We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Difference between Mutton and Lamb?

By C.B. Fox
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Mutton and lamb are both meats that come from the sheep, though the texture and flavor of these meats sets them apart from one another. Lamb describes a young sheep, whether it is still alive or has been slaughtered for use in a meal. The flavor of lamb is fairly mild and the texture, when the meat is prepared correctly, is delicate. An adult sheep is butchered in order to make mutton, a meat with a gamier flavor and a chewier consistency.

The main difference between mutton and lamb is the age of the animal from which the meat comes from. Lambs are young sheep and are butchered for their meat before their first birthday. Older sheep are butchered to make mutton, usually after they are two years old. In some parts of the world, there is a third category of sheep meat called hogget that is taken from a sheep between the ages of one and two.

Another difference between mutton and lamb is the flavor of the meat. In general, the younger a sheep is, the milder its flavor, and very young lambs of only a month or so are enjoyed in some parts of the world for this quality. As the sheep ages, enzymes build up in the muscle tissue, causing the meat to take on a distinctive flavor that is unique to these animals. Domestic sheep are not as gamey as wild animals, such as deer or boar, but the mutton taken from sheep older than a few years will have a rather strong flavor. Flavorful dishes may make use mutton, which complements pungent ingredients like garlic and mint well.

The texture of the meat is another way in which mutton and lamb differ. Though lambs, like other similar animals, can stand and walk soon after birth, they are quite weak for a while after they are born. Younger animals have a more delicately textured meat because they have not had time to build up muscle or tendon tissue. As the sheep age, the meat will toughen, making mutton ideal for use in slow-cooked dishes, such as stews.

The color of the meat of a sheep will also change as the sheep ages. Lambs have lightly colored meat, while adult sheep have dark red meat. This difference in coloration between mutton and lamb can be useful when people are trying to determine the age of the animal the meat came from before purchasing it.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.