Smoked lamb heads

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Hockeydudde

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jan 31, 2022
409
463
New Mexico
Decided to write this up, since I tried searching and there was very little that come up.
Helped some friends butcher lambs and none of the families wanted the heads. Walked away with 3 skinned heads.
Soaked in a week brine (1/2 cup salt per gallon water) in the fridge for 24 hours. Changed the water once. This is to try to draw out some of the blood and salt the meat.
After a rinse with cold water, I salted with about half of what I estimated they needed. I know that's very un-scientific, but I didn't know how to estimate how much meat there was.

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Smoked with Russian olive at 200-250 until they tempted about 165 F. Took about 3 hours. At that point I put them in a pan in the oven with about 2 cups of water and wrapped with foil.

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275 F for about 1.5 hours. It was past time to eat so I pulled one and shredded off what I could, but they were still under done. Most of the meat was still stuck to the bone.

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The meat I did get off was enjoyed with fresh home made flour tortillas (from a neighbor we have I've of the smoked heads to). Could have used more salt. The meat is so rich it could handle quite a bit of salt.

Luckily I also threw a couple of pork bellies in the smoker at the same time. Smoked them to 195 -197. They turned out great!
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Put the heads back in the oven at 275 for another hour or so. Meat seemed tender, but we went to bed. Tomorrow I'll shred the rest and probably make cabeza tacos.
 
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Uffda.. you are more adventurous than I. Thanks for the story and pictures. I enjoyed it a lot and look forward to how it tastes tomorrow.
 
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Yeah, now that is from my childhood. Roasted heads with fresh tortillas and some green Chile. Wish you would have pulled the tongues and cured them, but still fine as is. Looks delicious and very nice work. My great grandpa liked the eyeballs and grandma loved the brains, I just stuck with cheek meat.
 
We ate half roasted pig’s head at a place in Boston and it was fantastic. I’d be all over this. It’s more common with goat’s heads here in Texas, there’s a strong cabrito culture the closer you are to South Texas.
 
Last night I shredded the meat off. Meat was tender and moist. Rich but relatively mild flavor.
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Served with shredded cabbage, chopped red onion, limes and "Mexican orange sauce" made with home smoked/dehydrated chiles. Never tried this type of sauce before, but it was tasty!
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Between me, my wife and our 4 kids (1 to 7 y.o.) the one and a half heads was enough for dinner but barely. If you are planning for a group I'd plan 2 heads per 3 adults.
 
Yeah, now that is from my childhood. Roasted heads with fresh tortillas and some green Chile. Wish you would have pulled the tongues and cured them, but still fine as is. Looks delicious and very nice work. My great grandpa liked the eyeballs and grandma loved the brains, I just stuck with cheek meat.

Nailed the belly! I'd certainly be in for the cheek meat on the lamp head. I'm not adventurous enough for the eyeballs or brains.
I did try an eye ball for the first time. It was fine eaten with a tortilla. Texture was something between slightly under-rendered fat and gelatin. Not much discernable flavor.
 
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More power to ya HD, Those heads in the smoker would give me a serious case of the heebie jeebies. Especially with the eyes still there, but I have to say the final pics of the meat and plates sure do look good.

Points for sure
Chris
 
More power to ya HD, Those heads in the smoker would give me a serious case of the heebie jeebies. Especially with the eyes still there, but I have to say the final pics of the meat and plates sure do look good.

Points for sure
Chris
Yeah I'm with Chris......I'd eat the plates all day. But please, dont make me look in the smoker! Years ago I worked in a grocery store in a rougher part of town. They always had whole hogs heads in the meat dept. Always wigged me out walking by there with the eyes following me.

Jim
 
Yeah, agree appearances before being shredded are rough, but the meat makes it worth it. If you like shank, but have never tried cheek, it should be on your list to try ASAP.
 
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