Smoked Lamb Ribs

Gus Gallagher
Gus Gallagher

Today I will be talking about an amazing cut to knock out on your barbecue, smoked lamb ribs! Lamb ribs are an extremely versatile cut and can be cooked a few different ways – this post is going to discuss one of those methods, with a view to covering some of the other ways in the future.

Lamb ribs can go by a few names at your local butcher: lamb flaps is probably the most common, belly or breast with bone in sometimes as well.

For smoking them there are a couple of trimming steps I follow to make them the best that they can be. Down the track we will cover different cooking methods which will involve different trims also.

As this cut has often been a cheap offcut, what you receive can vary a little, so trim accordingly.

Starting at the top and working our way around clockwise we have:

  • Skirt – a thin piece of meat attached to the underside of the ribs, typically best to remove. Keep for stir fry or mince.

  • Skin – for smoking our ribs we want to remove the skin; if left on it would be tough and chewy. Typically I find no knife required for this one – if you get a handhold underneath the skin you can often tear it off easily enough.

  • Rack of ribs – this is where all our efforts are being placed today, ready to go.

  • Breast bones – there are typically a few breast bones running perpendicular to the ribs – for this style of cook I prefer to remove as it makes for a more presentable, easier to eat end product. Trimming is fairly easy, use a sharp knife and let the bones guide your blade.
    Note: I love to season this meaty little offcut and throw it in the smoker as well – it makes for good nibbles along the way.

Cooking Method:

Lamb ribs are one of the most straightforward things you can cook, they are extremely forgiving and quite fast to cook.

  • Set your barbecue of choice to 250-275f indirect

  • Add preferred smoking wood – any of the fruit woods will work well

  • Rub with seasoning of choice – I have been playing around with my own lamb rub but I tell you what, I just can’t go past Tree Bark from Greenwood Barbecue – it’s everything a lamb rub should be: salty and herbaceous.

  • Cook time: ~2-3 hours, occasionally closer to an hour and a half.

  • Cook to probe tender, I don’t tend to probe for internal temps but last time I did for the guide they were sitting around 206f

  • Rest for 30-60 minutes lightly wrapped in foil, they will be easier to slice once they have cooled down a little.

And that’s all folks!

Lamb ribs are probably one of the easiest rib cuts you can cook. A little trimming prep helps them be at their best but beyond that they’re a very quick cook and hard to get wrong.

Next time we will look at some other interesting things you can do with lamb ribs so stay tuned.