To make a large smoked beef top round in the 5-7 lb range like the one I recommend below, you'll probably have to speak to the butcher and get them to cut one for you. Most of the pieces in the meat department of your local grocer will be much smaller than this.

Season it up with my Texas style rub recipe (purchase recipes here) and smoke it until it reaches a perfect medium rare for delicious and smoky goodness that won't quit!

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In Texas, beef is king and often the only seasoning used is salt and pepper. My Texas style rub recipe uses coarse ground black pepper, just enough salt and a few other complimentary ingredients to make the perfect Texas style rub that takes this smoked top round as well as any other chunk of beef to it's happy place.

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Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Dry brine: 7-8 hours or overnight
  • Cook Time: 4-5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225-250°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 135-137°F
  • Recommended Wood: Oak
What You’ll Need
Season/Dry Brine the Beef Top Round

6.5 lb top round ready to be brined/seasoned.

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To dry brine is to add salt to the outside of a piece of meat. The salt draws out some of the natural meat juices which then mix with the salt and are drawn back into the meat.

There's a lot of science involved but the main thing is that it works very well on large chunks of beef like this top round.

My process is to coat the meat with my Texas style rub (purchase recipes here) first.

Then, because my Texas style rub recipe (purchase recipes here) has the right amount of salt to season but not enough to actually dry brine the beef perfectly, we add a little more coarse grained kosher salt all over.

Place the top round into a large lidded container or a jumbo zip top bag and put it in the fridge during the brining process.

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Let the meat dry brine in the fridge for at least 4 hours but 7-8 hours is best. Remove the meat from the fridge and it is ready for the smoker.

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Because the meat is so big, the extra salt does not need to be rinsed off.

Note: If you are concerned about it being too salty or you are trying to limit your salt intake, you can dry brine with salt only and then rinse it off under cold water once the brining process is complete. 

You would then add the Texas style rub recipe (purchase recipes here) to the outside of the meat to create a nice crust and to add some flavor to the meat.

Smoke the Top Round

Set up your smoker for cooking at 225-250°F using indirect heat.

If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up with hot water or other liquid of your choice.

Once the smoker is ready, place the meat directly on the smoker grate or you can use a Weber grill pan or Bradley rack to hold it in the smoker and to easily move it back to the kitchen when it's finished cooking.

Keep the smoke going for at least 2 hours if you are using a smoker that uses charcoal, gas or electric for fuel.

I recommend oak for this smoked top round but any smoking wood will work fine.

The cooking process should take about 4-5 hours to reach medium rare but may vary depending on your smoker, how often you open the smoker, the weather, meat thickness and even how cold the meat is when you place it into the smoker.

Here is the meat 4 hours in on my Meadow Creek TS120P wood smoker:

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Be sure to use a digital probe meat thermometer that stays in the meat the entire time it is cooking. I use the “Smoke” by Thermoworks these days for accurate temperatures.

This allows you to keep the lid closed and still know when the meat needs to be removed from the smoker.

If you want to use an instant read such as the Thermapen or the Thermopop, that will work well also.

When the meat reaches about 137°F it has reached medium rare and is the best temperature in my opinion for eating this cut of beef.

Serving the Top Round

Bring the top round into the kitchen and set it on a cutting board, tent some foil over it for about 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing.

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Slice the meat across the grain and serve immediately.

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Serve like steaks with mashed potatoes, corn and green beans or you can slice it into thin strips for fajitas, tacos or even toppings for a salad.

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Read these recent testimonies:

"Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!" ~Peter S.
"I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while." ~Darwyn B.
"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

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Printable Recipe

Smoked Beef Top Round
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Author: Jeff Phillips
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Smoked beef top round, like most beef, does extremely well in the smoker. It can be cut up like steaks or into strips for use on tacos, salads, fajitas, etc.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Coat beef with Jeff's Texas style rub
  2. Add more coarse kosher salt to the meat to help with the dry brining process. See picture in web version of recipe to estimate proper coverage.
  3. Place top round into lidded container and place into fridge overnight.
  4. When the brining process is complete, remove the top round from the fridge and set aside.
  5. Set up smoker for cooking at about 225-250°F with indirect heat.
  6. Place the meat on the smoker grate and let it cook for 4-5 hours or until it reaches medium rare (137°F)
  7. Use oak smoke for best results but any smoking wood will work fine.
  8. Add smoke for at least 2 hours.
  9. When the meat is finished cooking, let it rest for about 10 minutes then slice into steaks or strips.

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

5 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Seth May 15, 2017 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    Dumb question: When the recipe says to add smoke for 2 hours, that means 2 or 4-5 hours of the total medium rare cooking time, NOT an additional 2 hours, right?

    • Jeff Phillips May 16, 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      You are correct. This time is given for those who do not have wood or pellet smokers. It just means they can add wood chips/chunks for only 2 hours if they like. Longer is fine and more closely simulates a real wood smoker providing there is plenty of airflow into and out of the smoker.

  2. Danny October 7, 2016 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Hey Jeff what would cooking time be if the roast size was 25 to 30 lbs I’m looking to feed up to 50 people . Would you cut the roast into smaller pieces for lower cooking time

  3. Stephanie Reagan May 29, 2016 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Amazing!!!! Even though I cooked it a tad to long it still was great!

  4. Andy May 25, 2016 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Smoked Beef Top Round -Outstanding.
    I got the butcher at the Farm Fresh to cut a 5 lb roast size hunk of the top round. I followed the instructions and the meat was absolutely perfect. 137 degrees after 4 1/2 hours gave us a juicy medium rare beef. Sliced thin, we’ll have great sandwiches for a couple days. Thanks!

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