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Smoked American Leg of Lamb with Texas-Style Dry Rub

Prep Time:
15 mins.
Cook Time:
7-10 hrs.


  • 5-7 pounds bone-in whole leg of lamb
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper


  1. The night before, make the Texas-style dry rub. Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add coriander, mustard seeds and cumin. Toast, shaking pan gently, 2 minutes or until seeds are fragrant and just golden. Use either a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind toasted seeds into a powder, and combine with remaining dry rub ingredients.
  2. Generously massage dry rub all over the leg. Cover and set in refrigerator overnight.
  3. To smoke the leg, light charcoal and allow it to become completely gray. If you are using a gas grill, turn one side to 250°F.
  4. Soak one pound of hickory chips in a bowl of water for 15 minutes, then drain.
  5. When coals are completely gray, bank them to one side of grill, then place pan of water on other side. Cover and allow coals to cool to 250°F as measured by a grill thermometer or meat thermometer inserted through vent in lid.
  6. Add a handful of hickory chips to coals or, for a gas grill, make a packet of chips in aluminum foil, poke holes in it and place it on grill. Place shoulder on grill over pan of water and close lid quickly.
  7. Every 30 minutes, add a handful of chips or another foil packet of chips. Maintain cooking temperature within 25° F of 250° F by adding coals to bring temperature up or closing vents to bring it down.
  8. Smoke until leg is tender with a thick crust on the outside and internal temperature of 190°F, 7 to 10 hours. (After 5 to 6 hours, the internal temperature may stall out as fat breaks down and meat tenderizes. Continue feeding fire and monitoring temperature it will begin to rise again eventually.)
  9. Remove to a cutting board. Slice meat from bone and serve with thick-cut toast and your favorite sides.

Note: No matter what kind of grill you are using, it’s essential to keep grill closed as much as possible so the temperature remains steady and smoke doesn’t escape too quickly.

Source: American Lamb Board