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Original poster
Apr 7, 2007
Fallbrook CA
One of my all-time favorite dishes is a Greek disk called 'Kleftiko" - the word means stolen as they used to steal the lamb and than bake a shoulder in a sealed smoke-filled oven so the smoke wouldn't give them away.

I've had lamb shanks done the same way so I decided to try and use the smoker to create the disk. Used a simple overnight marinade of olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Got the smoker to 240 with charcoal briquettes (all I had at the time) then added a lump of mesquite and let the lamb smoke gently at around 230 for two hours.

It was as tough as shoe leather
however it was cooked and there was a definite smoke ring in the meat which I could taste as well.

So where did I go wrong
I suspect it needed to be smoked (or maybe wrapped in foil and cooked) for several hours.

Anyone got any ideas on doing this dish?


Sounds to me like it didn't cook long enough. I think I'd've tried a milder wood as well, but that's just me. I hear pecan is good with lamb.

Hi Mike,

Thanks - I'll definitely give it longer, a lot longer, next time. And you are right the mesquite was a bit strong but the only other wood I had was oak.

I'll give pecan a try, thanks

I currently use hickory and CHERRY. Will be moving on to hickory and apple when my stash runs out. I've a free source of apple from an orchard in Iowa City. Pre-heating my wood on top of the firebox helps BIGTIME, and when the free wood starts rolling in, I'm gonna pre-burn to get even better results....

I can't use hickory - my wife is allergic to it
Apple might work, although there's not a lot of apple wood around here - it's all citrus which is useless.
On the contrary,citrus is an excellent wood for smoking,I used it all the time when I lived in FL.It works well with fish,poultry,and pork.It is a mild tangy flavor which doesnt overpower your product.Many marinades call for lemon or lime juice and the citrus wood will give you a similar taste.Id give my right arm for a truck load of citrus wood seeing on how its pretty scarce here in WV.Ive told the story here on the forum of how for four years I raised from seed six grapefruit trees just to use it foe smoking.When the trees started hitting the cieling in the house I cut it up and used it,David.
Thanks for that - I'm sure many of my neighbors would gladly give you a truck load - you would just need to drive about 4,000 miles round trip
i was lookin' @ yer cooking method. maybe 230-240 was too hot. i'd go 200 for lamb(depending on the size of meat)- say 2lbs an hour- cut to kabob size- foil & tent w/ 3tsp water & fresh basil) or oven cook for an hour @ 180... that sound like a gyro recipe.
I have to agree with longer cooking time and the oak would have been a better choice in this case.
Pecan would be great as would apple or maple for lamb.
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