How to Smoke Lamb Ribs

If you want to learn how to cook the best and juiciest smoke lamb ribs, your better take a culinary course because there’s no playing around with this bad boy. Gordon Ramsey will probably curse you all the way to hell if your recipe isn’t up to the mark. Just kidding!

How to Smoke Lamb Ribs

When comes to food, the word “perfect” does exist! Throw in a slab of meat and all bets are off.

Lamb ribs are the type of meat cut loved by everyone. You won’t find them at your local Whole Foods. However, if you take a trip to your nearest butcher, you will be surprised by the options available to you. Let us make this clear from the get-go ― making smoke lamb ribs requires effort… a lot. The good news is that this cut of meat isn’t that expensive.

Let’s Learn How to Smoke Lamb Ribs

Lamb ribs are somewhat similar to beef ribs. They are pretty easy to barbeque, and the best part is that they don’t require any kind of wrapping. So, no need to go all fancy schmancy. You neither have to babysit them nor spend hours at the grill flipping and basting. Since lamb ribs are smaller in size, they take about 3 hours to fully cook but the wait is worth it!

Lamb ribs usually require the smallest touch of smoke and a little bit of time to tenderize. There’s no need to go buy a fancy grill for it. If you have a smoker, you can use that instead. Keep the temperature steady between 250° and 275°. For flavor, use pieces of Cherry Wood. This bark pairs very well with lamb and its mild smoke doesn’t overpower the meat’s taste. There are plenty of other wood choices, which we will be discussing below.

In case you are wondering, do cook the ribs fat side down. If you place it fat side up, all the flavor and seasoning will run off and you will be left with a bland-tasting chunk of meat. Check out our blog post “Cook Brisket Fat Side Up or Down” to know more about this.

Smoke lamb ribs are cooked in 3 parts. First, you put them in the smoker to allow the fat to render and change color. This takes about 2 hours. Second, you wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and place it back in the smoker. This tenderizes the meat. Third and final, you glaze your meat with your pre-made sauce and then put it back in the smoker on medium heat for 15 minutes.

Pro Tip: When seasoning your lamb, rub a light layer of Dijon mustard first on the meat. This locks in the flavor and works as a binder when the seasoning is applied.

What’re the Best Wood Chips for Smoking Lamb Ribs?

Where there’s flavor, there are usually the right wood chips behind it.

Do you know how much it matters to pair your rack of lambs with the best smelling wood chips?

Bucket loads!

Below are the top three choices of woods that you can use for your smoke lamb ribs:

  • Hickory: This is the best wood choice if you plan to go all southern. It adds a hearty strong flavor to meats. Most experts highly recommend it when smoking ribs or pork.
  • Mesquite: This wood has one of the boldest flavors in comparison to other wood types. If you are cooking meat with a strong flavor, using this wood will help you balance the taste.
  • Apple Wood: Lamb ribs require a strong companion. However. if you want your meat to taste warm and a little sweet then applewood will be right up your alley. It adds a fruity flavor to the meat and combines well with ribs, pork, poultry, and even seafood.

Now that you know the basic of how to make smoke lamb ribs, let’s take a look at its recipe:

Smoked Lamb Ribs Recipe

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 3 Hours

Total Time: 3 Hours and 10 Minutes

Serves: 2 Persons


For the Rub (*If you are making your own)

  • Salt: 1 Tablespoon
  • Black Pepper: 1 Tablespoon
  • Dijon Mustard: 1 Tablespoon
  • Smoked Paprika: 1 Tablespoon
  • Brown Sugar: 1 Tablespoon
  • Unsweetened Cola Powder: 1 Tablespoon
  • Cherry Cola: 1 Cup (In a Spray Bottle)
  • Dried Thyme: 1 Teaspoon
  • Dried Rosemary: 1 Teaspoon
  • BBQ Dry Rub (Optional): 2 Tablespoons

For the Glaze

  • BBQ Sauce: 8oz
  • Apricot Preserves: 2oz
  • Apple Juice: 2oz


  • Prepare your smoker by turning it on and heating it to 250°. Use two pieces of Cherry Wood to create the smoke
  • Prepare your lamb by removing the top layer of sinew and score the fat on top
  • Rub Dijon mustard over the lamb
  • Combine the rub seasoning and apply it all over the lamb. Make a few slashes and press in the spices
  • Place the lamb in the smoker, fat side up, and cook for 45 minutes on both sides
  • Spray cherry cola in between on both sides of the lamb
  • Keep rotating the lamb for at least 30 minutes to create appetizing marks
  • After 2 hours of grilling and smoking, wrap the lamb in a piece of aluminum foil and place it back in the smoker for 45 minutes
  • In a small bowl, combine BBQ sauce, apricot preserve, and apple juice. Add this mixture into a frying pan, and let it thicken and simmer. Use a brush to glaze the lamb with this sauce, and put it back in the smoker for further 15 minutes
  • Take out the lamb from the smoker and place it on a cutting board. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes, and then, use a knife to cut into single portions

Your juicy, tender smoke lamb ribs are ready!

Our Final Thoughts

As you read, grilling smoke lamb ribs is not that hard. However, the time it takes to prep and smoke this meat is very long. You don’t need to keep an eye on it but you have to make sure that each side receives equal time.

Try this recipe with different wood chips to discover what works best for your palate.

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