The best lamb cuts for pan-frying, grilling and griddling
What are the best lamb cuts for frying, grilling and griddling? You might be surprised at the difference it can make. So, from kebabs to cutlets to a butterflied steak on the barbecue, find out what to pick at the butcher – and we’ve also included some sample cooking times for different cuts.
The versatility of lamb ensures that the quick cook option is always a flavoursome one. Plus, we have cooking terms for smaller cuts of lamb, such as chops.
Boneless meat, which can be a bit fatty, but is full of flavour and ideal for any form of fast cooking. Neck fillet can also be cubed for kebabs or sliced for escalopes. Good for slow cooking, too.
Take care not to overcook these: they are best eaten when still pink in the centre, as their lack of fat can make them go very dry.
Excellent for all methods of grilling, these need very little, if any, extra fat.
These chops have less bone but the meat is slightly firmer than other cuts. They still have a fantastic flavour, though.
Because these come from one of the leaner parts of the animal, and from a muscle that has had to do a fair amount of work, leg steaks have a tendency to be a little tough. But if not overcooked, and rested before serving, leg steaks have a terrific flavour.
Unless you have a large indoor chargrill or cast-iron griddle, the best way of cooking this cut is on the barbecue. A 2.5kg leg will take about 12-15 minutes on each side over an indirect medium-high heat.
TIPS FOR PAN-FRYING, GRILLING AND GRIDDLING LAMB
- First, heat your pan or griddle to very hot.
- Only oil the lamb lightly, as it’s quite fatty. Don’t try to cook too many chops or steaks in a pan or on a griddle at any one time.
- Press down on the pieces of meat with a fish slice as they cook, to ensure even colour.
- Because chops cook so quickly, the fatty edges of certain cuts, such as loin chops, don’t always get quite crisp enough when pan-fried or griddled. Turn the chops on their sides using tongs so that the fatty edge comes into contact with the pan, then cook until it becomes golden.
- Rest smaller cuts of meat for 2-3 minutes before serving, closely covered in foil. This will make all the difference.
COOKING TIMES FOR SMALLER CUTS OF LAMB, CHOPS AND STEAKS
WHOLE NECK FILLETS
Cook for 8-10 minutes, turning once.
NECK FILLET KEBABS
Cook for 12 minutes over a medium heat, turning every 3 minutes as each side browns.
Cook for 3 minutes on each side.
LOIN CHOPS AND CHUMP CHOPS
Cook these for 3-4 minutes on each side over a medium-high heat.
Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side.
Cook 175g steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side over a medium-high heat.
ALL OUR LAMB RECIPES
THE MEAT GUIDE: LAMB
THE BEST CUTS FOR SLOW COOKING