It’s a more uncommon choice for meals than say, chicken, pork or beef. But lamb is nonetheless delicious and should be part of your constant rotation at the dinner table. Maybe you’ve never cooked it before and feel a little nervous. Here are some of the lamb cooking mistakes you might make and what to do instead. So you get over your 'stage fright'.
I used to eat lamb only during Easter at my family gathering, but it seemed like such a waste that I spend a whole year not having a delicious type of meat that I really enjoy. So I decided to be “brave” and try my hand at it in the kitchen. Let me say that it’s not as hard to cook as it might seem at first. There are a few tricks to it, and this is why we’re here. To learn about lamb cooking mistakes we might make, avoid them, and end up with a delicious dish, succulent, and full of flavor. Here are plenty of things you could be cooking right now!
7 lamb cooking mistakes you might make
1. Choosing boneless cuts
It seems easier to pick a boneless cut of lamb, but you’re missing out on the flavors that bones lend to the lamb meat if you cook them together. During cooking, the bone infuses the bone with deliciousness. Of course, it’s easier to get boneless lamb because you don’t have to carve it. Want to know a secret? It’s not that difficult to carve.
2. Not brining it
Lamb is, after all, a tough meat, so it needs a fair amount of tenderizing before you apply heat to it. This process is very similar to marinating. It involves soaking the meat in salted water for at least an hour up to several days. This makes sure that the meat will remain succulent and moist when you cook it. The parameters depend on how much meat you have. If you are on a low-sodium diet, make sure you use less salt for the task. Because the meat absorbs the salt as well.
3. Cooking it when it’s cold
Like many other varieties of meat, lamb doesn’t turn out so hot (pun intended) when you cook it straight from the fridge. This happens because the heat doesn’t cook the lamb evenly. Remove it and let it rest for a while before you apply heat. Of course, it depends on how large your cut is! It should get to room temperature before you roast it with care and love.
4. Marinating it wrong
It depends on your marinade plan. But the most noteworthy element is that if you use plenty of acidic elements, you risk weakening the proteins of the meat. Start off with a clear marinade recipe for lamb and when you get a bit more experience, deviate as you wish from the formula.
5. Not checking the temperature of the meat
The best way to do this is with a meat thermometer. If you kind of already know how to cook chicken, for instance, you instinctively know how it should smell and look when it is good and done. With lamb, because it’s a bit more foreign, you should be more cautious.
It depends if you like it done or medium rare, so you should measure the temperature to know at what stage it’s at. Medium rare lamb should be at 145 degrees F (62 degrees C), medium done at 160 degrees (71 C), and well done at 170 (76 C).
6. Not letting the meat rest
Don’t cut into the meat immediately after you’ve cooked it. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes, to let its juices distribute evenly. The meat should end up being quite juicy if you do, and too dry if you just grab your knife and fork and dig in.
7. Not cutting against the grain
To get the best tender lamb results, you should carve it against the grain. Not doing that is one of the serious lamb cooking mistakes to avoid. Otherwise, the meat will end to being too tough and hard to chew. What does against the grain mean exactly? Don’t cut parallel to the muscle fibers and slice the meat in the opposite direction.