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Slathered in a rich, aromatic blend of olive oil, fresh rosemary and garlic, Grilled Lamb Loin Chops come out juicy and perfect every time. Weeknight easy and splendid on a platter for dinner parties and date nights.
When you want an impressive meal that you can put together in 10 minutes, look no further than these succulent grilled lamb loin chops. It takes time for the marinade to permeate the thick cut chops, so plan to prepare them at least an hour in advance or overnight for extra flavor. A little bit of forethought means a mostly hands-off main course.
Ingredients You Need to Make Grilled Lamb Loin Chops
- Lamb Loin Chops: about 1 ½-inches thick, to use lamb rib chops, use this Grilled Lamb Chops recipe instead
- Olive Oil: good, extra-virgin olive oil
- Rosemary: fresh rosemary, dried rosemary isn't a good substitute here
- Garlic: look for a firm, plump head of garlic with smooth skin
- Kosher Salt: or fine sea salt
- Black Pepper: freshly ground black pepper
When you read the ingredient list, it may seem too simple. But the easy blend of fresh rosemary and garlic swirled with good olive oil, salt and pepper work magic to enhance lamb's distinct flavor and succulent texture. The moment they hit they the grill and start to sizzle, you know they'll be magnificent.
Two-Zone Grilling for Maximum Juiciness
In this recipe, you'll use a simple technique called two-zone grilling, which just means you create a 'cool zone' and a 'hot zone' on your grill. (See infographic below for a visual of what I mean.) You'll start the lamb loin chops on the cool side and then finish them on the hot side for those beautiful grill marks.
You can also achieve this on a charcoal grill by positioning the hot coals on one side and leaving the other side empty.
There are three types of lamb chops. Lamb loin chops, which are often thick cut and look like a miniature T-bone steak. Lamb rib chops (like those in my other recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops and Pan-Fried Lamb Chops), the most expensive of the three chops, are often Frenched, meaning that the meat and fat are cut away from the the protruding rib leaving a 'lollipop' of rich tender meat at the other end. Finally, lamb shoulder chops, the least expensive of the three, are fatty, less tender and boldly flavorful.
For medium-rare lamb chops, cook until the internal temperature reads 135˚F on an instant read thermometer (temperature will rise ~10 degrees when allowed to rest for 3-5 minutes). Cook to 150˚F for medium and 160˚F for well done. Note that the flavor of lamb becomes gamier when cooked beyond medium.
How to Make Grilled Lamb Loin Chops
Stir marinade ingredients together until well blended (olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper).
Slather marinade on loin chops and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.
Preheat your gas grill to medium-high, 425˚F. Turn off half of the burners to create an area of indirect heat. Place lamb chops over indirect heat and close lid; cook, without turning, 8-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 110˚F. Move lamb chops to direct heat and sear 2 minutes per side, or until they're cooked to your liking, 135°F for medium-rare. Transfer to platter; allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
Grilled Lamb Loin Chops
- 8 lamb loin chops
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary dried rosemary is not a good substitute here
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine all marinade ingredients (olive oil through pepper) in a small bowl. Spoon this mixture evenly over both sides of lamb chops. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to overnight.
- Heat a gas grill to medium-high, 425˚F. When it reaches temperature, turn off burners in one area to create an indirect heat, cool zone. Place lamb loin chops on the cool side of the grill and cook 8-10 minutes without flipping, to an internal temperature of 110˚F (grill temperature will drop during this time with only one set of burners on). Move chops to the hot side of the grill and sear over direct heat, 2 minutes per side or more to desired doneness, 135°F for medium-rare. Transfer to platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Though it's not necessary to marinate ahead of time, feel free to season the lamb chops a few hours ahead of time and refrigerate. Take the chops out 30 minutes ahead of grilling to bring them to room temperature.
- Note that this recipe is for lamb rib chops. This recipe works for lamb loin chops, but you'll want to increase the cooking time by 2 or 3 minutes on each side.
- You can find lamb rib chops already cut in the grocery store, but I've found that it's less expensive to buy lamb rib roasts and cut them into individual chops with a very sharp knife.