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grilled leg of lamb

Butterflied Leg of Lamb: Seared, Then Slow, For Perfect Doneness


Grilled butterflied leg of lamb, inspired by Dad Cooks Dinner and Saveur


  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, about 5 lb (you can have your butcher butterfly it for you if you like)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 onion, very coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes or dried red pepper such as Aleppo or gochugaru
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Ingredients for grilled butterflied leg of lamb


  • Preheat your grill and prepare it for two-zone cooking or, as in our case, have a deflector plate of some kind handy to provide indirect heat when the time comes. 
  • Butterfly the lamb leg by flopping it as wide open as you can and cutting parallel to the cutting board through the thicker muscles, just leaving them attached enough to stay a part of the whole. Again, you can have your butcher do it if you like. 
  • Prepare the seasoning rub by combining the mint leaves (plucked from the tough stems), parsley, coarsely chopped onion, vinegar, chili, black pepper, and olive oil in a blender and blending until you have a smooth paste. Add more oil if necessary to make a loose, smearable paste. 
  • Score the fat cap on the lamb if there is one, by cutting a cross-hatch into the fat, trying not to cut the meat underneath it.
  • Season the lamb generously with kosher salt, then apply the mint rub and work it into all the creases and nooks. 
  • Move to the grill and cook the leg of lamb for about five minutes per side, until the exterior is nicely browned and there are some charred bits on it. 
  • Move the meat to the indirect-heat side of the grill or change your grill setup for indirect heat. 
  • If there is any herb rub left from before, smear it on now. 
  • Use the air probe from your Smoke X2 to monitor the heat, and try to maintain a temperature of about 250°F (121°C). If you’re not using a gas-powered grill, Billows will help a lot!
  • Insert the meat probe from the Smoke X2 into the lamb and set the high-temp alarm for 130–135°F (54–57°C) for medium-rare lamb. 
  • Close the lid and cook, about 60–70 minutes, until the alarm sounds. Verify the doneness with your Thermapen and remove the meat from heat to rest. 
  • Carve and serve to great admiration. 

Sliced butterflied leg of lamb