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"The One" Slow Smoked Lamb Ribs w/ Fennel Rub

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Lamb ribs, rubbed with tasty fennel rub and smoked low and slow for a perfect combination of flavor, aroma, and texture.

Smoked Lamb Ribs with dry rub

I know many people avoid lamb ribs because they tend to be on the fatty side. I personally like the added flavor, but if it bothers you feel free to remove some of the fat before or after cooking. The dried fennel rub is The One and makes for great lamb seasoning providing a subtle anise flavor which is a pleasant surprise to the tangy lamb.

Beats and Eats (music pairing with Lamb Ribs)

Smoked Lamb Ribs Ingredients

This is a simple ingredient list. It's just a rack of ribs plus the dry rub mix. You will be hard-pressed to find ground fennel anywhere, so you'll have to buy fennel seeds and grind them yourself. Don't worry fennel seeds are readily available in most markets/stores. The presence of brown sugar balances the flavor keeping the fennel in check, while also helping with caramelization.

  • Lamb Ribs
  • Fennel Seed
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Brown Sugar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

How To Smoke Lamb Ribs (Step by Step)

This smoked lamb ribs recipe is as simple and hands-off as they come for a barbecue recipe, but don't let this fool you. These ribs are delicious. The fennel rub provides a nice crusty exterior texture while also helping to trap in the juicy succulence of the slow-smoked lamb rib.

You really don't need step by step directions and I feel guilty for calling them out. It's simply rub the ribs with seasoning and slow-smoked a few hours at low temperatures. Keep in mind smoking time will vary depending on grill type.

Step 1: Remove the ribs membrane

Step 2: Season and marinate

smoked Lamb Ribs
Season generously on both sides

Step 3: Smoke slow and low

Slow Smoked Lamb Ribs with Fennel Rub
Smoke for 2-3 hours at 225 degrees F. Times could be longer depending on smoker type. Reserve enough rub to add some more to the finished ribs.

Serving Suggestions

In most parts of the country ribs are slathered in sauce. Trust me when I tell you sauce is absolutely unnecessary for these lamb ribs. However, if you going to ignore my reco and the strongly preferred please refrain from using any commercial sauce. Either try this beet greens salsa or some other herb-based sauce. I like my ribs with either fries or slaw or both. Feel free to pair any of the sides below:

Crispy Oven-Baked Potato Fries

Roasted Mini Potatoes in Chili Lime Sauce

Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges

Tangy Collard Green Slaw

Pear and Fennel Salad

Expert Rib Cooking Tips

  • Definitely remove the thin membrane that covers the bone side of the ribs.
  • To remove the skin take a butter knife and slide it under the bone-side skin creating just enough space to peel the skin away with your hands. The skin will be slick so grabbing with a paper towel will likely be necessary.
  • Be generous with the application of the rub applying to both sides. However do reserve some to add as a finishing touch to ribs once they're done cooking
  • Fennel with its strong licorice flavor profile can be tough to eat when used in too high of quantity, so tread lightly as a little goes a long way.
  • Lamb ribs are fatty, so feel free to trim some of the fat away before cooking.

Where To Find Lamb Ribs

Lamb ribs or "Denver" ribs, as they are called are not easy to find. You'll need a local specialty type grocery store or a butcher. I've been fortunate to live in cities like Chicago and Austin where quality butchers are present.

I bought these beauties from my guys at Salt and Time Butcher Shop in my neighborhood. You gotta start with good product to end with great product. All is not loss if lamb ribs aren't available, as beef or pork are suitable replacements to pair with the rub.

What Kind of Wood Is Best For Smoking Ribs?

I prefer a fruitwood like apple or a hardwood like oak for these ribs. Cherry is also a good pairing with lamb. Whether you have cherry, apple, pear, etc. go with what is available to you. Just don't use mesquite as that super strong flavor will overpower everything else. Checkout this guide for pairing wood with smoked ribs for more detailed breakdown.

For similar recipes you might like try these:

Smoked Jerk Baby Back Ribs

Smoked Beef Ribs

Smoked Rack of Lamb

Smoked Rib Tips

Smoked Pork Ribs w/ African Spice Rub

Smoked Pork Chops

Jerk Smoked Oxtails

Sous Vide Lamb Chops

If you make these delicious smoked lamb ribs or any other from the site, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlist.

Smoked Lamb Ribs with dry rub

Slow-Smoked Lamb Ribs with Fennel Rub

Succulent, tangy and smoked lamb ribs with fennel based rub and sauce.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: BBQ
Servings: 4
Calories: 663kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Equipment

  • Smoker

Ingredients

  • 1 rack Lamb (Denver) Ribs

Spice Rub

  • 1 tablespoon Ground Garlic
  • 2 tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher Salt
  • ½ tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Course Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Fennel
  • ½ tablespoon Brown sugar

Instructions

For the spice rub

  • Combine all spice ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

Prepare the ribs

  • Place rack of ribs meat side down. Remove membrane (thin paper like skin on back of ribs). Easiest way to do this is to use a butter knife to slide under the skin at the middle part of the rack. Once loosened use pliers or a paper towel to slowly pull the membrane away from the ribs.
  • Generously season both sides of the ribs with the rub. Let the ribs sit for an hour in the refrigerator. When ready to cook remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
  • Prepare smoker for indirect smoking. Once temperature of 225 degrees is reached, place ribs in the smoker and close the lid and smoke for 4 hours. I use a rib rack to smoke them upright but if not smoke them bone side down.
  • Remove, let cool. Top off the ribs with an additional application of the rub.

Notes

  • Rub works well on beef and pork ribs as well.
  • Use coarse spice ingredients for more texture

Nutrition

Calories: 663kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 182mg | Sodium: 1934mg | Potassium: 699mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1688IU | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 4mg
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