Learn how to make perfect lamb ribs on the barbecue


| Tips & Tricks | Hot 'n Fast Grilled Lamb Ribs on a Kettle Barbecue

Hot 'n Fast Grilled Lamb Ribs on a Kettle Barbecue

These lamb ribs, also known as a lamb flap, are cooked hot and fast over charcoals to produce a melt-in-your mouth tender result with a delicious smoky crust.


1. Selecting and Preparing Your Lamb Ribs

Choose lamb ribs with a good balance of meat and fat, as this fat will render during cooking, adding flavour and juiciness. Prepare the ribs by:

  • Separate the ribs: Cut the lamb flap into individual ribs, keeping the membrane and fat cap intact.
  • Seasoning: Rub the ribs with your favourite seasoning – we choose Rum and Que Ramrod. Make sure you get the seasoning on every surface of the lamb ribs.
  • Bring the lamb to room temperature: Leave the seasoned ribs in a shady spot to allow them to absorb the seasoning and come up to room temperature before cooking.

2. Setting Up Your Kettle Grill

  • Fuel: Use briquettes for this cook as we’re aiming for a high heat.
  • Direct Heat Setup: Unlike low 'n slow cooking, the hot and fast method uses direct heat. Remove the top grill from your kettle barbecue and position the baskets together in the middle. Light your briquettes in a chimney starter until they are hot and ash over. Carefully pour the hot briquettes into the baskets and replace the grill.
  • Wood: Place one chunk of cherry wood in the centre of the barbecue to add a nice, sweet flavour which complements the lamb.
  • Preheating the Grill: Close the lid and open the air vents to allow the barbecue to come to a high temperature, around 400°F (204°C) to 450°F (232°C). It will take about 15 minutes.

3. Grilling the Lamb Ribs

  • Searing: Place the lamb ribs around the edge of the barbecue in the shape of a clock-face with the wood chunk in the middle. The ribs will be away from the direct heat of the coals, but the airflow will push a column of heat up through the coals, it will hit the barbecue lid and then come down around the sides and over the ribs. The idea is to sear the meat and render the fat creating a nice crust. Close the lid and leave the ribs to cook for 15 – 20 mins or until they are brown and crispy all over.

4. Adding Flavour Layers

  • Basting: Remove the ribs from the barbecue and place them in a pile in the middle of a large sheet of tinfoil. Add a few cubes of butter to the pile of ribs and close the tinfoil by pulling all corners into the centre and twisting to create a sealed package. Be careful not to pierce the foil with the rib bones.
  • Modify the barbecue setup: Using heatproof gloves, remove the wood from the grill and push the baskets over to one side. Replace the grill and place the foil packet of ribs on the opposite side of the grill away from direct heat. Close the lid.
  • Monitor the ribs: After 15 minute, open the barbecue and rotate the rib packet 180 degrees so that the other side is closer to the heat. Replace the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes.

5. Add sauce

  • Remove the ribs from the grill and place them in a bowl or large platter. Pour over the juices from the tinfoil packet and add a good amount of your favourite barbecue sauce, such as Rum and Que Meat Juice. Turn the ribs to coat them with the sauce.

6. Serving

  • Lamb ribs pair wonderfully with various sides, from grilled vegetables to a refreshing summer salad.

Posted by Beef + Lamb New Zealand