Spring is finally here! Even though you can pellet grill during all seasons, most of us do more pellet grilling when it’s warmer outside. With Easter coming up, it’s the perfect time to showcase what your pellet grill can do for some traditional Easter foods – lamb and ham!
Boneless Leg of Lamb
Lamb has a unique flavor, and is juicy and tender when properly cooked. Any cut of lamb such as tenderloin or lamb chops can be pellet grilled for a quick smoke, but we recommend using a boneless cut. Boneless leg of lamb is perfect for a holiday meal!
Boneless leg of lamb usually comes wrapped in netting. Cut open the netting, and season the whole surface area before re-wrapping. Because lamb is such a flavorful meat, seasonings can be kept very simple. After opening up the meat, slather it in your favorite simple rub – salt, pepper, olive oil and a few cloves of minced garlic. You can add a little thyme or rosemary if you would like.
After seasoning, the trick is to wrap it back up into a roast shape and tie it with butcher twine. You don’t want the lamb to cook fast, we want to give it extra time to soak up all that hardwood flavor. Best options for pellet flavors to use are 100% Black Cherry or Apple Mash pellets. The light hardwoods with a hint of fruit complement lamb perfectly! This is one time we recommend being cautious about using a stronger pellet such as hickory – it could overpower the meat.
Fire up your pellet grill to 300 – it will cook low enough that the lamb will remain juicy, but fast enough that the meat won’t taste too smoky. Watch your thermometer instead of the clock. Depending on weight, it will take 2-3 hours. Remove the lamb at 140 degrees internal temperature and allow to rest before slicing. The result will be perfect, flavorful lamb that doesn’t require any extra sauce!
Double Smoked Ham
If you are a traditionalist and want to make that Easter ham, you KNOW ham will be incredible on the pellet grill! Starting with a pre-cooked ham and warming it on the pellet grill for Easter dinner will give you a double smoked ham that is to die for. If you like bacon cooked on the pellet grill, you’ll LOVE ham!
Since the ham is already smoked and cooked, you’re just heating it up again and giving it even more flavor by doing so on the pellet grill. Heat the pellet grill to about 250 degrees, using 100% Hickory Pellets if you like a strong smoked flavor, but any pellets from Maple to Perfect Mix to Hickory will be amazing with the ham. Smoke the ham in a shallow dish, so you can mop it with apple juice or pineapple juice a few times during cooking. It will take about 3 hours to get an 8 pound ham to 140 degrees – remember we are just warming it not cooking it.
After you put the ham on the pellet grill, mix up your favorite ham glaze. We like to keep it simple with brown sugar or maple syrup, mustard, garlic and a little pineapple juice. Coat ham with glaze during the last hour of cooking. Once it reaches 140 degrees, let it rest, then slice up and serve! Perfect along with some simple green vegetables, scalloped potatoes, and all your favorite Easter dishes!
We hope you’re inspired to try a little something different on the pellet grill, whether it’s lamb or ham! Happy Spring, everyone!