As tradition would have it, at Easter, we like to do smoked lamb in the smoker.. Smoked lamb loin chops with rosemary and olive oil– dry brined with coarse kosher salt and then seasoned to perfection with my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub). Might be the best lamb I've done yet.
In my opinion, this is the most flavorful of the chops and because you can cook them at low heat in the smoker in under an hour, they are a great option for Easter Sunday meal. Just make sure you make plenty since each chop has a “T” shaped bone running through it leaving only about 3-4 ounces of meat in each one.
They are lean and flavorful and the smoke really sets them off.
I have been seeing these in Costco for a while now and I recommend you pick up a package even if you think you don't like lamb or haven't liked it in the past.
A dry brine is a simple sprinkling of coarse kosher salt (Morton's blue box) on the outside of the meat and letting it sit in the fridge for 2 or more hours. During this time the salt draws moisture to the surface where it mixes and becomes a flavorful slurry. This juice is drawn back into the meat, and the meat is now seasoned all the way through.
I usually only dry brine one side especially if the meat is not very thick or the pieces are rather small like these loin chops. If you are dry brining large meaty steaks that are really thick, you might consider doing both sides.
In most cases, you can be pretty generous and the meat will still not end up too salty. It is difficult to measure the salt used in dry brining. See the image below to get an idea of how much salt to use.
If you want to use an additional rub on the outside (which I recommend for these), be sure to use something low in salt such as my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)
Here's the lamb chops salted and ready to go into the fridge:
After salting the top, place the lamb chops into the fridge for about 2 hours.
Once the lamb loin chops are dry brined, remove them from the fridge for the oil and herbs.
Note: There is no need to rinse.
This is best done an hour or two ahead of time to let the flavors fuse together.
Finely chop enough rosemary to make about a tablespoon.
Note: I've had a few of you email me saying this does not look like rosemary. I'm not sure entirely what doesn't look like chopped rosemary but to point out the process– I remove the leaves or “needles” from the stem and all but the very thin stems are discarded. The rosemary leaves/needles are finely chopped into what you see in the image below.
Pour ¼ cup of olive oil over the rosemary and let it sit until you are ready to use it.
Once ready, brush the olive oil and rosemary leaves onto the top and sides of the lamb chops. Be generous.
Let the seasoned lamb loin chops sit while you go get the smoker ready.
You can smoke them in any type or brand of smoker by following the heat recommendations and time estimations.
Set up your smoker for cooking at 225°F with indirect heat. If your smoker has a water pan, fill it up.
Add enough smoking wood to last 30-45 minutes.
Place the lamb chops on the smoker grate or use a pan and rack or Weber grill pan.. your choice.
At 225°F the chops should take about 50 minutes to reach medium rare. I usually shoot for about 138°F.
Remember, the time is simply an estimation, the temperature is what determines when the meat is done. Many things can change how long it actually takes such as:
- How cold the meat is when it goes into the smoker.
- How full the smoker is.
- Outside ambient temperature.
- How often the smoker door is opened.
Just as soon as the meat was ready, I removed it from the smoker.
Set the loin chops on the counter with foil tented over it for about 5-7 minutes to rest before serving.