How Much Does a Rack of Lamb Cost?

Last Updated on February 9, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Rack of lamb is a classic gourmet meat that is popular for special occasions and holiday meals. With its rich, fatty taste and elegant presentation when served, it’s no wonder why cooks love working with this unique cut of meat.

However, the price tag might surprise some customers browsing the meat counter or butcher shop. Understanding the typical cost of a rack of lamb is key for meal planning and budgeting purposes. Read on to learn what impacts the price and how you can get the best deal on rack of lamb.

The cost of rack of lamb can vary quite a bit based on the source and quality of the meat. Factors like whether it is organic, pasture-raised, imported or domestic, and any processing or trimming done by the butcher can all affect the retail price.

Generally speaking, a full 7-bone rack of lamb from a specialty butcher or high-end grocery store will cost between $30 and $60. The price per pound is usually in the range of $15 to $25.


  • Full racks range $30 to $60, or $15 to $25 per pound at retail.
  • Higher prices are charged for premium quality lamb that is organic, imported, or out of season.
  • Check stores for holiday sales, buy conventional lamb, and purchase in bulk to save.
  • With planning, rack of lamb can work into most cooking budgets 2-3 times a year.

How Much Does a Rack of Lamb Cost?

Let’s break down the typical pricing in more detail:

  • At the grocery store, a full rack of lamb costs $40 to $60. The price per pound ranges from $18 to $26.
  • From a specialty butcher shop, expect to pay $30 to $50 for a rack, or $15 to $22 per pound.
  • Organic or pasture-raised racks can cost $10 to $15 more than conventional lamb.
  • Ordering a whole lamb for butchering offers the biggest bulk discount – figure around $7 to $12 per pound.
  • Individual lamb chops are perfect for small households. These range from $14 to $18 per pound at retail.

The Meat King sells a rack of lamb at $14.99 per pound. The item is priced by the pound, and the estimated cost is provided for each rack, with a minimum order of 1 rack. The whole rack is approximately 1+1/2 pounds.

Red Barn Meats Inc offers a rack of lamb at $10.99 per pound. They provide pickup or local delivery only and note that orders will be fulfilled as close as possible to the requested volume, with the total cost being slightly over or under the requested amount.

At Olivier’s Butchery, the price for a whole rack of lamb is estimated to be $33.00 per pound. Customers can pre-pay 50% of their order and pay the remaining balance based on the final weight in the store. The classic seasoning includes salt, black pepper, olive oil, thyme, and slices of garlic.

New York Steak lists the price for a rack of lamb at $549.00. However, it’s important to note that this price may be for a specific quantity or type of rack of lamb, as it is significantly higher than the other reported prices.

Allen Brothers provides all-natural rack of lamb from a domestic source, known for its superior flavor and tenderness. The website does not specify a price but emphasizes the high quality of the product.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Rack of Lamb

Type of Lamb

Rack of Lamb RecipeHigher quality specialty lamb that is organic or grass-fed will be on the pricier side. The cost to raise lamb in a free-range, natural environment is higher than conventional methods. Expect to pay a premium for the best quality, ethically raised lamb.

Seasonal Variations

Spring is when supply is most abundant, as this is the peak season for lamb. Prices tend to be lower during this season. Come fall and winter, the cost per pound often increases due to lower supply.

Location and Local Trends

Unsurprisingly, racks from areas like New Zealand and Australia that export premium lamb can be pricier. Butchers and grocers based in areas with many specialty food shops and discerning customers may also charge more if demand is high.

Tips for Buying a Lamb Rack

Follow these tips to find the best deals when purchasing rack of lamb:

  • Check circulars for grocery store specials, often timed with major holidays like Easter.
  • Buy in the off-season – lamb is cheaper in the fall than spring.
  • Develop a relationship with a local butcher for custom cutting deals.
  • Consider splitting a whole lamb with friends if you have freezer space. This can save around 30%.
  • Opt for domestic lamb instead of imported and conventional over organic to save money.

You might also like our articles about the cost of ground turkey, venison, or filet mignon.

Budgeting for Your Culinary Needs

With some planning, you can work rack of lamb into your cooking budget:

  • Make rack the star of a holiday meal 2-3 times per year when prices drop.
  • Get creative with rack alternates like lamb shanks or shoulder to save.
  • Stretch a rack by cutting between bones for individual chops.
  • Cook once, eat twice by repurposing leftovers into sandwiches, fried rice, etc.
  • Purchase freezer-friendly cuts like ground lamb when finding deals.

Final Words

Don’t be scared off by the rack of lamb price tag. With the right shopping strategies, it can be an affordable gourmet treat! Test different retailers and cuts to find savings. Your holiday meals will feel that much more special.

How does rack of lamb taste?

Rack of lamb has a uniquely rich, meaty taste that is both savory and slightly sweet. The ribs are well-marbled with fat, which gives the meat a more robust flavor when cooked. Rack also has a fine-grained texture and roasts up juicy and tender.

The taste can vary depending on how it is prepared. Quick-cooking methods like grilling, broiling or sautéing over high heat bring out the meaty depth of flavor. Slow roasting tenderizes the meat even further and provides a more unctuous mouthfeel.

Overall, the taste is quintessential lamb – nutty, herbaceous and distinctly savory. The cut’s generous fat content ensures you get the most concentrated experience of classic lamb flavor. It’s a red meat lover’s dream.

Do you eat the fat on rack of lamb?

Yes, the fatty outer rim of rack of lamb is considered by many to be the tastiest part and should absolutely be eaten. This fat cap bastes the meat during cooking, keeping it tender and adding rich lamb flavor. The fat crisps up beautifully when roasted or grilled.

Some chefs recommend peeling back the outer membrane on the fat cap before cooking. This helps the fat render down evenly. But the fat itself should never be trimmed off or wasted.

The interior fat marbling lamb rack is also full of flavor. Allowing the meat to rest after cooking helps redistribute the melted fat throughout.

While fat has gotten a bad nutritional reputation, the reality is fat equals flavor. So when cooking rack of lamb, be sure to indulge – not avoid – those delicious fatty bits for the best taste.

Is rack of lamb worth it?

Yes, rack of lamb is absolutely worth the higher price tag for special occasions or when you crave an incredible mouthwatering meal. The unique, fatty cut delivers a rich lamb experience you simply can’t replicate with other cheaper cuts.

The meat is extremely tender and flavorful when properly cooked. From a presentation perspective, an elegant rack of lamb makes a dramatic, visually stunning centerpiece to wow dinner guests.

While everyday cooking may call for more budget-friendly lamb pieces, a special rack is a worthwhile splurge for gourmet meals around the holidays or intimate dinners any time of year. Investing extra on high-quality meat guarantees satisfaction.

For lamb lovers, a perfectly roasted or grilled rack is a cook’s masterpiece and well worth the cost.

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