flavorful marinade to enhance the experience. This easy recipe delivers delicious, nicely charred blade chops in a short time. You can make rib chops and loin chops in the exact same manner.
If you want to sink your teeth into juicy and tender double lamb rib chops then smoke or grill a rack of lamb and only after it has rested carve the double chops. Follow this recipe for Grilled Double Chops or this one for Smoked Rack of Lamb Double Chops.
Leg of lamb chops are called lamb steaks due to their large size. Because lamb meat is harvested while the animal is still young, lamb steak is tender and very versatile, unlike meat from beef leg. Grilling, especially over charcoal, is unparalleled as a cooking method. Recipe here.
Lamb Chop Marinades
A good marinade can enhance the already rich flavor of lamb and in certain instances can help tenderize the meat before you cook it.
Browse this collection of Marinades for Lamb Chops. There are recipes from all parts of the world where lamb is cooked with passion and enjoyed often.
Sauces for Lamb Chops
The beauty of simple preparations is that you can stir the flavors of the finished lamb chops dish in multiple directions just by varying the sauces.
Browse this collection of Lamb Chop Sauce Recipes to find inspiration and perhaps zero in on a favorite recipe or two.
A lamb is a sheep that is less than a year old. When you hear ‘spring lamb’ the term signifies a very young animal – between three and five months old. Most lamb meat is harvested in the six to nine months age range. When a lamb grows over twelve months old it is referred to as a ‘yearling’.
You Might Enjoy These Recipes for Bigger Lamb Cuts
- 4 lamb chops
- marinade ingredients (as specified in recipe)
- sauce ingredients (as specified in recipe)
- olive oil (as needed)
- Choose a recipe from the list
- Prep and cook lamb chops as instructed, to specified internal temperature
You can also use this chart to determine lamb chops doneness
RARE: stop cooking when 115-120 F | final serving temperature reaches 120-125 F
MEDIUM-RARE: stop cooking when 120-125 F | final serving temperature reaches 125-130 F
MEDIUM: stop cooking when 130-135 F | final serving temperature reaches 135-140 F
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1431mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 18g