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.
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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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- 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
- Beef top round, 5-7 lb
- Kosher salt, coarse grained
- Jeff’s Texas style rub recipe (purchase recipes here)
6.5 lb top round ready to be brined/seasoned.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slice the meat across the grain and serve immediately.
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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- Beef top round, 5-7 lb
- Kosher salt, coarse grained
- Jeff’s Texas style rub recipe
- Coat beef with Jeff's Texas style rub
- 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.
- Place top round into lidded container and place into fridge overnight.
- When the brining process is complete, remove the top round from the fridge and set aside.
- Set up smoker for cooking at about 225-250°F with indirect heat.
- Place the meat on the smoker grate and let it cook for 4-5 hours or until it reaches medium rare (137°F)
- Use oak smoke for best results but any smoking wood will work fine.
- Add smoke for at least 2 hours.
- When the meat is finished cooking, let it rest for about 10 minutes then slice into steaks or strips.