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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 and smoke it until it reaches a perfect medium rare for delicious and smoky goodness that won't quit!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Dry brine: 8-10 hours
- Cook Time: 4-5 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225-250°F
- Meat Finish Temp: 130°F
- Recommended Wood: Oak
- Beef top round, 5-7 lb
- Kosher salt, coarse grained
- Jeff's Texas style rub
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.
My process is to coat the meat with my Texas style rub first.
Then, because my Texas style rub 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 overnight for best results. 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.
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 (130°F) 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 barbecue smoker:
This allows you to keep the lid closed and still know when the meat needs to be removed from the smoker.
When the meat reaches 130°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.
Smoked Beef Top Round
- Beef top round (5-7 lb)
- Kosher salt (coarse grained)
- Jeff's Texas style rub
- 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 (130°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.