Learn how to grill lamb loin chops with a few helpful tips. Following these simple guidelines will give you perfect grilled lamb loin chops every single time. A flavorful marinade turns these lamb T-bones into a delicious and easy weeknight dinner with minimal cleanup.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Why you should make this recipe
- Quick & Easy – The grilling time for this recipe is only 12 minutes.
- Great for gatherings – Need to feed a crowd? No problem! Scale up as needed.
- Make ahead – Marinate the lamb the night before and grill when you are ready.
How to grill lamb loin chops
Grilling lamb loin chops is a snap. Once you understand a few basics, you’ll make perfect chops every time. I will walk you through every step to ensure you have a successful result.
The first step in grilling any meat is to remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. You do not want to put ice cold meat onto a hot grill (more on that later).
Next, pat the lamb dry with paper towels to remove most of the marinade. That’s another helpful tip – you don’t want the chops (or anything you are grilling) to be really wet when it goes on the grill.
Before you put the lamb loin chops on the grill, let them marinate in a simple mixture of lemon zest, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. Nothing fancy, but it gives the lamb amazing flavor.
- Lamb loin chops – Also called lamb T-bones, it is the lamb version of a T-bone steak. The bone divides the loin and the tenderloin.
- Neutral oil – I like grapeseed oil, as it has a high smoke smoke and a very light flavor.
- Kosher salt – I use Diamond Crystal salt, if you use Morton’s kosher salt, cut the amount by almost half.
- Black pepper – Regular ground black pepper, or a few turns of the grinder.
- Garlic – The sharpness of the garlic will mellow as it mixes and sits in the marinade overnight.
- Lemon rind – The skin of the lemon. Take care not to get too much of the bitter pith (the white part) underneath.
- Rosemary – I’ve used dried rosemary, but you can also use fresh. You need about 3 times as much for the fresh version.
How to cook lamb loin chops
I have a meat thermometer, which takes away any guesswork. I linked to the same one that I own. It’s not the least expensive option, but it’s also not the priciest. This is especially important if you are new to grilling, but even grilling experts use thermometers.
Temping your lamb is the best method to making sure it will be cooked to your preference. 135° is my perfect temperature, after it has rested.
Every meat thermometer, even the old-school ones with the dial on top, have a line or a dimple on the side. That line or dimple tells you where the sensor area is on your thermometer. Find that line to make sure you’re getting an accurate reading.
Lamb T Bone FAQ’s
For a perfect medium lamb T-bone (hot pink center), grill them for 5 to 6 minutes per side on the BBQ. If you like your lamb medium rare (warm, red center), shave another minute off and it should be perfect.
Using a thermometer, take the internal temperature of your lamb to cook it according to your preferences:
Cold meat doesn’t cook evenly. You want to make sure you’ve taken the meat out of the fridge 20 – 30 minutes before cooking.
This is the thermometer that I use. What I like about it is being able to monitor what I have on the grill or in the oven without having to open the lid of the grill or oven door to check the temp. It's right there on my phone!
Carryover cooking and resting meat
One thing that many home cooks don’t realize is that meat continues to cook after you take it off of the heat. This is true for any cooking method, whether it is the oven, stovetop or grill.
This is called “carryover cooking“. When meat is removed from a heat source, it will continue to cook. The outside surface of the meat is hotter than the center.
The heat from the surface will move to the center, raising it’s temperature by up to 10 – 15 degrees. Eventually, by letting the lamb chops rest, the temperature will be the same all the way through.
You want to remove the lamb from the grill when it is just below your perfect temperature (this is why a good meat thermometer is so helpful).
So, for me, that would be 125° – 130°F. When the meat hits that temp, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. The nice thing about this particular thermometer, it alerts you when when it’s time to take it off the heat.
Lamb can be tough if it is overcooked, so keep an eye on the timer and your thermometer.
Variations and substitutions
- You can swap out rosemary for other dried herbs, like thyme or marjoram.
- This marinade (and cooking time) also works for chicken breasts. You can swap out lamb for chicken for another tasty option.
Helpful tools and equipment to grill lamb loin chops
- Tongs – You’ll need a pair of tongs to flip the lamb. Please do not stick a fork in it to turn it over.
- Stainless steel mixing bowls – This is a great set. Perfect for going from the kitchen to the grill.
- Gas grill – This is a great size grill for a smaller household, plus it has a side burner for cooking sauces, sides, etc.
This lamb loin chops recipe is quick and easy, making it perfect for weeknight dinner or a low-effort weekend meal.
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- 3 lbs. lamb loin chops, about 8 pieces
- 3 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- rind of 1 lemon, yellow part only
- 3 tbsp. neutral oil (ex: grapeseed, canola, vegetable)
- In a small bowl, combine minced garlic, dried rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper, lemon rind and oil.
- Place lamb loin chops in a zip-top plastic bag and pour marinade over lamb.
- Seal the bag and move lamb chops around to coat in marinade. Refrigerate for 4 - 24 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat (about 400°F / 200°C). Pat lamb chops with paper towels to remove excess marinade. *see note
- Grill for 5 - 6 minutes per side for medium rare lamb chops, or until meat thermometer reads your preferred doneness.
- Remove from heat and let the chops rest for 3 - 5 minutes before eating.
- For best results, allow lamb to marinate at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours. That being said, if you only have 30 minutes, do what you can. We've all forgotten to plan ahead. Don't sweat it.
- When removing excess marinade, blot the lamb mostly dry. You do not need to wipe the marinade off. Oil tends to flare up on the grill, leaving a sooty residue on your food. We're trying to avoid that. Salt draws out moisture, so there will be a bit of liquid from that as well. The lamb shouldn't be wet when it hits the grill, but it doesn't need to be completely dry either.
- I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If you use Morton's, reduce the salt to 1 1/2 - 2 tsp.
Serving Size:2 lamb chops
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 1150mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 42g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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