Perfect Smoked Lamb Neck Roast (Or Goat)

A smoked lamb neck recipe can be one of your go-to’s if you have a smoker. It can be a little tricky to work around, but the bone in the center keeps the meat juicy and once you make one, you’ll be hooked.

smoked lamb neck roast recipe served as tacos.
Smoked lamb neck seasoned with tomatillo salsa served on tortillas.

Knowing how to smoke and braise a whole lamb neck roast is a great trick you should keep around, especially if you and your guests or family like tender, pulled meat like shredded pork barbecue sandwiches, or tacos and burritos made with beef barbacoa. Read on and I’ll explain how it’s done, and what you can do with it.

Necks can be tricky if you aren’t used to cooking them, and putting them in a smoker for long periods of time could make them dry out. To make things fool-proof for you here, I’m recommending that you smoke the neck for a couple hours on low heat, and then finish it in the oven with some liquid, which will keep it moist and give you that fall-off-the-bone meat that everyone loves.

smoked lamb neck roast recipe
A smoked lamb neck. You can smoke them in advance and put them in the freezer.

Chef’s Tip

I often smoke lamb, goat, and venison necks beforehand and freeze them. Smoking things like bacon, shanks, bones, and necks beforehand and putting them in the freezer is like having a secret stash of culinary gold to pull from. There’s rarely a soup or stew that wouldn’t benefit from slowly simmering with a smoked neck. They’re particularly good with stews including beans and greens.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef



This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo. He’s a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

How to Make Smoked Lamb Neck

First you season and smoke the necks. After smoking the necks are cooked slowly with a small amount of liquid until the meat falls from the bone, season, and serve. If you season your meat with a dry rub, and it tastes good to you with nothing else done to it after braising—great!

Depending on what I’m making, I may serve the meat plain with a sauce on the side, or I might season it with a little something afterword like barbecue sauce, or spicy tomatillo salsa verde, which is pictured here. I’m sure you can use your instincts and come up with something delicious.

smoked lamb neck roast recipe
Smoked lamb neck roast with charred tortillas, tomatillo salsa verde, watercress salad, and roasted sweet potatoes.

How to Serve Smoked Lamb Neck

There’s so many things you can do with these. Obviously the meat can be pulled and used as pictured and served as tacos or pulled meat. Since they have a bone they’re also great added to soups and stews like you would a smoked pork hock or something similar. Split pea soup and smoked neck chili are two great examples, along with posole.

A bowl of split pea soup made with smoked lamb shanks.
Smoked lamb split pea soup.
Smoked lamb chili in a bowl garnished with scallions, cheese and cilantro.
Smoked lamb chili.

Related Posts

Smoked Lamb Breast

Smoked Lamb Leg (Boneless)

How to Cook Lamb or Goat Neck, with Recipes 

smoked lamb neck roast recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Perfect Smoked Lamb Neck Roast (Or Goat)

Tender, juicy smoked, braised and pulled lamb or goat neck. Great for tacos, barbecue sandwiches, or anywhere you'd like.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time3 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lamb Neck
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 486kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 Smoker


Lamb Neck

Other seasoning ideas (use your favorite)

  • Fresh herbs like chopped rosemary or thyme
  • Dry rub of your choice


Dry-brine the neck

  • Season the meat and refrigerate overnight, covered. Seasoning the meat beforehand is nice, but if you’re short on time feel free to just let it sit, seasoned, for an hour or so before smoking.


  • Smoke the lamb neck at 250F for two hours. From here the neck can be smoked ahead of time and stored for a few days, or frozen.


  • To cook the neck, put the neck in a tall pan that it can fit snugly in, then add an inch of water, cover with a piece of parchment, cover with a lid or wrap tightly with foil and bake for 2 hours at 300, or until fork-tender and falling off the bone.


  • Cool the neck until you can handle it, pick the meat off, discarding and trimming off fat (look for the tendon near the spine, which is chewy) to your taste.


  • Mix the pulled neck with the braising juice, heat, and serve. For an alternate version as pictured in this post, see the other recipe where the pulled meat is mixed with tomatillo salsa verde.


  • By far the most important thing to remember is that the meat needs to be seasoned with salt and fat after being pulled. 
  • Lamb, goat, or venison neck can be used here. The method will also work well with shanks. 
  • The finished meat can be used to make sandwiches, or it can be only smoked for 2 hours and used to make soup, like split pea or black bean soup or lamb chili. 


Serving: 5oz | Calories: 486kcal | Protein: 71g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 225mg | Sodium: 522mg | Potassium: 939mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 7mg