Grilled Lamb Chops – Today we are going to talk about lamb chops and the difference between Lamb Rib Chops and Loin Chops. And then we are going to grill some lamb chops. There are two main types of lamb chops – the rib chop and the loin chop. We’ll discuss the differences here and in the video.
About Lamb Chops
Because lamb comes from relatively young animals, most of its cuts are tender. The tenderest portions are those cut from either side of the lamb’s backbone. Front half of the lamb is the rib cuts. The back half is the loin chops.
The main difference between them is that the rib chops have more fat, both marbling through the muscle itself and the layer of fat surrounding the ribs. It’s the lamb’s fat that has a distinctive flavor. Many lamb lovers often prefer rib chops for that reason. I certainly do.
Loin chops are slightly leaner than rib chops and lack the rib bone. The eye of a loin chop is a bit larger than a rib chop and usually includes a medallion of tenderloin (like a tiny T-bone steak). These chops are excellent grilled, broiled, and sautéed, and are also best enjoyed cooked rare to medium-rare.
Lamb loin chops are like the premium T-bone or porterhouse steaks. It includes a portion of each lean, tender loin muscle and the even more delicate tenderloin, divided by a substantial piece of bone. Sometimes the chops from either side of the backbone are left joined together to make a larger portion, which is referred to as an English-style loin chop. Even by lamb standards, loin chops are unusually tender.
The Rib chops are cut from the portion of the loin muscle that goes across the ribs to the lamb’s shoulder. Like loin chops, rib chops are really tender. The difference between them is that the rib chops have more fat, both marbling through the muscle and the layer of protective fat surrounding the ribs. It’s the lamb’s fat that carries the distinctive flavor, and lamb enthusiasts often prefer rib chops for that reason. Standard rib chops contain one rib, but “double chops” are cut two ribs wide.
Both rib and loin chops can be grilled or broiled. These are two cooking methods that produce tasty, browned flavors in the meat. Each technique relies on quick, intense heat to cook the chops. With grilling, the heat comes from below. When broiling, the heat comes from above in your home oven. In both cases, the quick cooking produces a chop that is well-browned on the outside but still juicy and tender on the inside.
Timing To Grill Lamb Chops
There are a lot of different ways to cook any cut of lamb chops. The most common cooking methods use dry heat. This includes roasting, broiling, pan-frying, grilling, rotisserie, and sautéing.
To get medium-rare chops, you will need to grill them for 3-4 minutes on each side. The internal temperature needs to reach 135 degrees Fahrenheit. For juicier meat, let your chops sit for about ten minutes before you serve them.
The flavor of lamb chops is delicious all by themselves. You will not need to use a lot of seasoning. If you have ever wondered how to grill lamb chops, the secret is in the preparation.
Trim away the excess fat on the chops. This fat does not add any flavor while you are grilling. Trimming the fat also decreases flare-ups. The flavor of your meat comes from the marbling.
- A grill or broiler
- Eight lamb chops about 1-1.5” thick
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary do not use dried rosemary
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- In a plastic, sealable bag or container, add olive oil, pepper, salt and rosemary and garlic along with the chops. Set aside or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Take the lamb chops out of the refrigerator, approximately thirty minutes before grilling or until they have reached room temperature.
- The next step is preparing your grill.
- Place your lamb chops on your grill.
- You will be grilling with your lid open over high heat.
- If you experience any flare-ups, move your lamb chops to another area of your grill until the flames are gone.
- Wait four minutes, then turn over your lamb chops.
- Cook for an additional four or five minutes.
- Your actual cooking time will vary according to your grill temperature, the thickness of your lamb chops and the outside temperature.
- Take them off the grill and let the chops rest before serving.
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If you like this recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops check out our article on the difference between Hanger Steak and Skirt Steak
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