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May 25, 2012 12:17 PM

Planning on Bone In Leg of Lamb this Sunday, Greek style but first time on the grill....

I have a weird thing going on with my oven, well not the oven itself but the exhaust fan is propped up with wooden braces to prevent the disaster of its crashing to the floor. No handymen available til next week at the earliest. I am planning on a bone in leg, and will marinade Grecian style appropriately, but if I can't roast in the oven, how to grill on a (cheap) Weber outside? I'm thinking it could be better by a long shot, but afraid to end up with a burnt outside, raw inside, hunk of meat (cats will probably be pleased anyway!!) I have never trusted this grill since I got it, it has let me down before. Any tips appreciated!

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  1. Low and slow, indirect heat with coals piled to either side of the leg and a drip-pan below. Baste with olive oil, rosemary, thyme and lemon juice. No marinating necessary or even possible, really -- the cut is too big and the marinade won't really penetrate very well anyhow.

    Greeks like the lamb very well done and falling apart. No rare lamb is ever found in Greece.

    3 Replies
    1. re: acgold7

      Maybe I should resurrect the Weber kettle in the garage, lots of spiderwebs though. The one we use now is propane.......sad to say. Just lazy I guess.

      1. re: coll

        Propane is even better because you can control the heat. Same theory as above. Comes out great.

        You should delete/report your other duplicate thread.

        1. re: acgold7

          I did report, so wierd it showed up twice. Didn't think it was possible!

    2. acgold is correct, coll. For many years, before the advent of his smoker, my husband successfully made pork bbq on the Webber. The key here is to keep an eye on the coals, and to make sure that you add additional coals and they burn down. Also, a little bit of wood on the fire wouldn't hurt either and will give your lamb an excellent additional flavor. Make sure you allow plenty of time to cook the lamb. Better to serve it room temp (as they often do in Greece) than to serve it underdone. And Greeks do like their lamb well-cooked.

      1 Reply
      1. re: roxlet

        I think it may be time to return to my roots, 1970s style.

      2. Last time I was in Greece it was (Greek) Easter and every little cafe and Taverna brought out their grills onto the walkways and plazas outside, and were spit-roasting whole lambs. Every tourist wanted to take a turn and get a photo of themselves turning the hand-crank on the spit, and always offered to pay the owner/cooks for the privilege. And every owner cook gladly took the money and laughed at the dopey Americans who were paying him to do his work for him.

        But it was, hands down, the best lamb I have ever eaten. Well-done, yes, but texture like silk and flavorful beyond belief.

        7 Replies
        1. re: acgold7

          I think there's a divine reason I'm in this situation, I would love to go beyond the goodness of oven baked if I don't wreck it. So long since I've actually cooked over coal, but I wasn't the one that wanted propane way back then. Bad habit for sure.

          1. re: coll

            Just remember the mantra: indirect. If you get flare-ups you are (literally) toast. Never put the food (for this type of dish) directly over the heat source unless you are four feet above. No kidding.

            And seriously, there's nothing wrong with using a gas grill. I've had several Webers of both types and neither type has ever failed me. You've just got to know how to use them.

            1. re: acgold7

              That's my problem I got this propane model despite protest and never learned to use it to maximum potential. There are three knobs and damded if they do what I think they should do, one is an ignitor and the other two I haven't experimented....maybe Home Depot will have a seminar some day? I am not good at learning curves right now.

              1. re: coll

                Sounds like a two burner model. Put the roast in a pan leave it above the burner that's off, turn on the other burner (start it on high to sear, and turn to low after 1/2 hour, cook till you get desired doneness - use a temp to watch the temp of the roast). Voila you have an oven. If you have a oven gauge, put it on the side with the roast and just check it periodically to make sure it doesn't get too hot in there.

                1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                  Thanks, that's sort of how I cook chicken with the one burner, but putting it in a pan sounds like a great idea!

                2. re: coll

                  If it's indeed a Weber, it came with a great instruction book and recipe guide. You don't really need anything else. A quick perusal will tell you all you need to know.

                  1. re: coll

                    You should be able to find your manual here

                    Grilled lamb is delicious and butterflying (as mentioned below) gives it more area for browning and smoke absorption.

            2. Coll, I checked The Periyali Cookbook and they recommend either slow oven (325F) or grill and suggest putting a pan with 1/2 C of hot water under the leg half an hour into the cooking. They also suggest to insert garlic slivers all over the leg (I do this with beef roats and lamb and love the flavour), brush with basting mixture and refrigerate for 24 hours. The basting mixture is made of olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, rosemary and pepper.

              I am sure it will turn out great what ever you do:)

              3 Replies
                1. re: coll

                  Well, no, it says Olive OIL and Lemon JUICE, but that's not actually a bad idea....

                  1. re: acgold7

                    Ah ha ha ha, I've been into using pickle juice and such lately, guess I was speed reading there......but considering it! Serendipity maybe.

              1. I like to do bone-in lamb legs with indirect heat on a charcoal grill barbecue style - very low heat (225-250) after applying a rub and letting it sit overnight. I also like to make it in more of a "grill roast" style in less time with a hotter grill (325-350). Either can be delicious, but I have 30 years of experience cooking with a multitude of grills. There is something to be said for familiarity with such applications; they are much less forgiving than an oven.

                That being said, why not just butterfly the leg and grill it directly over the flames? It is probably the best use of the equipment you have and requires the least amount of skill. Moreover, it will cook much more quickly and you will have greater control over doneness and timing. See, e.g.

                16 Replies
                1. re: MGZ

                  Here's an even better guide to the deboning process. It really is not very difficult.


                  1. re: MGZ

                    I like doing bone in, and make these lamb legs a couple of times a year in the oven; although wondering if I can even fit the whole thing on one half of my grill in a pan. I just cut hunks off for gyros when it's done, not serving as a fancy dish. And the neighborhood dogs love me.

                    I have not been pleased with this grill since we got it, not sure if it's me or the grill though. Strongly tempted to try the charcoal method, even though its been many years. I actually pulled it out from behind the car in the garage the other day and spilled old ashes all over the driveway, maybe it was calling to me.....

                    1. re: coll

                      There's a lot of collective wisdom here about BBQ and grilling, so maybe if you can tell us more about what hasn't worked with your gas grill, we can help you get the most from it. Specifically what about the results were you unhappy with? It would help us even more if you can post a picture of the grill or a model number.

                      1. re: acgold7

                        It's a Spirit 210, I know it was cheap but the stupid Chef mate I had before it was more dependable. It mostly doesn't get up to max heat, weird that you have to keep the cover closed; I never get a nice char, except when it burns beyond black accidentally, but then again I may be asking too much. I'm not a nincompoop, but I can't figure out the hot spots for some reason. I base everything on the old charcoal grills of yore, even those Hibachis that we picked up for $1 every spring back in the 70s did such a better job. I have a propane stove now so maybe it's too much work for something with such similar results? Or I have a mental block.....whatever, I have the leg marinading, and remembered to throw some Kalamata brine in there for good luck!

                        1. re: coll

                          The E210 is a very nice little unit that's built like a tank and should perform like a champ once you get the hang of it. They have some great tips on the site at


                          You have to get used to the concept of indirect grilling and cooking with the cover down. Webers don't get screeching hot because they don't have to. You get nice grill marks without 1000 degrees of blasting infrared heat. They are not like charcoal grills, just like your home oven is not like a wood-burning potbellied stove. They are different tools, but both can give great results if you know how.

                          Make sure you preheat with both burners on high for about 15 minutes and clean the grates thoroughly. Sear whatever you're cooking, and then if it's anything other than burgers, you will generally turn one burner to low or off and cook indirectly with the cover closed.

                          Obviously do your practice runs when you don't have company coming over for a big holiday celebration. You've invested in this thing, and it wasn't cheap, so best to know how to use it to your advantage, no?

                          1. re: acgold7

                            Thanks for this advice, tomorrow I will start with an open mind and see what happens.

                            1. re: coll

                              It's also important to start with a grill that is scrupulously clean, especially if you haven't used it in a while. Both the flavorizer bars and the grill grates may be prone to corrosion, depending upon which ones you have and how old they are, and will probably need replacing every three to five years, depending upon how heavily you have used them and how well you have maintained them. If they are within the warranty period but are not usable (check your manual for warranty info), the Weber people are generally only too happy to replace them for you at no charge -- their customer service is unparalleled.

                              Any built-up substances on the bars or the surfaces below the burners can prevent the bars from getting hot enough and can lead to flare-ups, which can cause the charring you describe. The way the flavorizer bars are supposed to work is that dripping fat should instantly vaporize when it hits them, leading to that nice Grill flavor. But rust and ash and other charred gunk acts as an insulator, so the drippings just ignite and flame up and then unhappiness results. And built-up junk under the burners just traps drippings and then they catch fire, too. So it's important to scrape and possibly steam-clean or pressure wash these until they are sparkly clean. I do mine twice a year.

                              If you have stainless or cast-iron grates and bars, you should season them. If enamel, no seasoning is necessary.

                              ***Also***-- and I know this is really long-winded -- spiders love to build little homes in the gas inlets over the winter, and they can block the gas flow and prevent the grill from getting hot enough as well. This is usually mentioned in the manual as well so you should check this every spring and clean out those inlets without fail.

                              Finally, if you have a Propane (LP) grill, don't ever hook it up to household NG -- it will never get hot enough because the two gases burn at different temps. You can get a different manifold (technically, you will get adapters for the orifices) to compensate for this. I only mention this because we moved into a house once that had this situation.

                              Maintain your grill as you would any other piece of equipment and it really should serve you well.

                              1. re: acgold7

                                Thanks for all this info, I do scrape the grates scrupulously every time after cooking but sadly, after only a few years, now the porcelein is beginning to break off in big chunks. Guess you can't use a regular scraper? The last straw, when I really started hating it, was when I saw all the paint on the inner lid peeling off, then found flakes piled up on the back shelf and realized I was biting into something crunchy when I was eating my nice Wagyu burger. I stripped the thing down, used a professional grill cleaner, got all outer loose gunk and junk removed with a Kurly Kate, turned the grills around so the bars with no ceramic left are now on the outside.....not much more I can do besides buy a new grill that isn't painted or have ceramic coated grills on it. I'm sure straight metal grates would get lots hotter and make nice grill marks, which is something that is sadly lacking in this model. But anyway that's not in the budget for the near future.

                                And I know about the spiders, a friend had a funny story about her grill not starting on some important occasion, they were frantic and then a guest took a straw and blew out the lines and all was fixed. She kept saying "Spiders? Spiders? Can you believe it?" She was ready to throw it out!

                                Funny I always wished my grill was hooked up to the kitchen propane tank, so I didn't have to keep running to Agway, now I won't worry about that anymore!! Since I have a Viking gas stove, I feel like the end results between the two aren't as different as they should be.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Yes, the porcelain does tend to come off after a while. You can buy replacement stainless steel or cast iron and that won't be a problem. As the instructions point out, no, you shouldn't use a scraper because that is what will happen -- you use a wire brush for this.

                                  If your grates are still within the warranty period, call Weber and see about replacement. If not, go to Home Depot and get new ones. They're cheaper than buying a new grill.

                                  That's not paint peeling off the inside cover. It's solidified creosote from the smoke. You should brush that off periodically and then it won't fall onto your food.

                                  If you have Propane (LP) firing your home rather than NG then you actually can hook your LP grill up to it and all will be fine. The only issue comes in when one is LP and the other is NG. Out West we don't have Propane for the house energy, only NG, so I was quite shocked to see Whole-House propane tanks when we moved East. (We don't have fuel oil for furnaces either.)

                                  Really, there's nothing you can't fix about this grill by simply reading and following the instructions ;-).

                    2. re: MGZ

                      I'm with MGZ on this. Chances for a fiasco are great with that whole leg, but butterflied it is pretty simple and the meat gets a lot more grilled since there are two "extra" sides without the bone.

                      1. re: escondido123

                        I made it yesterday, using all your suggestions, and it came out the best it ever did. Thanks for the help...we like it kind of rare, and since it's for gyros and already marinaded, the bone helps out in that department. The best gyro place around here has always bragged that he uses bone in rather than boneless on his spit, that's why I started leaning that way. I buy boneless during the winter, but love bone in for a grilled summer treat.

                        Thanks everyone, I learned a lot about grilling these last few days, and am going to pick up a bag of Kingsford next time I go shopping! Time to go retro!!

                        1. re: coll

                          So which method did you follow? Low and slow indirect or hot and fast over the fire? Tell us all the details. Curious minds want to know....

                          1. re: acgold7

                            Sorry didn't see this til now. I cooked it in the oven because I found a handyman. But I have serious doubts about the paint chipping, it's not grease because I keep the grill relatively clean. Hope this shows you.....I've seen other threads here on this same subject with Weber, sad to say.

                            1. re: coll

                              Really, trust me, it's not the paint. It's creosote.

                              There isn't any "paint" on the lid. It's baked on enamel which Just. Cannot. Peel.

                              1. re: acgold7

                                Well that's good, because I've bitten into some black flakes in my food and it freaks me out! I did scrub it and there weren't any in our burgers yesterday, I'm happy to say.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Just wanted to report back, I learned a thing or two here, and am letting the grill warm up to max before cooking anything now Such a simple thing, 5 minutes extra, makes all the difference on getting a nice char on the meat. Thanks for making me think this out! And when I do replace the grills, it will be stainless for sure.