The main difference between lamb and mutton is that lamb is the raw meat from a sheep that is less than one year old, while mutton is the raw meat taken from a sheep that is older than one year (1-3 years old.)
Generally, lamb meat consists of a little fat content than mutton. Lamb meat can vary in color from a tender pink to a pale red, while mutton takes an intense red color and contains a considerable amount of fat. In addition, mutton has a quite powerful flavor compared to lamb.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Lamb
– Definition, Features, Cooking
2. What is Mutton
– Definition, Features, Cooking
3. Similarities Between Lamb and Mutton
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Lamb and Mutton
– Comparison of Key Differences
Lamb, Mutton, Sheep, Meat
What is Lamb
Lamb is the fresh meat from a sheep that is usually less than one year old. Compared to mutton, there is a little fat content in lamb. Lamb meat can have a colour range extending from a tender pink to a pale red. Lamb meat taken from a less than 3-month-old sheep is called spring lamb. Spring lamb has an extremely tender texture. However, compared to regular lamb, the flavor of spring lamb is quite mild.
The three most cooking methods in preparing lamb are braising, roasting and grilling. If you plan to use lamb inside your burger or if you are into lamb chops, grilling or barbecuing the lamb meat over hot coals would be ideal. It is always better to dry brine and salt the lamb meat for around 40 minutes before cooking. This helps the meat proteins to easily break down.
What is Mutton
In brief, mutton is the meat of a mature sheep between the ages of 1 and 3. When it comes to the texture, mutton is slightly tougher and includes a relatively stronger flavor. For centuries, mutton has been considered a mainstay on menus across Europe and across the Indian sub-continent.
Mutton is usually slow-cooked for a longer period of time in order to make the meat moister and more tender. This also helps the meat to break down the fibers, collagen, and connective tissue. But the stronger and richer taste makes mutton blend well with long braises, creamy stews and spicy sauces.
Similarities Between Lamb and Mutton
- Lamb and mutton refer to the raw meat from the sheep.
- Both lamb and mutton are rich in protein and contain fat.
- The two types of meat are used for cooking a variety of delicacies both in continental and oriental cuisine.
Difference Between Lamb and Mutton
Lamb refers to the raw meat from a sheep that is less than one year old, while mutton is the raw meat from a matured sheep that is older than one year, typically three years old.
Texture and Flavor
Compared to lamb, mutton has a slightly tougher texture and a bolder flavor.
Lamb usually has a pink to pale red color, while mutton has a deep red color to it.
The fat content of mutton is higher than lamb, as mutton is more mature meat.
Best Culinary Techniques
Lamb is most frequently grilled, roasted or braised while mutton is always slow-cooked for a longer period in order to make the meat more tender.
In brief, the main difference between lamb and mutton is that lamb is the fresh meat from a sheep that is less than one year old while mutton is the raw meat taken from a matured sheep that is older than one year. Therefore, these two types of meat differ in their texture and flavour as the maturity of the animal affects the tenderness and the taste of particular meat.
1. “Lamb.” BBC Good Food.
2. Mushahary, Sonali. “12 Special Mutton Delicacies You Must Try out On Bakr Eid.” ScoopWhoop, 18 June 2016.