Is there a rule of thumb for the weight or cut?

I'd prefer to err on the side of well-done, as I want to serve it to my toddler.

  • I'm an ex-veggie, please excuse what might seem a simple question to others!
    – Louisa
    Jan 30, 2011 at 22:24

3 Answers 3


Treat it like beef steak. Super-hot pan, slap it on, keep pressing it with your finger, when it feels very firm, it's well done; about 5-6 minutes a side in general but it will depend on thickness; the finger test never lies. Let it rest for a few minutes after cooking.

  • 1
    Lamb is one of the few meats that taste and eats even better when well done (referring to free range grass feed or wild lamb)
    – TFD
    Jan 31, 2011 at 1:09
  • @TFD Not sure I agree with that. Rare lamb chops are a beautiful thing. Slow cooked beef is a beautiful thing. Pork needs to be well cooked.
    – slim
    Jan 31, 2011 at 13:39
  • I agree, slim. I don't like my lamb as rare as my beef, but I do like it pink. Well done lamb toughens up just like beef. Jan 31, 2011 at 15:00
  • Hey, most food is a matter of taste :) I always think a kiwi lamb chop well grilled on a smokey wood BBQ is just perfect. It's sort of like the difference between crispy grilled or just pan cooked bacon
    – TFD
    Feb 1, 2011 at 10:04
  • Oh indeed, each to his own. The difference being in this case that crispy bacon is nice, whereas rubberised lamb isn't ;) Just remember that many restaurants have scratty bits of meat in the back of the fridge labelled 'Keep for Well Done'... Feb 1, 2011 at 10:47

If you're going to go for well done, you might want to consider a braise. Sear the steaks on both sides, the add some liquid (red wine, chicken stock) and veggies (onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic), lower the heat and cover. Cook until it is falling apart tender. It's not necessarily the best way to do a steak, but since you are already going to well done, which tends to make a steak tough, this will give you well done, but tender.

The above is not exactly a recipe, but a technique, you can find any number of braises that will work for you.

  • That sounds nice, thanks. Not quite the way i was thinking i would cook them this time but definately something i will try. How long roughly would it take for it to be nice and tender?
    – Louisa
    Feb 2, 2011 at 9:12
  • Most braises will be a minimum of 40 minutes, but if the simmer is low enough, you can go longer. When I braise in the oven (250F) I go three hours, but that is for tough meats. It depends on whether you want "falling apart" tender, or fork resistant tender. Feb 4, 2011 at 23:34

It really depends on the thickness, temperature of cooking and whether the meat has warmed to room temperature first. Can you give any more details?

I agree for lamb leg you might want to braise for tenderness; however flavor is a different matter. A technique which has the bonus of tenderizing while letting you do a lot of the prep ahead of time may be useful. Seal the meat portions, together with any herbs or marinade, in a ziploc bag with as much air squeezed out as possible. Fill a cooler/icechest with hot tap water, plus a small pot of boiling water. You will get something around 140-160 degrees F (obviously the more boiling water the hotter it will be). Immerse the ziplocs and close up the cooler for 12-24 hours. Depending on how cold your meat is and size/type of the cooler, you will only lose a degree or two per hour. Afterward take it out of the bags, throw it in a very hot pan for a few minutes on each side. The short cooking will mean you dont dry out the meat; the long bath means it can be tenderized.

But don't assume it has to be well done! Tastes vary - my five yr old daughter has always loved rare and still tries to sneak bits of raw meat; my older son likes it so well done it's practically dried out.

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