Cooking Lamb at the Campsite: Tips and Recipes

If you're sick of the usual campfire staples—chicken and ground beef—try cooking lamb. The tender and flavorful meat is a barbecue classic in countries from Mongolia and Morocco to Greece and the United States.

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This international favorite is easy to prepare and can bring a whole new flavor to your next campfire dinner.

Souvlaki, a Greek specialty, is skewered lamb (or other meat or fish) with vegetables piled into a puff of pita. It's easy to eat and simple to prepare over a fire. You can also make burgers, kebabs and more. Here's what you need to know before cooking lamb at the campsite.

Tips for Cooking Lamb

If you don't cook with lamb, don't worry. These tips will familiarize you with this meat before your first campfire dinner.

  • If you have access to a mature rosemary shrub, cut and soak woody stalks to use as skewers for lamb. 
  • Have the butcher bone and tie a leg of lamb for roasting for easier slicing and faster cooking. Without bone as a heat conductor, boneless roasts take longer to cook.
  • Make ground lamb patties instead of hamburgers. Season the meat with salt and pepper and fry, broil, or grill them.
  • Doneness preferences for cooking lamb range from rare to well done. However, the FDA recommends cooking it to at least 145 degrees; ground lamb should be 160 degrees.

Try these four recipes to see how this international favorite fares as a campfire dinner.

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Cumin-Coriander Lamb for Two

2 meaty shoulder lamb chops, about 8 ounces each
1 tablespoon each ground coriander and cumin
3 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
Salt, pepper

Serves 2
Trim chops of excess fat and sprinkle lightly with pepper. On a cutting board, mash garlic into a 1/2-teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, mix garlic, herbs and vegetable oil and spread this paste on both sides of the chops. Keep cold for several hours while the flavors blend. Grill or fry the chops until they test 160 to 170 degrees.

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