Lamb 101

Cooking Time & Temperatures by Cut

CUT OF LAMB

SIZE

COOKING METHOD

COOKING TIME

INTERNAL TEMPERATURE

LAMB LEG, BONE IN

5-7 lbs.

Roast 325oF

20-25 min/lb
25-30 min/lb
30-35 min/lb

Medium-Rare 145oF
Medium 160oF
Well-Done 170oF

LAMB LEG, BONE IN

7-9 lbs.

Roast 325oF

15-20 min/lb
20-25 min/lb
25-30 min/lb

Medium-Rare 145oF
Medium 160oF
Well-Done 170oF

LAMB LEG, BONELESS, ROLLED

4-7 lbs.

Roast 325oF

25-30 min/lb
30-35 min/lb
35-40 min/lb

Medium-Rare 145oF
Medium 160oF
Well-Done 170oF

SHOULDER ROAST OR SHANK LEG, HALF

3-4 lbs.

Roast 325oF

30-35 min/lb
40-45 min/lb
45-50 min/lb

Medium-Rare 145oF
Medium 160oF
Well-Done 170oF

CUBES, FOR KEBABS

1″-1.5″

Broil/Grill

8-12 minutes

Medium 160oF

GROUND LAMB PATTIES

4 ounces

Broil/Grill

3-4 minutes/side

Medium 160oF

CHOPS, RIB OR LOIN

1″-1.5″ thick

Broil/Grill

7-12 minutes

Medium-Rare 145oF

LEG STEAKS

.5″ thick

Broil/Grill 4″ from heat

14-18 minutes

Medium-Rare 145oF

STEW MEAT, PIECES

1″-1.5″

Cover wtih liquid; simmer

1.5-2 hours

Medium-Rare 145oF
Medium 160oF

SHANKS

.5-1 lb.

Cover wtih liquid; simmer

1.5-2 hours

Medium 160oF

Buying and Storing

American Lamb is widely available at grocery stores, gourmet food retailers, and butcher shops. It you do not see it displayed, just ask. When shopping for American Lamb, look for meat that has a soft pink to red coloring with white marbling.

Fresh American Lamb should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer immediately after purchasing. Refrigerate fresh lamb at 40 degrees or below. Ground lamb or stew meat should be used within 2 days. Lamb chops and roasts should be used within 3-5 days. If you plan to freeze lamb for long periods of time, be sure to wrap the original packaging with airtight freezer wrap or place it in an airtight freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. To maintain optimum quality, frozen lamb should be used within 3-4 months.

There are three ways to safely thaw frozen lamb:

In the refrigerator—once frozen lamb has thawed in the refrigerator, lamb roasts and chops should be used within 3-5 days; ground lamb or stew meat should be used within 1-2 days. If you do not use the lamb within this time period, it should not be refrozen unless cooked first.

In cold water—leave frozen lamb in its packaging, making sure it is airtight. If not, transfer it to a leakproof bag. Keep the lamb submerged in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes to continue thawing. Cook lamb immediately after thawing. It should not be refrozen unless cooked first.

In the microwave—as with the cold water method, when frozen lamb is thawed in the microwave, it must be cooked immediately. It should not be refrozen unless cooked first.

Lamb is Lean-Nutrition Facts

On average, a 3-ounce serving of lamb has only 75 calories and meets the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) definition for lean. According to FDA guidelines, lean meat has less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams (or 3.5 ounces)

As the chart below indicates, 3 ounces of lamb can easily fit within the daily fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

FDA definition of leean (per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces)/Average value for 3-ounce cooked portion of lamb

< 10 g total fat < 8 g total fat
< 4.5 g saturated fat < 3 g saturated fat
< 100 mg cholesterol < 80 mg cholesterol