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How to Smoke Lamb Shoulder?


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Smoking season begins as soon as the weather turns warm. The summer heat and smoky flavors of meat beckon many to try their hand at smoking meat. Lamb is a great choice of meat to change up your usual menu. So many barbecues feature pork, beef or chicken. Lamb is a rich meat that offers its own unique, gamey flavor.

The key to tender, smoked lamb shoulder is knowing the smoked lamb shoulder internal temperature. Throughout the smoking process, the smoked lamb shoulder cooking temp must be monitored. A digital thermometer is essential to keeping your lamb shoulder at the perfect temperature. You will want to purchase an easy to use and accurate meat thermometer like the ThermoPro Instant Read Thermometer. This thermometer will instantly tell you when the smoked lamb shoulder done temperature has been reached.

Choosing Bone-In or Boneless

Lamb shoulder is such a great choice to smoke because the traditional taste of lamb will stand up to the smoky wood flavor. Lamb shoulder is laced with fat that melts and makes the meat rich while cooking in the smoker. As the lamb shoulder smokes slowly, it will develop a crispy bark on the outside that will contrast the juicy, tender meat found inside. As you shred your lamb shoulder, the bark and rich fatty meat will mingle to create a flavor sensation that will wow your taste buds.

You can choose to buy a bone-in lamb shoulder or a boneless lamb shoulder. A bone-in lamb shoulder will allow the flavor from the bone to fuse with the meat as it cooks. There will not be a huge taste difference, but a subtle note of bony-goodness may be left behind in the meat.

A boneless lamb shoulder will allow the meat to cook faster. The boneless option will allow you to stuff the lamb roast with spices and herbs to add extra flavor. Shredding the lamb shoulder will also be easier because you do not have to worry about taking the bone out. Also consider that paying for meat by the pound means that you are paying for that bone too.

Whether you choose bone-in or boneless, the lamb shoulder will hold up well under the long smoking process. The bone in or out is a matter of preference with little change to the flavor of the meat.

Lamb Shoulder Temperature Tips

Let’s discuss the perfect smoked lamb shoulder temp. The smoked lamb shoulder done temperature is 195 degrees Fahrenheit. At 195 degrees, the digital thermometer probe will literally slide right into the meat. At this temperature, all the fat has rendered and completely melted into the meat. If you are using a bone-in shoulder, the bone should slide right out of the meat. It is so important to use a digital thermometer throughout the smoking process so that there is no guess work as to when the meat is finished cooking.

How to Measure Lamb Shoulder Internal Temperature During the Cook

During the first 3-4 hours of smoking, there is no reason to touch the meat. Once you reach the 4 hour mark, simply slide the probe into the meat and the instant read thermometer will tell you the temp of your lamb shoulder. Keep checking the smoked lamb shoulder internal temperature every hour until the meat is finished. Knowing the temperature of the meat will guide you in the cooking process.

how to measure lamb internal temperature

The trick is to watch your digital thermometer. As your meat cooks, the temperature will steadily rise on the thermometer. Right at about 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat will “stall out.” This means that the lamb shoulder will sit at this degree for a while as the fat begins to melt. The process of the fat melting will cool the meat and stall the cooking process. That is why you should cover the meat with aluminium foil at 165 degrees to help the fat melt faster.

Just keep watching your digital thermometer and you will see the temperature slowly begin to rise again. The smoked lamb shoulder internal temperature will keep rising until it reaches the 195 degrees Fahrenheit for which you are so patiently waiting.

How to Smoke Lamb Shoulder


  • 5 lb. Lamb Shoulder (Feeds 6-8 people)
  • 4 Tbsps. Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsps. Rosemary
  • 2 Tbsps. Salt
  • 2 Tbsps. Black Pepper
  • 1 ½ cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Apple Juice

Note: It will take about 1 ½ hours per pound of meat to smoke the lamb shoulder. If you have a 5 pound lamb shoulder, it will take you about 7 ½ hours to smoke.

how to smoke lamb shoulder
  1. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. You will leave your smoker at this temperature throughout the smoking process.
  2. Prepare the lamb shoulder by trimming any excess fat.
  3. Inject the meat with about ½ cup of apple cider vinegar. This will tame the gamey flavor of the lamb shoulder. The acid in the apple cider vinegar will also seep into all the meat as the fat melts.
  4. Rub olive oil on the lamb shoulder.
  5. Mix together a simple dry rub consisting of salt, black pepper and rosemary. If you prefer, you can choose other herbs and spices that pair well with lamb. Liberally apply the rub to every exposed inch of meat. Get in every crevice and every fold to make sure the meat is covered in the rub.
  6. Place the meat directly on the smoker rack. Do not worry about covering the meat.
  7. As the meat begins to smoke, make sure that there is water in the smoker with the meat. If your smoker has a drip pan, simply fill this pan with water. If your smoker does not offer a drip pan for water, place a pot of water on the rack beside your meat. The steam from the water will ensure that the meat does not dry out.
  8. Spritzing your meat during the smoking process is also important. Mix together 1 cup of apple juice and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. Use a food safe bottle sprayer. During the first few hours of smoking, spritz your meat every hour.
  9. Using a good digital thermometer like the Thermopro Instant Read Meat Thermometer, periodically check the temperature of your lamb shoulder.
  10. When the lamb shoulder internal temp has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you should stop spritzing your meat. Now it is time to cover the meat with aluminium foil. Wrap the lamb shoulder in the aluminium foil and return it to the smoker. At this point, your meat has developed a nice crunchy bark. The goal now is to get the fat to melt and coat the meat inside the bark. Covering the meat will keep the heat in and speed up the fat melting process.
  11. The lamb shoulder should take about three more hours to finish cooking. You don’t want to disturb the meat too much. After one hour of smoking, check to see what temperature your meat has reached. Once the thermometer reads 195 degrees Fahrenheit, the fun begins. You can pull that meat off the smoker.
  12. You have been smelling the lamb shoulder for hours. The smoked lamb shoulder done temperature has been reached and you can’t wait to try it. You can almost taste the juicy meat, but you must let it rest. Remove the lamb shoulder from the smoker. Place the covered meat in an empty cooler. Allow the meat to rest for 60 minutes.
  13. After an hour of resting, the meat juices have settled fully into the meat. Now, you can shred the meat. Remove the bone or simply start shredding if you are cooking with a boneless cut. All that is left is to enjoy your lamb shoulder.

The ThermoPro Instant Read Meat Thermometer is the best way to keep an eye on your smoked lamb shoulder. With the digital screen, you can instantly see the smoked shoulder cooking temp. There is no guess work. Opening and closing the smoker will cause you to lose heat which slows the cooking process. The ThermoPro probe instantly reads the temperature of your meat so that you can close the door quickly.

Tackle the smoked lamb shoulder with confidence. Use the ThermoPro Instant Read Meat Thermometer to clearly see your smoked lamb shoulder internal temperature. With the right tools, smoking a lamb shoulder is easy. Expand your barbecue menu this summer with a smoked lamb shoulder. Get the ThermoPro instant read thermometer now so that you can smoke meat like a professional.

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