Rotisserie Leg of Lamb is one of our favorite main courses to serve for special occasions. This style of cooking is incredibly underrated and certainly deserves more attention from the outdoor cooking community. You will find that rotisserie cooking large cuts of meat like this boneless lamb leg will yield a moist, juicy, and incredibly flavorful roast. The meat self bastes as it rotates and cooks evenly throughout, which is a bonus! The best part is that you can collect all those great juices in the drip pan to make a nice jus or gravy. However, we recommend doing so when cooking beef or chicken on the rotisserie. Now that we have piqued your interest in this cooking style, let’s start making rotisserie leg of lamb!
What is a Boneless Leg of Lamb?
A boneless leg of lamb is where the butcher butterflies the lamb leg roast, carefully separates then removes the bone entirely from the meat. The roast is then rolled and tied. This style of lamb leg is great for rotisserie cooking and used in stuffed leg of lamb recipes. The average weight of a boneless lamb leg is around 4 pounds. This meat is usually marinated or dusted with a dry rub before cooking. However, some chefs use both methods, starting with a marinade first, then applying a seasoning rub afterward.
Ingredients for Rotisserie Leg of Lamb:
- 1 boneless leg of lamb: 3-4 pounds
- kitchen twine
- disposable aluminum pan
- lemons (3)
- olive oil
- fresh herbs and spices
- Caper Sauce (this is an optional sauce):
- chicken or vegetable stock
- red wine
- Before putting the rotisserie leg of lamb on your grill, make sure that you have enough fuel for the duration of cook time.
- It’s always a good idea to test out your rotisserie attachment before getting started. Make sure that the motor works and that you have a reliable outdoor power source near your grill.
- Do you have heat-resistant gloves? This is very helpful for removing extremely hot items from your grill or smoker. If are an avid outdoor cook, these gloves will be your best friend!
- To get an accurate temperature of the lamb, you’ll need an instant read thermometer.
Step by step guide to making Rotisserie Leg of Lamb:
Trim off large knobs of fat from the lamb, but leave a thin layer on the surface. Using a sharp knife, lightly score diamond patterns into the fat without cutting into the flesh.
Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Unroll the roast to expose the inner portion where the bone used to be. Apply some of the marinade onto the meat, covering the whole inside surface. Re-roll the roast, wiping away any marinade that may have spilled out. Secure the roast, as pictured above, with kitchen twine. Start tying in the center and work towards the ends. Make sure that the roast holds together securely. It may be necessary to adjust the string once the leg of lamb is on the rotisserie rod. Apply the remaining marinade to the surface of the roast, place it into a glass or ceramic baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and place it into the fridge for 4-8 hours.
Preparing Your Grill:
We developed this recipe using the Weber Kettle; however, you can use any outdoor cooking equipment with a rotisserie attachment. Set up your grill for indirect cooking with enough fuel for a 2 hour cook time. If using charcoal, keep that chimney nearby. Place the aluminum drip pan directly under where you’ll be placing the lamb leg. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. This pan will collect all the juices as the lamb leg rotates. Check on it during the cooking process, and add more water if it dries down too much.
Threading Your Rotisserie Leg of Lamb:
Remove lamb from the refrigerator, and let it stand at room temperature for 15-30 minutes while you set up your grill. It’s always a good idea to make a pilot hole through the center of the roast where the rotisserie rod will go. We recommend using a large sword skewer or a narrow fillet knife for the job. Poke a hole directly through the center (lengthwise) and run the skewer or knife through.
Slip the rotisserie rod through the pilot hole, and balance the roast on the rod. Insert the forks into the ends of the meat and secure. Note: Refer to the manufacturer’s guide for proper setup specific to your unit.
Place rotisserie rod onto the grill right over the drip pan and start the motor. There are some cases where the unit is not large enough to accommodate a drip pan. You can line with foil instead. Check on the roast after 45 minutes to see how the lamb is progressing. Refill the drip pan if needed. This rotisserie lamb leg is done once it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
It’s time to take the rotisserie leg of lamb off the grill. We highly recommend using heat-resistant gloves for this job. If you don’t have a pair, it’s time to bite the bullet and make that purchase. It is your best bet for removing the rotisserie rod. You can use two thick hot pads, but we suggest doubling up to avoid getting burned.
Resting and Carving:
Lift the rotisserie lamb leg off of the unit with the rod and forks still intact. Place it onto a large clean cutting board. Tent the roast with foil, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Discard the drip pan. Prepare the optional caper sauce during this time. See the recipe below for details.
Carefully remove the forks from either side of the lamb roast. Slowly pull out the rotisserie rod. Cut the twine and carefully pull it off the lamb leg.
Now it’s time to carve your rotisserie leg of lamb! You made it this far, and you’re in for a treat. Slice your roast into 1/2″ thick slices and place them onto a platter. Serve with optional caper sauce in a separate bowl.
Rotisserie Leg of Lamb
- 1 boneless lamb leg 3-4 pounds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Disposable aluminum drip pan
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of 3 medium lemons, plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh oregano roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
for caper dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup vegetable or beef stock
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons capers rinsed in water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Make sure to zest the lemons before freeing them of their juices. It will just make the process easier. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Trim lamb leg of excess fat. Unroll roast and apply some of the marinade inside. Roll back up, tie roast with twine, and apply marinade to the surface. Place into a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 4-8 hours in the refrigerator.
- Preheat grill for medium heat. If using a charcoal unit, set it up for indirect cooking as shown above.
- Remove lamb leg from refrigerator. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature Thread roast lengthwise onto the rotisserie skewer (follow manufacturer’s recommendations). Center and secure tightly with the rotisserie forks.
- Season lamb with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt right before placing it on the grill.
- Cook for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. in the thickest part of the meat.
- Once cooked, use heat resistant gloves to carefully remove the lamb roast from the grill with the fork and rod still intact. Place onto a clean cutting board and tent with aluminum foil. Let the lamb rest for 10-15 minutes.
- While the meat is resting, it is time to prepare the caper dressing. Heat olive oil in a medium pan. Add shallots and cook over medium meat until translucent (2 minutes). Turn up the heat to high and add wine, and stir through. Add broth, lemon juice rinsed capers, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Remove forks from the roast and cut away kitchen twine. Slice into 1/2” thick slices. Arrange on a platter, top with warm caper sauce, and serve.
Photos by : Sabrina Baksh