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Revealed: The Formula for the Perfect Leg of Lamb This Easter — and Why Scientists Say You Should Let It Rest for a Full HOUR

  • Researchers say supermarkets don’t provide the best preparation guidelines
  • Roast lamb should be removed from the oven early and allowed to rest for an hour

Easter is synonymous with lighter evenings, chocolate and of course the ultimate Sunday lunch.

But if you really want to impress your family and friends on Sunday, you may need to rethink the way you cook your leg of lamb, experts say.

Researchers have warned that the country is likely to serve dry and tough meat as supermarkets fail to provide the best cooking guidelines.

And to achieve perfection, it must be removed from the oven early and allowed to rest for a full hour – quadrupling the usual recommended time.

Thermapen, who carried out the research, said: ‘If you rest a whole leg of lamb in foil, we recommend waiting about an hour before carving.’

If you really want to impress your family and friends on Sunday, you may need to rethink the way you cook your leg of lamb, experts say (stock image)

Lab tests showed that the lamb did not finish cooking or begin to cool until it had been out of the oven for an average of 25 minutes.

This is called ‘carryover cooking’, where the retained heat in the food causes it to continue cooking even after it has been removed from the oven.

The study, conducted by Thermapen – a company that makes cooking thermometers – found that the internal temperature of lamb legs increased by an average of 13°C after they were removed from the oven.

The research could explain why many Easter roasts end up being overdone.

The scientists recommend removing lamb from the oven when the inside is 12°C lower than the temperature required for the desired pink color.

Rare lamb only needs to reach a temperature of 52°C, medium 60°C and well-done 71°C.

Lab tests showed that the lamb did not finish cooking or begin to cool until it had been out of the oven for an average of 25 minutes

Lab tests showed that the lamb did not finish cooking or begin to cool until it had been out of the oven for an average of 25 minutes

The team said home cooks should wait about an hour before carving to allow the meat to reach its maximum temperature and then cool.

This gives the juice time to thicken, she added, creating the desired softness.

A separate study published in the journal Foods found that grilling lamb shanks led to higher scores for tenderness, juiciness, flavor and overall flavor compared to roasted lamb shanks.

The University of New England researchers said: ‘There was a consistent effect of cooking method on consumer scores across the muscle types tested, with grilled muscle pieces yielding higher sensory scores than roasted muscle pieces.’