Smoked Lamb Shoulder


Smoked shoulder of lamb cooked over wood and slow in the smoker in your backyard. This delicious roast beef is tender and crumbles beautifully. Get the recipe today.

Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Smoked Lamb Shoulder is the perfect alternative to smoked pork shoulder or smoked beef shoulder. It’s unique enough for a special event, but not so unique that your guests won’t want to try it. In fact, after a short taste of this tender cut of meat, everyone will be itching to try it.

From preparing the meat to selecting the best wood for smoking, lamb shoulder is smoked from scratch. let’s fry

smoked lamb shoulder

What is lamb shoulder?

The shoulder of lamb comes from the animal’s upper back behind the neck and head. It’s a beautiful cut of meat because grass-fed lamb has well-trained muscles that give the meat a rich flavor that surpasses similar cuts like ribs or lamb shank.

Lamb shoulder is usually cheaper than lamb shank . It doesn’t cost as much per pound since the popsicle has more fat in it. That’s not always bad. For example, you have to cook it longer and slower to get rid of the fat.

Because this fat IS marbled throughout the cut, the lamb shoulder can be very juicy and tender with a rich flavor. In fact, this texture and meat composition extends to other cuts of meat from the same region of the animal, such as: B. Smoked lamb neck , which also has a juicy and tender mouthfeel and is best cooked smoked at a lower heat.

Since YOU need low and slow cooking for the lamb shoulder, smoking is superior to traditional cooking in this case. A shoulder of lamb contains the shoulder bone, so you’ll need to cut it off before dipping.

smoked lamb shoulder

How to buy shoulder of lamb

Lamb shoulder is also known as shoulder chops, arm chops and cleaver. These lamb cuts contain a large amount of fat that is flavorful during cooking and provides a succulent and flavorful experience.

Look for marbled cuts with lots of fat. And as with any meat, the fresher the better. If you can’t get yours direct from the butcher, opt for a pre-packaged option with the best fresh date. Your shoulder should be pink or red(not darker). The fat should be firm and white, and it’s best if you can find packaging that is marked USDA Prime or Choice.

Meat preparation

Before smoking your lamb, it is important that you properly prepare the cut for cooking.


First, wash the lamb shoulder well with warm water. Pat dry and remove fat with a sharp knife. Don’t be too aggressive here. The fat then ensures an excellent taste.

A good rule of thumb is to leave about half an inch of fat. It renders as it cooks, leaving a nice basting liquid.


Before putting it in the smoker, consider rubbing your favorite spice into the cut. There are countless options, but a classic option includes brown sugar, rosemary, salt, cayenne, pepper, and cumin.

Rub your spice mixture onto the shoulder and press into the meat. Leave on for about 30 minutes. This will give you a good crust and flavor.

The best wood for smoking lamb shoulders

By far the best wood for smoking lamb shoulders is hickory. Using a hickory flavored wood results in a classic smoked lamb shoulder that is rich, meaty and slightly sweet. Alternatively, YOU can use apple or cherry wood for a smoother flavor and smoke.

Times and temperatures

The USDA recommends cooking all lamb to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to use a meat thermometer to accurately measure the temperature of the cut.

The average shoulder of lamb weighs about five pounds, which means you need to smoke it at 250-275°F for about five to five and a half hours.

To make a shoulder of lamb that we can stretch or shred, we need to cook at a higher internal temperature to ensure the meat is tender enough to fall apart easily. We also want to be cooking to a meat temperature of 195-205°F. To do this, we wrap the lamb in foil for the last hour and raise the smoker temperature to 300°F to push the meat over the line.

Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Smoked shoulder of lamb cooked over wood and slow in the smoker in your backyard. This delicious roast beef is tender and crumbles beautifully.
Main course course
American cuisine
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 5 hours
Total time 5 hours 30 minutes
Serving 4


  • Wood chips for grilling
  • Lake
  • Food grade spray/mist bottle


  • 3 pounds shoulder of lamb

Dry massage

  • cups of brown sugar
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin


  • Trim excess fat from the lamb shoulder, leaving about 1/2 inch of fat. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Prepare the dry seasoning by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl. Use a fork to remove or mash small lumps.
  • Apply the dry seasoning to the lamb shoulder. Apply generously all over, working into small cracks or creases in the flesh. Let the lamb shoulder rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • While the lamb shoulder is firming, turn the smoker on to 121°C(250°F). If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure it is set to 2-zone grilling. Add smoke chips to the coals or into the smoke chip tray of your smoker.
  • Place the lamb shoulder on the smoker grates or your cooking grates on the indirect cooking zone(away from direct heat). Place the lamb shoulder fat side up and bone side down.
  • Close the smoker lid or door and smoke for 5 hours or until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 74°C(165°F). After the first 2 hours, mist shoulder with apple juice from a spray bottle every 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Once the meat has reached 165°F, wrap the shoulder in foil and apple juice. Return to the smoker and increase the temperature to 150°C(300°F). Smoking until internal temperature reaches 195°F-205°F(90-96°C).
  • Remove the lamb shoulder from the smoker and cover with foil. Rest for 30 minutes.
  • Tear or slice the meat to serve.

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