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Nov 9, 2009 09:12 AM

Cooking boneless leg of lamb vs. bone-in

I'm trying to cook lamb for the first time ever tonight, and when I got to WFs, all they had was boneless. Exact same poundage the recipe asks for, but do I cook it less time to keep it tender, or do I stick with the cooking directions? Any guidance here greatly appreciated.

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  1. The boneless is great on the BBQ, I recently did one on my rottiserie. Slightly shorter cooking time due to lack of bone.

    2 Replies
    1. re: normalheightsfoodie

      Thanks normalheights - I appreciate the info.

      1. re: LulusMom

        I used in direct heat on the grill. I have a 7 burner grill. I had the center burners off, to prevent flare ups. I used the back burner at the end to crisp.

    2. So funny, I just made boneless for the first time this weekend, because it was on sale. I guess the opposite of most people and to me it was so complicated. I marinaded, then spread some mint pesto on both sides. Then I broiled it for over 5 minutes each side, then I cooked it for an hour at 325 to 140 degrees, but when I served it it still seemed raw to me. If I do it again it will definitely be at 350 or more. If it was warmer I would have done on the grill, mine likes to incinerate everything. Of course others will have more experience than me (ask me how to cook bone-in, everyone in my grocery store does) so I look forward to advice for future endeavors.

      4 Replies
      1. re: coll

        140º is a little too rare for lamb, I think, but I'd not go over 155º. Too-rare lamb is to me boring and flabby, but it should be pink and not grey.

        When I do a boneless leg on the grill, I butterfly it out further (cut into each large half outwards from the center so that when you open it up the meat is of a more uniform thickness), then I sandwich it in a hinged wire flat basket. This holds it in place and in shape while you're cooking, and you can turn it over very easily. I usually just salt the meat an hour or two before cooking, then just before it goes on the grill add any further seasoning (Penzey's Northwoods Fire is awfully good) and brush on plenty of olive oil.

        I prefer bone-in for roasting, but if I need to roast a boneless one I take it out of its stretchy snood, if it's got one, and season it well and insert garlic slivers all over, then wrap it back up again. That is tricky, but I've learned to cut both ends out of a coffee tin, pull the snood onto that, then push the rolled-up meat through the can and let the snood slide off over it. Hard to describe, but try it and it'll be obvious. And if it hasn't got a snood you should tie it with cotton string.

        1. re: Will Owen

          It just came cryovaced, and I guess I should have butterflied it further as it was very uneven. Or rolled it back up as you said, I have a lot of experimenting to do. I always have a roll of butcher string on hand. I really really love the whole bone leg, as does my neighbor's dog, but if something's on sale, I always gotta try it.

          1. re: Will Owen

            I just cooked a boneless leg of lamb over the weekend. If your meat thermometer is working you should be able to tell when your roast is done. I think bone-in is best for flavor. But boneless is easier to carve. I'm terrible at carving. (Either way, I love lamb. I made a Suzanne Goin recipe that I found on someone's blog _ butterflied leg of lamb with a mustard-bread crumb crust, served with Meyer lemon salsa. Yum.)

            1. re: NYCkaren

              I have a good meat thermometer and it read 140 exactly. Didn't want to overcook. But it was not done to my liking, and I like things rare. I followed a recipe someone posted here from Allrecipes with detailed instructions, although the mint pesto was my own: the broiling went fine but the baking left something to be desired. Looking forward to leftovers tonight so I can cook it up a little more.