How to cook lamb chops

Find all the information you need to cook the perfect lamb chops and steaks, from cooking temperatures to flavour combinations and our best ever recipes.

Rack of lamb on a plate with sweet potato and onion

Lamb chops and steaks should be cooked over a high heat, quickly, and can be quick-roasted, too, depending on how thick they are. Barbecuing, griddling, pan-frying and grilling are all methods that suit chops with an aim to getting lots of colour on the meat and any exposed fat sizzling until brown. 

Chops are quick to cook and easy to portion but they differ depending on which part of the lamb they come from. 


Lamb chops and steaks

Three chops of herb crusted rack of lamb with vegetables

Rack of lamb – This is a trimmed rack of six chops that can either be roasted whole and carved into chops, or cut into cutlets (see below) that can then be quick-cooked.

Lamb cutlets – Taken from the rack of lamb, these neat chops can come with a layer of fat surrounding the eye of the meat that extends to the bone, or they can be French-trimmed to expose the bone. These can be simply pan-fried, griddled or quickly barbecued and sometimes find their way into a casserole. 

Lamb lollipops – This is a well-trimmed cutlet that has had the eye of the meat batted out.

Loin chops – Cut from the saddle, these meaty chops have a T-shaped bone in the middle which is so thick the meat is quickly roasted. 

Lamb loin chops with salad on a plate
Barnsley chops – A double loin chop (see above). A single Barnsley chop is the perfect portion for one. 

Chump/rump chops – A boneless slice of the chump, these are very good value and can be pan-fried or barbecued like a steak. 

Leg steaks – A cross-section of the leg, these steaks can vary in size and normally have a piece of bone in the middle that the marrow can be eaten out of once cooked. A great steak to barbecue.  

Lamb steaks with houmous potatoes and cooked vine tomatoes

Find out more about other cuts including leg of lamb in our guide on how to cook lamb


Flavour friends 

Lamb chops and steaks take well to being marinated. Here are some classic flavours from around the world to include in marinades and rubs, either all together or in different combinations: 

British – capers, rosemary and/or thyme, or served with redcurrant jelly or mint sauce
Mediterranean  garlic, olives, anchovies, lemon, basil 
North African – cinnamon, saffron, chilli, cumin
Indian – cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, ginger, lime, cumin, curry paste, garam marsala, yogurt

Lamb chops with Indian spices in a silver plate

Thermometer check

Ovens perform differently and barbecuing or pan-frying lamb often involves guesswork. The only way to tell how well it’s cooked is with a digital cooking thermometer. 

50C – very rare 
55C – medium rare 
60C – medium (pink) 
65C – medium well
72C – well done 
 

Lamb, hogget, mutton and goat 

‘Lamb’ is meat from an animal that’s under a year old, hogget is an older lamb (1-2 years) and mutton is the meat from a fully-grown sheep (2 years +). British goat meat is becoming more readily available and is generally sold at the same age as lamb. Chops and steak from lamb, hogget, mutton and goat are interchangeable, but hogget and mutton have a stronger, more developed flavour and the meat from goat is a bit richer than lamb. 


Our top 5 lamb chop recipes...

Lamb chops with fruity couscous & mint

Lamb chops with couscous and a pot of dressing, on a plate

Griddled lamb with spiced new potatoes 

Lamb chops and fried new potatoes on a serving plate

Rosemary roast lamb chops 

Lamb chops with rosemary, roast potatoes and vine tomatoes

Lamb lollipops with smashed minty broad beans 

Small lamb cutlets with a pot of mashed broad beans

Lamb chops with smoky aubergine salad

Lamb chops with grilled aubergines on a plate

See our lamb chops recipe collection for more inspiration.

Find more tasty lamb recipes...

How to cook lamb
What to do with leftover lamb
Cheap cuts: How to buy lamb
How to French trim a rack of lamb
How to prepare a leg of lamb
Lamb recipe collection
Healthy lamb recipe collection

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