grilled lamb legs with pomegranate

Slow-grilled middle eastern lamb leg

Indirect heat is the secret to cook the lamb gently while packing it full of grill-goodness flavor.

Lamb was built for grilling. There’s an otherworldly alchemy that occurs when the fatty lamb is gently coaxed to perfection with live-fire coals. But larger cuts like legs can be slightly trickier to grill – that is, unless you know one little easy secret to setting your grill up for success. Arranging the coals in a circular format to allow for a gentle-but-even ring of heat removes any risk of burning, and still results in an incredible crust.

The prominent flavor in this recipe comes from Za’atar – a traditional middle eastern spice that is bright and herbaceous. It’s not spicy, but rather made primarily from dried herbs and citrusy Sumac, so it has an incredible aroma, too. You can easily buy it online here though a lot of groceries stores do have it these days.

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grilled lamb legs with pomegranate

Slow-grilled middle eastern lamb leg

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  • Author: Jess Pryles


  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (about 3-4 lb)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided into two
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 tbsp. za’tar seasoning


  1. Remove the lamb from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Prepare a chimney full of briquettes. While they are igniting, you can finish the lamb prep.
  3. Drizzle the lamb with half of the olive oil, massaging onto both sides. Then sprinkle the salt evenly over both sides.
  4. In a bowl, combine the remaining oil, za’atar and crushed garlic to make a paste. Smear the paste onto the lamb leg, focusing on keeping the bulk of it on the “top” of the leg.
  5. Dump out the lit coals into the grill, arranging them in a circle along the outside of the grill (leaving a space in the middle).
  6. Place the lamb in the middle of the grill, over the indirect heat.
  7. Adjust the grill vents as needed to maintain a grill temperature of 300-350f, and cook the lamb for approximately two hours, or until it ready 135f internal temperature on a meat thermometer. 
  8. Remove the lamb from the grill, and cover loosely with foil. Rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

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