In this foolproof guide, I’ll show you how to cook a rack of lamb on a grill, tasty seasoning ideas, and the ideal temperature and grilling time to ensure your grilled lamb comes out as flavorful and juicy as possible.

Barbecue rack of lamb on a plate garnished with thyme and mint sauce.


This grilled rack of lamb recipe requires only two simple sets of ingredients: the meat and the seasoning. Even better, this five-minute seasoning recipe also doubles as an easy marinade!

These simple ingredients can probably be found in your kitchen pantry, making this grilled dish a must-have for outdoor BBQs, weeknight dinners, and summer get-togethers.

Ingredients for the recipe from the top view.

Rack of Lamb

  • Frenched racks of lamb: I used two Frenched racks of lamb—each weighing 1 – 1½ lbs.—to make this grilling recipe. “Frenched” refers to the preparation method in which butchers remove excess meat, fat, and cartilage from the exterior bones of the lamb rack, giving the meat a gorgeous presentation and ensuring easy carving after you cook it. You should be able to buy Frenched lamb chops from your local grocery store, but—if they don’t have any on hand—you can also ask your butcher to French the lamb for you, or you can French the meat at home if you need a quick homemade solution. Whether you purchase this cut Frenched or not, remember to select racks that are similar in weight and size to ensure even cooking.


  • Olive oil: I use regular olive oil for this recipe, but extra virgin olive oil would also work, depending on your taste preferences and what you have at home.
  • Fresh garlic cloves: I recommend using finely minced or pressed garlic cloves in your grilled rack of lamb seasoning. This fine processing allows the garlic to better release its flavor, more evenly coat the meat, and avoid burning during the grilling process.
  • Fresh herbs: My favorite herbs to use when grilling a rack of lamb are fresh rosemary or thyme, as their piney, earthy notes perfectly complement the lamb’s natural richness. However, I also used parsley to cut the potency of these other herbs while still giving my meat a garden-fresh finish.
  • Lemon zest and juice: The bright citrus flavor and mild sweetness of lemon are just what you need to help tamp down lamb’s (sometimes) gamey flavor. Plus, depending on how long you let your lamb marinate, the lemon juice’s acidity also helps tenderize the meat while it rests, breaking down its fibers and giving it a melt-in-your-mouth texture after grilling.
  • Dijon mustard: This ingredient is optional, but it lends a deliciously tangy, sharp taste to this BBQ rack of lamb recipe. You only need one teaspoon of Dijon mustard to give your meat an extra complex flavor.
  • Kosher salt and pepper

How to Grill Rack of Lamb?

With my no-fuss cooking method, learning how to grill a lamb rack is a cinch. These step-by-step instructions ensure your meat reaches the perfect temperature and has a savory, zesty, and herbaceous finish.

A collage of images showing a person preparing rack of lamb to cook it on gas grill.
  1. Prepare the meat: Remove any excess fat and silver skin from your racks of lamb. Too much fat might lead to flare-ups during the grilling process, so doing so will keep your grill’s flames as tame as possible. Then, pat dry the meat on all sides and sprinkle them with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Make the lamb marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, thyme parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. 
  3. Marinate the lamb: Once thoroughly mixed, spread the herb rub over the top and sides of the lamb racks, cover them with stretch film, and let them come to room temperature (30-60 minutes).
A collage of images showing how to barbecue rack of lamb.
  1. Prep the grill:
    1. Gas grill: Turn the grill burners to “high,” cover the grill, and let it preheat to 450 degrees F. (230 degrees C.). As the grill heats, scrape the grates of any food residue and wipe them down with a paper towel dipped in olive oil to generously coat the grates. Then, right before searing your lamb, turn off all the burners except for the primary one, then close its cover until it reaches 450 degrees F. again.
    2. Charcoal grill: Light up your grill, being sure that you create a “hot zone”—an area directly over the hot coals—and a “cool zone” (i.e., an area that’s not directly over the coals). Then, just as you would for a gas grill, scrape and oil the grates and wait until the coals ash over.
  2. Sear the meat: Place each rack of lamb over the hot side of the grill/primary burner, ensuring that their fat side down. Cover the grill and let the meat sear for five minutes.
  3. Grill the lamb rack over low heat: Turn over the lamb racks and reposition them, bone side down, over the cooler end of the grill (i.e., over the secondary burner that you turned off earlier). While keeping the primary burner on, cover the grill and cook the lamb for 15-17 minutes or until you reach your preferred level of doneness (be sure to check the temperature and doneness guide below.)
Person cutting grilled rack of lamb.
  1. Let the meat rest: Transfer the grilled frenched lamb rack to a cutting board, tent it loosely with aluminum foil, and rest for ten minutes.
  2. Carve and serve: Hold the rack vertically so its exposed ribs point toward the ceiling. Then, use a sharp knife to cut the lamb between the ribs, place the individual lamb chops on a serving platter, and enjoy!

Grilled Rack of Lamb Time & Temperature Guide

Below is a simple guide that will walk you through all the details about temperature, timing, and resting so that your racks come out as succulent, smoky, and perfectly cooked as possible.

  • Weight of the lamb: Before considering how long to grill your meat, you should assess the weight of your cut. There’s a direct correlation between the weight of the meat and how long it takes to cook, so if you have racks of lamb that are lighter or heavier than 1 – 1 ½ lbs., you’ll have to adjust your grill time accordingly.
  • Direct and indirect heat: I found that the best way to grill a rack of lamb is by getting the grill’s temperature up to 450 degrees F., then alternating the meat between the hot and cool sides of the grates. More specifically, I began by searing my racks of lamb over direct heat (AKA the “hot zone”) for five minutes, then flipping them to cook over indirect heat (AKA the “cool zone”) until done. That being said, how long it takes to grill a rack of lamb on a gas grill or charcoal grill depends on your preferred level of doneness. After the initial five minutes of searing time, your lamb must grill for an additional 14-20 minutes before it’s ready to remove from the heat.
  • Carry-over cooking: Due to carry-over heat, your meat will continue to cook even after you take it off the grill. Therefore, your lamb’s final temperature will increase by 5 degrees F. (or so) during the resting period.
  • Instant-read thermometer: Because grilling can be technical, a digital meat thermometer will be your best friend when trying to gauge the temperature of your grilled rack of lamb. Simply insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding contact with the bones, to get an accurate reading.

Below, I’ve included a table showing precisely what temperatures and cooking times you should aim for to achieve your ideal level of doneness. Remember, too, that the approximate grilling time listed refers to the lamb’s cooking time over indirect heat—in other words, the additional grilling time necessary after its five-minute sear.

(Note: While you can cook your lamb anywhere from medium-rare to medium-well, I should also mention that the USDA recommends cooking lamb to a minimum of 145 degrees F. (63 degrees C.) to ensure the meat is as safe as possible to eat, as this heat eliminates any harmful bacteria.)

Level of DonenessApproximate Grilling Time at 450 degrees F. (After Initial Searing)Internal Temperature at Which to Remove the Meat From the GrillFinal Serving Temperature
Medium-rare12-14 minutes120-125 degrees F. (49-51 degrees C.)130 degrees F. (54 degrees C.)
Medium15-17 minutes130-135 degrees F. (54-57 degrees C.)140 degrees F. (60 degrees C.)
Medium-well18-20 minutes140-145 degrees F. (60-63 degrees C.)150 degrees F. (66 degrees C.)

How to Make Ahead, Store Leftovers, & Reheat

This barbecue lamb rack is a great recipe for easy meal prep, whether you want to prepare it beforehand or enjoy your leftovers throughout the week. 

  • Make ahead: You can prepare your racks of lamb up to one day in advance. To do so, cut and trim your lamb, pat it dry, season it with salt and pepper, and cover its top and sides with marinade. Then, cover the lamb with stretch film and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Just be sure to remove your lamb from the fridge 30-60 minutes before grilling, as this resting time will allow the meat to come to room temperature.
  • Storage: You can store your lamb in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days after grilling. I recommend storing your grilled lamb unsliced, as the whole cut will retain its juices better during reheating. However, you may store the individual chops if you’ve already sliced the rack. 
  • Reheating: To reheat your lamb, I highly recommend placing it in a low-heat oven (275-300 degrees F.) for 5-10 minutes or until heated through. Though others may opt to reheat their meat in the microwave, I find that reheating it in the oven results in much more succulent, evenly heated lamb chops.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, you may store your grilled lamb—sliced or whole—in the freezer for 2-3 months. Just be sure to place your meat in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag with as much air removed as possible, and thaw the frozen lamb in the refrigerator overnight when ready to eat.
Grilled Frenched rack of lamb on a cutting board.

What to Serve with Grilled Rack of Lamb?

Want to build a menu fit for the ultimate backyard barbecue or weeknight dinner? When you cook a rack of lamb on the grill, the sky’s the limit! Below are all my favorite menu ideas, from luscious sauces to veggie-packed sides.

  • Sauces: I love serving my grilled lamb rack with a classic British Mint Sauce, adding brilliantly fresh notes to this savory main. However, if you’re looking for a creamier option, my Tzatziki Sauce and Mint Yogurt Sauce offer a tangy, cool finish perfect for lamb dishes.
  • Barbecue season sides: No cookout is complete without show-stopping side dishes. If you’re hankering for fresh, Mexican fare, my Black Bean Corn Salad and Mexican Street Corn strike a delectable balance between zesty, herby, and garden-fresh taste. For an even more decadent dish, Deviled Egg Potato Salad has all the tender, creamy, and tangy flavor you need to satisfy everyone in your party. Or, if you’re short on time but still want to treat your guests to an iconic menu, you can whip up a Classic Caesar Salad in less than twenty minutes.


Want to know more about how to grill a rack of lamb? In this beginner-friendly FAQ, I’ve included all the must-have information about this mouthwatering recipe, including grill temperatures, nutritional information, and ideal cooking times.

What temperature do you grill lamb at?

I found that the ideal rack of lamb grill temperature is 450 degrees F., as this high heat gives the meat a delectably crisp exterior while trapping its succulent juices inside. Depending on your desired level of doneness, you’ll need to cook your meat for 17-25 minutes at this temperature, alternating between direct and indirect heat.

How long does it take to grill a rack of lamb?

How long it takes to grill a rack of lamb on a gas grill or charcoal grill depends on your desired doneness. As a rule, you should begin by searing your lamb over direct high heat for five minutes at 450 degrees F. Then, after transferring the lamb to the cooler side of the grill, you’ll need to continue grilling for an additional 12-20 minutes.

If you try this Grilled Rack of Lamb recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.

Grilled Rack of Lamb Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Yields4 servings
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Resting time10 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Enjoy tender, juicy grilled rack of lamb, flavored with a garlic and herb rub, for a perfect, easy-to-follow recipe that delivers robust taste perfect for the BBQ season.


  • 2 Frenched racks of lamb , 1 to 1 ½ pounds each (approximately the same weight) 16 ribs in total
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil , plus more to coat the grill grates
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced (~2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme , or rosemary – minced
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, loosely packed & finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • To prepare the rack of lamb, remove any excessive fat and “silver skin” from the fat cap. Pat the lamb dry on all sides. Sprinkle each rack with kosher salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Combine olive oil, garlic, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, and juice in a small bowl to make the herb rub.
  • Spread the prepared herb rub on the top and sides of the lamb.
  • Cover with stretch film and let the racks come to room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, turn all the grill’s burners high, then cover and preheat the grill to 450 degrees F. (230 C.). Scrape the grates of any possible food residue, then generously coat them with olive oil using a soaked paper towel.
  • Right before searing the meat, turn off all burners except for the primary one. Close the grill’s cover, making sure it reaches 450 degrees F.
  • Place the racks of lamb on the primary burner with their fat caps facing down. Cover and grill for 5 minutes. This will sear the meat and lock in its juices.
  • Turn the racks over and transfer them bone-side down on the secondary burner/cool side (that was shut off), keeping the primary one on. Cover the grill and cook for 15-17 minutes or until you achieve your preferred doneness.
  • Remove the racks from the grill, place them on a cutting board, and loosely tent them with aluminum foil. Let the racks rest for 10 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, hold the lamb vertically so its exposed rib bones point toward the ceiling, then use a sharp chef’s knife to cut between the ribs to separate the chops.
  • Transfer onto a serving platter and serve.


  • Yields: This recipe makes 16 ribs, which is ideal for four servings (4 ribs per person). The nutritional values below are per serving.
  • Take the time to remove the excess fat and silver skin: If you don’t want your grill’s flames to flare up while cooking your lamb, I highly encourage you to remove its excess fat before grilling. Of course, some fat is essential to giving lamb its signature richness. However, too much fat will lead to drippings that attract and fuel flames, thereby scorching your meat. Furthermore, removing the lamb’s silver skin—the connective tissue that holds the muscles together—will help reduce the lamb’s gamey flavor.
  • Take the rack of lamb out 30-60 min. before grilling: Be sure to let your meat reach room temperature before grilling. This way, the lamb will cook evenly throughout its body and better align with optimal cooking times.
  • Don’t skip scraping and oiling the grill grates: Before barbecuing a rack of lamb, you must scrape and oil your grill’s grates. Doing so will remove debris and residue from the grilling surface and ensure the meat doesn’t stick while cooking.
  • Maintaining the temperature: The key to getting the most reliable, evenly cooked meat is maintaining a steady grill temperature—in this case, 450 degrees. If your grill’s temperature drops, try covering it until the heat returns to your desired temperature.
  • Covering the rib bones: If you’ve seen other chefs prepare a barbecue rack of lamb, you might have seen them cover the lamb’s exposed ribs with aluminum foil to avoid burning. Though this step is optional, I found it unnecessary when putting a lamb rack on the BBQ, as the bones didn’t scorch during the short grilling time.
  • Let the lamb rest: After cooking a rack of lamb on the barbecue, you must let it rest for a minimum of 10-15 minutes. This resting time will allow the meat to reach its final desired temperature.
  • Storage: Leftover grilled lamb can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I recommend storing it unsliced, as the whole cut will retain its juices better during reheating. However, you may store the chops if you’ve already sliced the rack. 


Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 100g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 45g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 672mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 2613IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @foolproofliving or tag #foolproofeats!

About Aysegul Sanford

Hello Friend! I'm Aysegul but you can call me “Ice." I’m the cook/recipe-tester/photographer behind this site.

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5 from 2 votes

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Recipe Rating


    1. That is music to my ears Robert. I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this rack of lamb recipe.

  1. 5 stars
    This turned out better than I imagined. Your tips were so helpful, especially with the timing and temperature.