Learn how to grill a rack of lamb on a gas grill with this in-depth grilling guide. You can make juicy grilled lamb chops while having a nice sear and crispy coating in only 15 minutes on the grill.
Lamb is a versatile meat that can be cooked in many ways. Besides roasting, I’ve found grilling is one of the easiest and most flavorful ways to enjoy lamb chops. It’s a perfect summer recipe and a great excuse to get outside.
Just a simple dry seasoning is needed to bring out the flavors in lamb. Fresh rosemary also enhances the flavor, and there’s even a special trick to add extra smoky flavor with rosemary leaves while grilling the chops.
What Type of Lamb Should I Buy for Chops?
I prefer to use a whole rack of lamb instead of chops. While you can purchase pre-cut chops, they can dry out on the grill much easier.
Chops have the advantage of cooking faster and also have more surface area for searing. However, a rack of lamb get’s plenty of sear on the edges, while being much juicier. With a rack, it’s easy to get a crisp, grilled outside and juicy, medium to medium-rare center with little effort.
How to Grill a Rack of Lamb
Follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to grill a rack of lamb chops.
Season and let sit at room temp: Start by seasoning the lamb chops. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper works just fine, but there are many ways to add extra flavor. Try some of the following spices and herbs:
Seasonings for Rack of Lamb
- Greek seasoning
- Freshly chopped rosemary leaves and a bit of oil
- All-seasoning salt
- Italian seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- Lemon pepper
- Garlic salt
Let the rack sit at room temp for 30 minutes for a more even grilling temperature and to let the seasonings soak into the meat.
Preheat the grill: Turn the gas grill on medium-high heat, or 400-450° F.
Grill the first side: Place the rack of lamb on a lightly greased grill. Close the lid and grill for 6 to 8 minutes, or until bottoms are browned with sear marks.
Note: Rack of lamb usually contains a bit of extra fat and will create smoke while grilling. This is fine and adds extra smokey flavor. Just be sure it doesn’t catch on fire and char the meat too much.
Reduce heat to medium and cook the other side: Rotate the lamb, close the lid, and grill 5 to 7 minutes more.
Check internal temp: The internal temp needs to reach at least 145° F to be safe. I find this temp is the ideal doneness for juicy lamb.
Let rest before cutting: Once cooked, remove from the grill and let the rack sit at room temp for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Tips for Grilled Rack of Lamb
Bring the lamb chops to room temp: As with most meats, you want to bring the rack to room temperature before grilling. Otherwise, the outside may char before the insides can evenly cook. About 30 minutes is needed to bring it to room temperature. This is a perfect time to let the seasonings soak into the meat.
Pre-season: Generously coat both sides of the lamb rack with a simple mixture of salt and black pepper, or you can use other preferred seasonings. I’ll recommend some of my favorites later in this post.
Preheat the grill: Preheat the gas grill to medium-high. You want the grill hot before adding the lamb chops to prevent sticking and to create a nice sear.
Lightly grease the grill: Add a bit of cooking oil to a paper towel and carefully wipe on to heated grill grates. Then immediately add meat to prevent sticking.
Wrap the bones in foil: The bones have a tendency to burn before the rest of the rack is cooked. If it does this is fine and doesn’t affect the flavor. To prevent this, wrap the bone tips in foil while grilling.
Don’t overcook: As with all meats, cook just to the desired doneness. I prefer medium, or about 145 degrees F. The centers will still be a bit pink and extra juicy.
Let rest before serving: Let cooked meats sit at room temp 5 to 10 minutes to rest hold in more juices. Then cut and serve.
Pro Tip: Grill the lamb over a bed of fresh rosemary leaves.
Soak a handful of rosemary stalks in water for about 15 minutes. This will reduce burning, and instead create smoke when first added to the grill. Add a handful to a preheated grill to create a bed, then add the rack of lamb. Close the lid and grill.
The rosemary will smoke and infuse flavors into the meat. Check after about 5 minutes and remove and discard rosemary before it burns.
How Long to Cook Rack of Lamb on Grill
A rack of lamb takes about 15 minutes to cook on a grill over medium-high heat to a medium-rare to medium doneness. Rotate halfway through, or grill about 7 minutes per side to evenly sear the rack. Cook directly over the heated grates, indirect heat is not needed.
Should I close the lid when grilling?
It’s best to close the lid when grilling a rack of lamb, as well as most meats, for even cooking. The outsides will still sear and the built-up heat inside will more evenly cook the center.
How to Know When a Lamb Rack is Cooked
Internal temp: The easiest and most accurate way is to check with a quick-read digital meat thermometer. The internal temp should reach 145 degrees to be safe.
Lamb Chop Internal Temps
- Medium rare: 145 to 150° F
- Medium: 150 to 155° F
- Medium-well: 155 to 160° F
- Well-done: 160°+ F
Visual check: Cut into the center of the lamb with a knife. It should be slightly pink for medium.
How to Serve and Store Leftovers
Let the lamb chops sit at room temperature about 10 minutes after grilling, then slice between the bones to create chops.
For leftovers, refrigerate or freeze based on the times below.
Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3–4 days.
Freeze tightly sealed for up to 3–4 months.
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Simple Grilled Rack of Lamb
- 1 whole rack of lamb, about 8 ribs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 to 5 stalks fresh rosemary leaves
- Coat both sides of the rack of lamb with salt and pepper or desired seasonings such as Greek seasoning. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Submerge rosemary in a bowl of water to soak
- Preheat the gas grill to medium-high heat, or 400-450° F.
- Lightly grease the grill grate. Place rosemary in a small bunch over the grates to create a bed. Top with the lamb rack and close the lid. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes, or until bottoms are browned with sear marks.
- Remove and discard the rosemary leaves. Rotate the rack, close the lid, and grill 5 to 7 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 145° F for medium.
- Remove the rack from the grill and let rest at least 10 minutes before serving. Slice between the bones to create lamb chops then serve.
- Alternate seasonings: Besides salt and pepper, try some of these for extra variety: All-seasoning salt, Greek seasoning, Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, or garlic salt.
- It’s best to let meat rest at room temperature before grilling for more even cooking, but this can be skipped if needed to save time.
- Grilling on a bed of rosemary leaves will create smoke and infuse flavors into the meat. Be sure to soak the rosemary stalks in water before grilling to prevent burning.
- Grease the grill grates with cooking oil to prevent sticking.
- Internal cooking temps: Medium rare: 145 to 150° F. Medium: 150 to 155°. Medium-well: 155 to 160° F. Well-done: 160°+ F
- How to store leftovers: Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3–4 days. Freeze tightly sealed for up to 3–4 months.