Learn how to slow smoke and reverse sear this coffee rubbed rack of lamb to perfection on a gas grill with this easy step by step tutorial.
Gas grilling lamb is a quick and easy way to cook everything from a full rack to individual lamb chops. No matter your method (charcoal grilling or baking in the oven too), the reverse seared technique is the way to go (you can read more about that here with this guide to making a reverse seared steak as well).
Lamb is a lean cut of meat and tastes best when cooked to a medium rare internal temperature. This is why a reverse sear is best for locking in the juices and allows for you to be more technical and precise with your cut of meat, avoiding common mistakes and over cooking.
I know how intimidating cooking lamb can be (if not done right, it can taste very wrong). So, below are several tips to creating a delicious lamb recipe, guiding you through the cooking process for you to recreate at home!
- Baking Sheet
- Cooling Rack
- Small Bowl
- Measuring Spoons
How do I prepare the lamb for the grill?
Before cooking your lamb, you need to prep the meat for grilling. Remove the lamb from the packaging, pat it dry, and carve off any silver skin that still exists on the meat. This thin membrane of skin doesn’t break down very well and needs to be removed. If you have a great butcher, there really shouldn’t be that much work involved here!
If you have ever prepared a rack of ribs, you probably have experience removing the membrane at the back of the rib rack. The same is true here! Use a pairing knife to cut under and pull up a little of the membrane. Sometimes a paper towel helps you get a better grip. Gently apply pressure and pull the membrane off.
Additionally, if the fat cap is very thick, you can trim some of this down as well. I like a thin layer because fat is what helps give us some flavor! I like to take that pairing knife as well to lightly scrape over the meat and along the sides of the visible lamb chop. Once this is done you can set the meat aside.
Making a coffee rub-
Because the rub will impart a lot of additional flavor and texture, it is important to use high quality ingredients. I’m a coffee snob (fully here to admit it) and have a coffee grinder to nicely grind my own beans. You want a slightly finer grind than you would have with your drip coffee, but if standard grounds is all you have just go with it!
Combine the ground coffee, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar (or in my case I use this low carb brown sugar personally), coriander, mustard powder, black pepper, and sea salt. Mix well with a whisk until fully combined.
Applying the rub-
To get the rub to stick nicely onto your lamb, lightly coat the lamb all over in a thin (I’m serious… go thin here) layer of Dijon mustard. Place the lamb onto the baking sheet lined with the cooling rack to elevate it. With the back side up, season in an even layer first. Do not rub in the rub (I know, sounds silly), but pat it on lightly.
Flip the lamb over and repeat this step. Seasoning the back first helps keep the top side pretty and platter ready. Once the seasoning has been evenly applied, allow the meat to come up to room temperature. This takes around 30 minutes or so and allows the rub to set (you will notice a slight color change).
Just making lamb loin chops? Individually seasoning each chop instead!
How do you reverse sear lamb?
Reverse sear is typically done on a grill. In my case, a gas grill. However, you can easily adapt this recipe for charcoal or for baking in standard oven (though you would need a heavy bottom pan for the high heat method at the end if baking).
Set the grill up for two zone cooking, reaching an internal temperature of 300 degrees. This means one side has a direct flame and the other side is kept cool. Your goal is to place the meat on the cooler side of the grill, allowing the cooking temperature to come up slower. This will take around 20 minutes or so, so plan accordingly!
Always use a meat thermometer to verify the internal temperature. I prefer to bring my lamb to about 110 degrees, let it rest for a bit so you can bring the direct side of the grill up to medium high heat (over 500 degrees is best for searing pieces of meat).
Before grilling I like to add olive oil or vegetable oil to a paper towel to coat the grates. This prevents the coffee rub from sticking to the grill grates. Start by searing the top side first, for a minute and a half or so. Flip and repeat until you have a nice crispy seared crust and a final internal temperature of 125 degrees (the resting temperature will continue to climb so keep that in mind).
PRO TIP: Cooking lamb chops individually can also be reverse seared. Because a single chop is so thin, its better to keep two chops together when reverse searing.
Cutting & Serving-
Remove the lamb from your grill and lightly tent it with foil. It’s always best to let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to help the juices redistribute through the meat and not end up all over your cutting board.
Before slicing, take note of the back of the rack of lamb. The bones typically curve to one side, making cutting somewhat awkward. Be sure to use a sharp knife and cut the chops (I like to cut two at a time) on a slight angle with the bone. Plate and serve or throw it down family style (my favorite) and just serve from your cutting board!
Looking for some delicious low carb sides you can also toss on the grill (or in the oven)? Check out these fan favorites and make it whole meal.
Grilled Coffee Rubbed Rack of Lamb
- 1 Rack of Lamb
- 2-3 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- For The Rub-
- 1/4 cup Ground Coffee
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar or low carb version
- 1 tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Ground Mustard
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp. Salt
- Prep your grill for indirect heat. Preheat it to 300 F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack over the top. Trim any excess silver skin on the rack of lamb, remove any large amounts of fat from the fat cap, and the back membrane. Once trimmed, pat the lamb dry and place on the rack.
- Cover the front and back of the lamb in a thin layer of Dijon mustard. This helps the rub to stick.
- Combine all the rub ingredients and whisk them together well. Starting with the back of the lamb, dust an even coating across the back and flip and repeat with the front. Do not rub the rub in, but pat it down if necessary. Let the meat sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes for the rub to soak in a bit.
- Place the whole pan with the lamb on it, onto the cooler side of the grill. Cook until it reaches and internal temperature of 110 degrees. Remove it and let it rest slightly (10 minutes or so). While the lamb rests, pump of the heat of your grill to medium high (over 500 degrees) and get ready for a direct sear.
- Lightly oil your grates then sear both sides of your lamb rack, starting with the top down first. Move every minute or so for even chart and to prevent the coffee rub from falling off or getting over cooked. The final internal temperature should be around 125 degrees.
- Remove the lamb from the grill, tent with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice the lamb chops (two wide) along the length of the bones. Plate and serve.