Meat and Poultry

When does a Lamb Become Mutton?

By Sara . Updated: January 27, 2021
When does a Lamb Become Mutton?

For the preparation of a perfect dish, choosing the right ingredients are extremely necessary. In the culinary world there are too many ingredients and being able to differentiate between them is important. Two most confused ingredients in the meat section are lamb and mutton. In this OneHowTo article we will tell you when a lamb becomes mutton.

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  1. Lamb and mutton meat
  2. Difference between lamb and mutton meat
  3. Best lamb meat

Lamb and mutton meat

The source of both lamb meat and mutton is domestic sheep. Even though both meats are from the same source, the difference is due to the age of the sheep. Lamb meat is obtained from sheep whose age is less than one year. Mutton is the meat of those sheep which are at least one year old.

To get lamb meat, sheep are slaughtered between the age of four and twelve months. The meat of sheep from the age of 5 months and 6 months are sold as spring lambs and those which are 6 to 10 months old are baby lamb. The best lamb meat is the pre-sale. Those sheep which are slaughtered in between 12 to 20 months of age, their meat is called mutton or yearling mutton.

Difference between lamb and mutton meat

When you are going to market to buy meat then you must be a bit careful. Stores often sell low priced mutton as the high price lamb meat. But you can avoid from being duped by keeping in mind the differences between lamb meat and mutton.

  • When you keep a piece of lamb meat and mutton beside each other, then the difference in color is quite apparent. Mutton has a deeper color than lamb. The color of lamb meat ranges from light pink to dark pink. The color of mutton is light red to dark red.
  • Mutton has a stronger flavor than lamb meat. Lamb meat has a mild subtle flavor. Milk fed lamb has a very delicate flavor.
  • Lamb meat is tender and it is usually served roasted. One of the most popular lamb recipe is lamb chops. It is stewed and then put into combination dishes such as lamb couscous. Lamb meat also has less fat than the mutton. Ground lamb is often used in recipe as a substitute for ground beef. The mutton is tougher than the lamb meat. It is usually stewed to tenderize the meat.
When does a Lamb Become Mutton? - Difference between lamb and mutton meat

Best lamb meat

Most people believe that lamb pré-salé is the best and finest lamb in the world. The wonderful, delicate flavor of this lamb meat is due to the grass that it grazes in the salty shores of Brittany and Normandy.

If you want to read similar articles to When does a Lamb Become Mutton?, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

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1 comment
Correction needed to comment made about lamb 6 to 10 month old, not years
OneHowTo Editor
Sorry for the typo, it has been fixed. Thank you!
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When does a Lamb Become Mutton?