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A smoked lamb shoulder cooking on the grill

Smoked Lamb Shoulder Recipe

How to smoke a lamb shoulder and what to do with it after it's cooked.
Course Main Course
Cuisine barbecue, bbq, grilling
Keyword lamb shoulder recipe, pulled lamb, smoked lamb shoulder
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 378kcal
Cost $40.00


  • Butcher Twine


For the Smoked Lamb Shoulder:

For the Spritz:

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup apple juice


  • Prepare your smoker targeting 250 degrees Fahrenheit (F) using fruit wood, like apple or cherry. Alternatively oak or hickory are good options. We find mesquite a little too smoky for lamb.
  • Start by removing the butcher twine. Lay the meat out flat on a sheet pan. Next trim away any excess fat on both sides of the shoulder or cartilage using a good quality filet or boning knife. Coat both sides of the lamb with olive oil and dry rub. Tie the meat back up again with more butcher twine tightly so it’s one uniform roast as you put it on your smoker.
  • Place the lamb shoulder on the smoker and insert an instant read Bluetooth thermometer, like the Thermoworks Smoke Unit, to monitor the internal temperature. Smoke for three hours. In this phase the lamb will start to turn red and develop a bark.
  • After the first three hours, start to spray the shoulder with the spritz. The spritz adds some moisture to the lamb, and helps the smoke molecules to stick to the meat. Make sure to use a food safe spray bottle for this.
  • After spritzing for two to three hours (five to six hours total) the internal temperature of the shoulder should be at, or around, 165 - 170 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, wrap the shoulder in butcher paper or aluminum foil and place back into the smoker.
  • Place the thermometer probes back into the shoulder and continue smoking until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 200 – 205 degrees F. You know it’s done when somewhere in that range an instant read thermometer can probe the meat with no resistance, much like the feeling of room temperature butter.
  • Remove the roast and then let it rest for 30 minutes, then pull the meat.


Buying: Consider a boneless lamb shoulder. Be sure you have butchers twine at home. 
Pulling: Using two large forks, or a pulled pork shredding tool, gently pull at the edges of the shoulder. If you pulled while probe tender, the meat should easily come off. As you shred, remove any cartilage or leftover fat pockets and discard. 
Chef’s Note: If the lamb is done earlier than you wish to serve, then store the lamb wrapped (not pulled) in a cooler with no ice for up to four hours. This will hold the temperature until ready to pull and serve.


Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 739mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 5mg