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The secret to a perfectly grilled rack of lamb is to keep it simple. Here's how to put a delicious, impressive, grilled rack of lamb on the table (with a side of fresh pea and mint pesto!)
If you're looking for something a little more casual, try this lamb burger!
Some cuts of meat have a reputation for being a little more intimidating to prepare – but – grilled rack of lamb shouldn't be one of those!
All you want to do is rub a generous amount of salt and pepper, some oil, and a few fresh herbs over the meat. Then it's a quick sear on the BBQ, so the outside gets crispy, and the inside stays tender.
You know that idiom, “melts in your mouth”? This grilled rack of lamb recipe is what they were referring to!
Remember how we said the secret to perfectly grilled rack of lamb is to keep it simple? Well, the same applies to the ingredient list.
Here's what you'll need next time you're at the grocery store:
- Racks of lamb: You'll need two frenched racks of lamb. You can find frenched racks of lamb at the grocery store, or you can ask your local butcher to do this for you.
- Olive Oil: You'll combine ¼ cup of oil with the herbs and spices for the rub. The olive oil will help everything stick to the lamb.
- Herbs: Use 1 tablespoon each of fresh, finely minced parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Lamb naturally has an earthy and robust flavor, so using lots of herbs provides a fresh balance.
- Dijon mustard: With the help from the mustard and olive oil, the herbs and spices will stick to the outside of the meat nicely. Dijon mustard has a sharp flavor that adds a little bite to the rub.
- Salt & pepper: When seasoning meat you always want to use a generous amount of salt and pepper. We suggest a teaspoon of each.
- Garlic: Use 3 cloves of garlic, and make sure it's super finely minced. It adds some zing, without anyone getting a mouthful!
How to cook a rack of lamb on the grill
You don't have to be a master chef to cook an incredible grilled rack of lamb. In fact, you can have it on the table in just 20 minutes! Here's what you'll do:
- Get your grill hot: Turn that baby up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make the rub: In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, dijon, salt, pepper, and garlic.
- Coat the lamb: Use the wet marinade to coat the racks of lamb and let it sit while you work on other components.
- Blend the pesto: Place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and combine until smooth.
- Time to sear: Put the lamb fat-side down on the grill to sear.
- Keep grilling: Turn the heat on the grill down, and turn the racks of lamb over. Grill for 15-25 minutes depending on the size of the cuts.
- Let it rest: Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before you cut into it. Then serve with the pesto on the side and enjoy!
How long to grill rack of lamb
This is a two-step process, broken out into searing the outside of the meat and cooking the inside so that it's tender. Here's how long you will need to grill a rack of lamb:
- No matter how big the rack of lamb is that you're cooking, you will want to sear the outside using the grill. Using high, direct heat (600 degrees Fahrenheit) will give a nice crust to the lamb. Searing happens fast, usually 3-5 minutes.
- Then, turn down the heat on the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and turn the lamb over so that it sits on a cooler spot on the grill.
The size of the rack of lamb that you're cooking will determine how long you'll continue grilling. If you have a small 1-pound rack, continue cooking it for 15 minutes. If you have a large 2-pound rack, continue grilling it for 25 minutes.
The safest way to tell when the meat is done is by using a meat thermometer and removing the meat from the grill once it reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips for a perfectly grilled rack of lamb
- Know how much meat you're working with. Your rack of lamb will likely come in a 1 lb or 2 lb rack, and this will determine cooking time.
- Season the lamb well. There's nothing better than the salty charred bits.
- Let the rub sit and marinate the lamb while you work on other components of the dish, like the pea and mint pesto.
- Cut most of the fat off the rack. If you leave the fat on, it will end up being chewy and the meat won't sear due to the short grilling time needed.
- Sear the lamb on high, direct heat to get a nice crust and then lower the heat and move the meat to a cooler side of the grill to continue cooking the inside.
- Don't overcook it. You want the internal temperature to be 125 degrees Fahrenheit when you take it off the grill. Use a meat thermometer for best results. And remember you're aiming for a medium-rare to medium cook.
- Once cooked, let the rack of lamb sit and rest for 10 minutes. This will allow the meat to retain some of its juices once you cut into it. If you cut while it's too hot, all the juices will leak out.
What to serve with grilled rack of lamb
Should you sear lamb before grilling?
Yes! A quick sear over high heat gives the meat a tasty crust.
What temperature should lamb be cooked on a grill?
Start with high heat, 600 degrees Fahrenheit, to sear the meat. Then turn the heat down to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to continue cooking the inside until the lamb has reached an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can grilled lamb be pink?
Yes, you're aiming for a medium-rare to medium cook for a grilled rack of lamb.
More lamb recipes
- Grilled Lamb Pockets
- Lamb Loin Chops
- Lamb Chops with Raspberry Sauce
- Lamb Lollipops
- Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb
- 2 racks of lamb (frenched)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon EACH: finely minced parsley, rosemary, and thyme
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
- 3 cloves garlic (very finely minced)
Pea and Mint Pesto
- 1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
- ¼ cup mint leaves (packed)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat your grill to high heat – about 600 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, dijon, salt, pepper, and garlic.3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon EACH: finely minced parsley, rosemary, and thyme, 1 teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper, 3 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- Rub this mix all over the meat on both racks of lamb. Let this wet rub marinate the meat while you make the pesto.2 racks of lamb
- Combine all the pesto ingredients together in a small blender or food processor and blend until mostly smooth.1 cup frozen peas, ¼ cup mint leaves, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Sear the meat, fat side down, until it is well browned, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit), flip the lamb racks over, and prop them up so that they're standing with the bones resting against each other. Continue to cook them for another 15 minutes for a small rack or 25 minutes for a large rack (see notes), until they reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the lamb from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut the rack into 2 bone pieces and then serve it with the mint pesto on the side.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.