A question about cooking extremely thick lamb chops

I just bought some lamb chops from the farmer's market and they are THICK. I'm talking maybe 1.25" thick. I usually cook lamb chops by simply putting them in a very, very hot pan (actually, the griddle built into my range) let them develop a crust, then flip.

In this case, I expect that I'll burn the outside before I get close to cooking the inside to my usual medium-rare. So...

Any ideas as to how to cook them through without burning the outside? (I suppose I could finish them in a 250 degree oven but am trying to avoid the pre-heating and the waste of energy if possible.)

  • Posted by: Peter
  • May 2, 2011


Peter May 2, 2011
Sam1148, feel free to hijack the thread anytime. Thanks to some new code we launched this morning, anyone who's sick of these emails can unsubscribe from notifications from any specific foodpickle question. Just look for the link at the bottom of the email. ;-)

As far as a DIY Sou-vide machine, I've considered it. I've also found that my largest pot, when filled to the brim, when combined with my lowest-powered burner, tends to maintain within 2 or 3 degrees of the perfect sou-vide temp for stea (which I monitor with a remote thermometer). Voila! And even cheaper than $75. See the photo below.
Sam1148 May 2, 2011
A bit of a threadjack. But make magazine did a bit about a $75 DIY sousvide project for the technically inclined.

Peter May 2, 2011
Sam1148, I was thinking of Sous Vide -- I don't have a proper setup but I've used a massive pot, some water and a zip-loc to sous vide a steak once and it was DEE-lish.
Sam1148 May 2, 2011
Even if you don't have a proper sous vide set-up, You could vac bag with seasoning and simmer 6-7 mins or so. Then grill.
FunkyLady May 2, 2011
You could always finish them in a toaster oven to save on energy. I normally finish them at around 300 F...
inpatskitchen May 2, 2011
I'm with aargersi... we did 30 really thick ones on Easter Sunday...I marinate in olive oil, lemon and Greek seasonings.
ChefJune May 2, 2011
I'm in the "brown-em-on top the stove-then-move to-the-oven" school of lamb chops. Only I heat the oven to 400. Get a great sear on each side, then stick your probe thermometer into one of those beauties and set it for the temperature you prefer minus 7 degrees.
aargersi May 2, 2011
Do you have a grill? Do 'em outside! I had two thick little fellers just last night - marinated for a couple hours in red wine, garlic, rosemary and salt. Pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and olive oil, then on to a HOT grill flip and flop, flip and flop again (maybe 2-3 minutes per flop max) - they were a perfect sear on the outside and just a bit pinker than medium inside. DEEEElicious.
Peter May 2, 2011
Thanks, ladies!
Kristen M. May 2, 2011
I'd go with the oven -- but no need to keep it that low, I'd say you finish them at 350.
Peter May 2, 2011
Two lamb chops? It's four baby! Anyway, thanks for the advice. I'll (sigh) fire up the oven.
francesca G. May 2, 2011
Unfortunately I think you're going to need to use your oven too, Peter. I would sear them in a cast iron skillet so you develop a nice crust on each side, and then transfer the pan to the oven at 350 for about 5-8 minutes (or until desired doneness) -- watch 'em like a hawk because I'd hate for you to ruin two perfectly delicious lamb chops.
Recommended by Food52