Sad asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 4 weeks ago

Which tastes better, Grain Fed or Grass Fed Lamb?

So id like to smoke a leg of lamb for the holidays, but i keep finding conflicting information on whether grass fed or grain fed lamb is tastier? My understanding is that Grain fed or grain finished lamb is less gamey, and more tender than grass fed, and that American Lamb is generally tastier and tender than NZ or Australian Lamb. Im not concerned about health crap as this is a holiday meal, i just want to know what tends to taste better?


5 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    With lamb I doubt you would tell a difference between grain fed or grass fed.  If the animal were older and we are talking mutton then there might be a problem with how gamy it is. the gaminess comes from the fat, if you trim off what you can there will be little gaminess. 

    And if you are smoking it I think the smoke aroma and flavor will hide any gaminess there might be. 

  • IvaB
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    Your question brings up the confusing situation that plagues labeling of meat in general.Some labels will say,"grass fed" and they are, BUT the meat in question may be finished with grain.Its' complicated,and I surely can't follow all the BS,but in the end,I doubt I,you,or anyone else could taste any difference.One thing for sure,"grass fed"(?) is always more expensive.

  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Probably not more than 1/10th of the population has sophisticated enough pallets to tell. And for the rest that swear they can? They are also the ones that add orange juice to Very expensive vodka and claim they can tell the difference too-since good vodka has no taste. 

  • Goerge
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Man may try and do better than Mother Nature but he rarely succeeds and as such if you want the most tasty lamb there is you will choose grass feed lamb. Notice I didn't say anything about better. Better is subjective and as such I can't tell you what is better for YOU. The fats in their natural diet contributes to that stronger flavor that almost borders on gamey which some people confuse with gross. Wild game tastes gamey? No way! For those with a more tender constitution/palate they may need man to hand feed them so they may find those fed with some grain more tasty to their taste buds. 

    So you are half right in my opinion. A higher concentration of grains in their diet will lighten the flavor but the higher amounts of fats in their natural diet will lead to more fat marbling and as such more tender, if the chef knows his lamb but the real key to tenderness is the lamb's age and of course the cut of meat but you have a whole leg with multiple cuts.

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    You're not roasting a rack.   You're smoking a leg.   It isn't going to matter one bit as long as you don't buy mutton.

    Depending on your smoking method, you may partially dry it out.  

    If you want a truly tender no-knife-necessary leg, put it in a pressure cooker. 

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