All three Grillin’ Fools gathered for an all day grill, chill, and photograph session to come up with a lot of content for website on a recent Saturday. It can only be described as epic. We did a wide variety of dishes that you can see here on the site, or check some more candid/behind-the-scenes pics of the process that we posted on Facebook. Some will say the word epic is over used in food writing. Click that link and tell me it wasn’t epic. Just look at the wine and say it wasn’t. I dare you. You can’t do it can you? I’ll hand it off to dad now who came up with this grilled rack of lamb recipe…
One of the recipes I chose to do was rack of lamb because we don’t have many posts about a meat we all love. The posts we do have seem to focus on grilling them carefully and not grill them past medium rare lest we ruin the precious, and expensive, cut of meat. Over-grilling a lamb rack is considered a cardinal sin in our group so you can imagine the reaction I received when I announced I was going to indirect the lamb for an hour and a half or longer. Not only that, but the lamb will be marinated, rubbed and glazed. We’re off on an adventure into uncharted territory for this Grillin’ Fool.
The first step will be soaking the racks of lamb in a marinade for 3-4 hours and up to overnight. I like overnight best.
Lamb Rack Marinade Ingredients:
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup sweet onion
10 cloves garlic
10 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves
10 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup water
2 eight-bone racks of lamb (excess fat trimmed) more about this later
Combine all ingredients for the marinade and puree in the blender/processor (optional as I didn’t use the food processor, but doing so will awaken even more of the flavors in the marinade) and add to the rack of lamb in resealable plastic bag coating the lamb completely and preferably, refrigerate overnight.
Dry Rub Ingredients:
4 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp lemon pepper
¼ cup honey
½ cup of your favorite barbeque sauce (I used Blues Hog)
1 garlic clove, finely grated
½ jalapeno pepper, finely grated
The lamb racks are removed from the marinade and ready to be rinsed:
The lamb is patted dry before applying the dry rub ingredients:
Remember that part about trimming the excess fat? This senior citizen griller forgot to do so. No problem I’ll just do it now:
Now I have weird-looking lamb racks:
***Editor’s Note ~ Trimming the fat is not necessary. It will make the meal healthier, but the fat on a rack of lamb will melt away quite a bit and add more flavor so decide for yourself on whether you want more flavor and less fat or vice versa for your lamb racks***
The dry rub is applied:
Love the way it turns fingers orange…reminds me of an old Cheetos joke:
Notice I’m coating the bone side first?
This is why. If the meat side was done first a lot of rub would simply end up on the cutting board because there would be a lot of surface area of the meat touching the cutting board. This way the meat side is protected from rub loss because the bend in the bones keeps the meat from the bone side propped off the board due to the concave shape of the bones. Better to lose some rubs off the short section of meat on the bone side than all along the meat side:
Now the meat side of the lamb racks is coated:
The racks are entirely coated including ends and taken out to the grill:
Both racks of lamb are placed on Tom’s Big Green Egg which has been set up for indirect grilling at a temp of 250 degrees with a little oak wood in the coals for the smoke:
***Editor’s Note ~ For those of you that don’t have a Big Green Egg, or any other ceramic cooker like this, you are probably wondering how one can indirect grill by having the meat in the middle of the grate as in the picture above. Notice that you can’t see the coals? That’s because there’s a deflector put under the meat that shields the meat and allows the heat to pass by on the outside and out the top. On a regular grill, put the coals on one side an the meat on the other to get the same indirect effect***
I’m looking to indirect grill for an hour to an hour and a half or until the instant read thermometer reads 125. Time could vary depending on the type of grill/heat of grill.
While the lamb racks are gently grilling it’s time to make the sauce/glaze.
First, to cut the heat down, remove the white flesh and the seeds. I used the half jalapeno on the right. If you want more heat, leave the seeds and the flesh:
Here I’m trying to grate the pepper and it turns out to be quite difficult:
These jalapenos came from Tom’s freezer and aren’t ideal for this as they are a little spongy. Hint: don’t attempt to grate previously frozen jalapenos. They lose their rigidity and become rather soft and wiggly making grating difficult. I suggest using a fresh pepper for this recipe.
The garlic cloves are grated (I used two as they were small):
The grated garlic and jalapeno are added to the honey and Blues Hog barbeque sauce:
Whisk together and set aside:
Time to go check the lamb…I’m hearing a chorus of yells from the outdoor kitchen.
I rush out to see what all the commotion was about and Tom points to the thermometer. It’s only been 45 minutes and the internal temperature is 145, way past the desired 125 mark previously indicated:
Scott and Tom and our honored guests are not saying much but the looks I’m getting tell me they think I’ve really screwed this up because the next step calls for applying the sauce/glaze and grilling for another 20 minutes to caramelize the glaze. I don’t want to serve them gray lamb.
***Editor’s Note ~ Since that probe thermometer has a built in alarm, it probably would’ve been a good idea if we had set that alarm to ring at 125. Mental note for us for the next time we do one of these all day deals***
Here’s what the racks of lamb looked like. Meat pulling away from the bone but not too much:
I reinserted the probe thinking, perhaps, the probe was in contact with a bone thus yielding a hotter temp reading. Not the case, so I pulled them inside and prepared to continue with the rest of the recipe regardless of the potential consequences. Be sure to spell Fool with a capital F.
While the grilled racks of lamb cool a bit inside, they are glazed. All I can think is, “That looks really good to this old griller.”
Again, sauce bone side up first, just like with the rub:
Full steam ahead! Once the lamb racks are coated it’s back on the grill for another 20 minutes to get that glaze good and sticky. Hoping this doesn’t end in disaster:
The glazed racks of lamb are pulled from the grill. Notice a little char? That is to be expected considering the honey and sugar in the sauce:
Staying true to form the lamb racks are covered in foil and allowed to rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices, which are in an excited state from the heat, to calm down and redistribute throughout the meat:
The grilled, glazed lamb is cut into individual lollipops and served to those in attendance. Lo and behold, the center still exhibits a bit of pink! I would call this a perfect medium:
What about taste, texture, and tenderness? It was unanimous! A definite home run! Very tender, full of flavor, and melt-in-your mouth texture. The 3-step process of marinate, dry rub, and glaze worked extremely well together.
Here’s the money shot taken on Tom’s outdoor granite counter… His outdoor kitchen is a great place to grill and chill:
The Barbaresco was great with the lamb. What is it about Italian wines and food? So good together. Also consider a spicy Zinfandel or Shiraz with this recipe. We hope you give this a try soon and share your experience with us. We understand lamb is expensive but what a great Valentine’s Day treat for your significant other! Think about it. Grilled rack of lamb, I hope it’s snowing, along with a great red wine and red roses on the table…what a great evening!
If you have any questions or comments about this rubbed and glazed lamb recipe, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
If you would like to see other grilled lamb dishes, click here.
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- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup sweet onion
- 10 cloves garlic
- 10 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp ancho chile powder
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup water
- 2 eight-bone racks of lamb (excess fat trimmed) more about this later
- 4 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp garlic salt
- 1 tbsp lemon pepper
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup of your favorite barbeque sauce (I used Blues Hog)
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and white flesh removed as well as finely grated
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade and puree in a blender or food processor and blend completely
- Put the rack of lamb in a resealable plastic bag coating the lamb completely and refrigerate 2-12 hours
- Remove the lamb from the marinade, rinsed clean and pat dry
- Combine the dry rub ingredients and coat the bone side of the lamb thoroughly
- Flip the lamb over and coat the meat side
- Make sure to get the ends as well with the rub
- Prepare the grill for two zone/indirect grilling with coals and smoke wood on one side and nothing on the other
- Target temperature of the grill is 225
- Place the racks of lamb on the side with no heat and close the lid
- Smoke until the lamb reaches an internal temperature of 120 (about an hour depending on the heat of the grill and size of the lamb racks)
- While the lamb smokes, prepare the glaze
- Use a grater on the jalapeno and garlic
- Combine the glaze ingredients, except the lamb, in a bowl and whisk together
- Remove the lamb from the grill and slather with the glaze
- Place the lamb back on the grill for 20 minutes to thicken the glaze
- Remove from the grill and let rest for 5-8 minutes
- Slice between the bones and serve