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Smoked Lamb Shoulder


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Smoked Lamb Shoulder

1 square-cut, bone-in lamb shoulder
Kosher salt
Yellow mustard
Low-salt barbecue rub

The night before cooking, apply kosher salt liberally to all surfaces of the lamb shoulder. Use 1.5 percent of the weight of the meat to determine your salt amount if unsure. Let the salted meat sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.

Prepare a smoker at 275 degrees. While heating the smoker, remove the lamb shoulder from the refrigerator and cover with a thin coating of yellow mustard. Apply barbecue rub to cover all surfaces, and place into the preheated smoker. You can use a standard offset smoker, but I cooked two shoulders and had better results with hanging them inside a Pit Barrel Cooker. It took 3 hours for a 3-pound shoulder to reach 195 degrees. I could have let it go longer in the pit to finish, but I wanted it to shred very easily, so I wrapped it in foil and moved it to a 200-degree oven for another hour. After a 30-minute rest outside the oven, I shredded the entire shoulder, discarding the bones and any hard fat, of course.

Serve the meat on its own with a Kentucky black barbecue sauce on the side for dipping, or do what I did and place it in a warm pita with tzatziki and some pickle de gallo. Either way, it’s a good way to get yourself out of a beef and pork barbecue rut and support Texas ranchers at the same time.

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