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Exactly How To Reheat Roast Lamb – I Test 7 Methods [Pics]

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly cooked roast lamb, especially during the holidays.

But what do you do with your leftovers?

Is leftover lamb best-served cold? Or is it worth potentially overcooking or drying it out by reheating it?

To put this debate to bed, I’ve tried several different roast lamb reheating methods.

And I’m pleased to inform you that it is entirely possible to reheat roast lamb to moist, succulent perfection.

You just need to work gently.

In this post, I’ll take you through each reheating technique in detail, as well as how best to store your leftovers.

A note on my experiment

Call me a traditionalist, but I love a roast lamb dinner.

Generally speaking, leftovers are par for the course.

This is why I’ve experimented with seven different ways to warm up roast lamb that won’t leave it dry, tough, or overcooked.

The techniques I tried included:

  • In the oven (a hassle-free method that produces good results)
  • In the microwave (convenient and heats meat evenly)
  • In a water bath (slow and not very hot, but no moisture loss)
  • In gravy (great for flavor-infused, saucy meat)
  • In an air fryer (similar to oven but can burn easily)
  • In a skillet (great results but doesn’t heat evenly)
  • In a steamer (best for tender, succulent meat)

The oven method worked well and kept my meat pink and moist on the inside without sacrificing flavor.

Similarly, the microwave kept it succulent without drying it out at all.

My water bath method (sous vide) was a bit hit and miss. The lamb was warm, but only after some trial and error.

Lamb heated in gravy is delicious so long as you don’t overcook it. It can easily turn tough if left for too long.

The air fryer worked really well (much like the oven), but you need to keep an eye not to burn your meat.

The skillet method delivers a nice fried flavor and a crispy outside but can be a bit greasy.

As for the steamer, I would recommend this method for retaining 100% of the flavor and texture of your lamb.

Note: Leftover roast lamb can be eaten cold, provided it is stored safely in the fridge within two hours of cooling.

There is a chance your lamb will have a slightly different flavor when reheated, as the proteins in meat continue to transform as it cools, breaking down the nutrients that impact taste and texture.

Reheating roast lamb in the oven

Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). While it warms up, let your lamb reach room temperature out of the fridge. Drizzle a few spoons of leftover liquid (stock or juices) over the portion you wish to reheat. Wrap your lamb loosely in foil and place it on a wire rack to heat for 15 minutes per pound.

Remove your meat from the oven once its internal temperature has reached just below 145°F (60°C).

To test this, use a temperature probe if you have one. If not, insert a sharp knife into the center of the meat and feel how warm it is when pulled out.

How to reheat roast lamb in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Take your lamb out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature.
  3. Drizzle a spoon or two of leftover stock or cooking juices over your lamb.
  4. Wrap your desired portion loosely in foil.
  5. Place the wrapped lamb on a wire rack.
  6. Warm in the oven for approximately 15 minutes per pound.
  7. Once heated, allow the lamb to rest before serving.

You should always heat roast lamb at a low temperature to prevent recooking it (the aim is just to warm it up).  

If you’re reheating sliced lamb, you won’t need as much time in the oven.

Whole lamb, in turn, should be removed from the oven 5°F to 10°F before reaching your preferred temperature as it will continue to warm while it rests.

Using a wire rack will ensure even heating, whereas a baking sheet may transfer excess heat to only one side of your meat.

Drizzling leftover cooking juice over your lamb portion adds moisture to the meat.

My verdict

I was really happy with the results of this method. My meat was pink and moist and tasted delicious.

This is one of the more versatile, low-fuss methods I tried and is suitable for both sliced and whole lamb leftovers.

Reheating roast lamb in the microwave

Carve your roast lamb into slices and drizzle generously with leftover juices. Place the lamb on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap (pierced with small holes) or a piece of damp paper towel. Microwave on medium in 30-second intervals until hot. Rest for one minute before serving.  

If you don’t have leftover cooking juices handy, you can use water or apple juice instead.

How to reheat roast lamb in the microwave:

  1. Slice up your leftover roast lamb.
  2. Drizzle generously with cooking juices, stock, water, or apple juice.
  3. Place your lamb slices on a microwave-safe plate.
  4. Cover the plate with plastic wrap pierced with small holes or a piece of damp paper towel.
  5. Microwave on medium (50% power) in 30-second intervals until heated through.
  6. Allow your lamb to rest (still covered) for a minute before serving.

Covering your meat with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel traps in steam and keeps your lamb moist.

Monitoring your lamb by warming it in short intervals reduces your risk of accidentally overcooking it.

You only want to warm it up, and it’s ready when it’s warm to the touch.

Avoid reheating big portions at once. Stick to two to three slices at a time to make sure it warms up evenly.  

My verdict

I was pleasantly surprised by the results of this method. My lamb was juicy and pink and didn’t brown at the edges or dry out.

It’s a slow process to avoid overcooking, but well worth it for succulent, evenly-heated results.

Reheating roast lamb in a water bath (sous vide)

Place room temperature roast lamb in a zip-lock bag and remove the excess air by dipping it into water before zipping it shut. Once sealed, rest it in a pot of water warmed to a consistent temperature of roughly 125°F (50°C). Leave your lamb submerged until it is heated evenly.

Depending on whether your lamb is sliced or whole, this may take anywhere from 10 minutes onwards.

At the end of this process, you can sear your lamb in a very hot pan to reinvigorate its outer crust.

How to reheat roast lamb in a water bath:

  1. Allow your leftover lamb to come to room temperature.
  2. Place lamb (sliced or whole) into a heavy-duty zip-lock bag.
  3. Submerge two-thirds of the bag into water to press out the excess air before sealing it.
  4. Bring a pot of water to a consistent temperature of 120°F to 130°F (49°C to 55°C).
  5. Submerge the bag into the water until the meat is evenly warmed.
  6. Optional: Sear your lamb in a hot frying pan to reinvigorate its crust.

Sous vide is the process of warming vacuum-sealed food (bag with the air removed) in a warm water bath.

Generally, hot tap water is warm enough for this purpose, but you may need to replace it several times during the heating process to keep its temperature consistent.

If you’re warming a small portion, just running it under hot tap water for a while should suffice.

You can use a thermometer to test the warmth of the water you’re using.

If you don’t have one, use your finger – it should be uncomfortable to keep it submerged for more than a second but not hot enough to scald you.

Water that is too hot will recook your lamb, which you want to avoid.

There is no exact science as to how long this process will take, and the heating duration will depend on the size of the portion you’re warming up.

My verdict

I have mixed feelings about this method.

On the plus side, because it is an indirect heating method, there is very little risk of ruining the texture or taste of the meat by overcooking it.

However, it’s a slow process, and there is no real way to tell when your meat is warm enough. It’s also difficult to keep the water temperature consistent.

Reheating roast lamb in gravy

Slice room temperature roast lamb into quarter-inch thick pieces. Make or reheat leftover gravy in a pan on the stove. Remove it from the heat once it reaches a simmer. Then, submerge your lamb slices in the gravy. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes and serve immediately.

Using leftover cooking juices from your roast lamb will elevate the flavor of your meal, but stock or fresh gravy works just as well.

How to reheat roast lamb in gravy:

  1. Let your leftover lamb reach room temperature out of the fridge.
  2. Cut it into quarter-inch thick slices.
  3. On medium heat on the stove, bring fresh or leftover gravy to a simmer.
  4. Remove your gravy from the heat and add your sliced lamb.
  5. Allow the lamb to warm for 1 to 2 minutes and then serve immediately.

Your gravy shouldn’t be boiling when you submerge your lamb slices, as this will overcook your meat.

Furthermore, don’t let your meat sit in the gravy for too long before serving, as it may form a skin on top.

A good stir at the halfway mark will help with even heating.

My verdict

This is a great method if you’re looking to add some flavor to your meat.

The infused-gravy taste is delicious, and the meat stays nice and moist and tender (though not piping hot).

I would recommend this technique if you’re planning to serve your meat with gravy.

Reheating roast lamb in an air fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 300°F (150°C). Cut (room temperature) roast lamb into one-inch-thick slices. Drizzle the slices with stock or cooking juices and wrap them loosely in foil. Place the foil parcel in the fryer basket and heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

In the air fryer, it’s easier to reheat sliced lamb. Whole portions tend to heat unevenly (cold center) and develop tough outer edges.

How to reheat roast lamb in an air fryer:

  1. Let your roast lamb reach room temperature out of the fridge.
  2. Slice it into one-inch-thick pieces.
  3. Set your air fryer to 300°F (150°C).
  4. Drizzle leftover cooking juices or stock over your meat slices and wrap them loosely in foil.
  5. Place your lamb into the fryer basket and heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.

Adding moisture to the meat goes a long way to keeping it soft and moist.

That being said, it’s easy to overcook lamb in an air fryer, so it’s a good idea to check the temperature of the meat halfway.

Use a meat thermometer or insert a knife tip and feel how warm it is when you pull it out.

My verdict

This method is convenient and produces good results. However, my meat was a little overcooked and quite tough.

This is likely due to the strong direct heat of the fryer. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this as the best way to reheat tender roast meat like lamb.

Reheating roast lamb in a skillet

Heat a small amount of oil or fat in a skillet on high heat. Slice room temperature lamb into one-inch-thick pieces and flash fry it for a few seconds on both sides. Once seared, drain off excess grease on a piece of paper towel and serve immediately.

Be careful of using too much oil as this can be messy and will make your meat greasy. A tablespoon or two is adequate.

Furthermore, you must get your oil temperature to a good hot heat. It should sizzle immediately as the meat hits the pan.

My verdict

This method can work well if you’re careful, but I prefer techniques that heat more evenly. It wasn’t my favorite.

I found that while the inside of each slice was only lukewarm, the outside browned (seared) to a significant extent.

Thinner slices would likely work better but risk becoming overcooked.

Reheating roast lamb by steaming it

Set up your steamer or construct one using a wire rack, sieve, or colander, and a pot. Mix a poaching liquid using stock and herbs and bring it to a simmer. Add thinly sliced room temperature lamb to the steamer basket and heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

The steam from the poaching liquid will be hot enough to heat your meat quickly, so you don’t need to leave it for too long.

Thinner slices work better for this method and won’t cook the meat too much on the outside.

My verdict

While it may be a bit of a hassle, this is the best method for keeping your meat flavorful and tender.

It cooked a tiny bit on the outside, but not enough to harm the taste or texture.

I would definitely recommend this method.  

What to do with leftover lamb

There is so much you can do with roast lamb. From salads to sandwiches, let’s look at a few options for using up your leftovers.

Leftover roast lamb curry: Curry may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of roast lamb, but you’ll be amazed at how you can transform your leftovers with some spices, onion, and garlic. Perfect for a cold winter’s evening.

Crispy roast lamb salad: Feta, red onion, fresh baby greens, and tomato compliment roast lamb to perfection in a crisp summer salad. Fry up bite-sized pieces of lamb coated in a little cornflour for amplified crunch, and then toss it all together with a balsamic dressing.

Gourmet roast lamb sandwiches: I’ll keep this brief. What could be better than fresh wholewheat bread, a thick slice of cheese, cherry tomatoes, spicy pickles, and a topping of roast lamb? Plowmen, eat your hearts out.

Greek roast lamb pita with tzatziki: Roast lamb can be used in much the same way as gyro meat for a Mediterranean-inspired pita with lettuce, tomato, and fresh, creamy tzatziki.

Roast lamb Sloppy Joes: Make the ultimate comfort food by finely chopping your roast lamb leftovers and frying them up with some onion, tomato, garlic, mustard, seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. Serve on a fresh hamburger bun.

How to store roast lamb

You should store roast lamb within two hours of cooling it to room temperature. To keep it fresh for as long as possible, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Use your leftover roast lamb within three days of cooking it.

Slicing your lamb can speed up the cooling process but may also dry it out slightly.

To alleviate some dryness, you can drizzle cooking juices or stock over your meat before reheating it.

For this reason, you may want to store the juice from your roast lamb (in a separate container) in the fridge as well.

Can you freeze roast lamb?

Roast lamb is okay to freeze for up to two months. It needs to be portioned and wrapped first in plastic wrap and then tightly in foil. This will help to prevent freezer burn and retain its best quality. It’s a good idea to label your frozen lamb with the date, so you know by when to use it.

How to freeze roast lamb:

  1. Slice up whole roast lamb into portions.
  2. Once it has reached room temperature, wrap each portion in plastic wrap.
  3. Next, double-wrap the lamb in a tightly sealed foil layer.
  4. Store in the freezer and use within two months.

You can freeze leftover lamb whole, but it takes much longer to freeze and thaw. I would avoid doing this.

Once defrosted, you cannot refreeze frozen roast lamb.

How to thaw roast lamb

The best way to thaw roast lamb is overnight in the fridge. If you’re in a hurry, you can run it under warm water to speed up the reheating process.

You can also use your microwave’s defrost setting, but go slowly and carefully to avoid overcooking your meat.

Once thawed, you can reheat your roast lamb using any of the methods above.

Exactly How To Reheat Roast Lamb

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to reheat your roast lamb.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Servings 1 person
Calories 266 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion roast lamb
  • 1 portion stock or cooking juices

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • Take your lamb out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature.
  • Drizzle a spoon or two of leftover stock or cooking juices over your lamb.
  • Wrap your desired portion loosely in foil.
  • Place the wrapped lamb on a wire rack.
  • Warm in the oven for approximately 15 minutes per pound.
  • Once heated, allow the lamb to rest before serving.

Notes

You should always heat roast lamb at a low temperature to prevent recooking it (the aim is just to warm it up).
If you’re reheating sliced lamb, you won’t need as much time in the oven.
Whole lamb, in turn, should be removed from the oven 5°F to 10°F before reaching your preferred temperature as it will continue to warm while it rests.
Using a wire rack will ensure even heating, whereas a baking sheet may transfer excess heat to only one side of your meat.
Drizzling leftover cooking juice over your lamb portion adds moisture to the meat.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 266kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating




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