How to Smoke a Beef Roast – A Step-by-Step Guide

Smoking a beef roast brings out incredibly rich, juicy and tender meat infused with smoky flavor. While it may seem intimidating, smoking a roast at home is easy with the right techniques. This step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know to smoke a perfect beef roast.

Overview of Beef Roasts for Smoking

There are several great beef roast options for smoking:

  • Chuck roast – Shoulder cut that’s like a smaller brisket. Excellent for slicing or pulling.

  • Rib roast – Cut from the rib with great marbling. Best for carving thick slices.

  • Rump roast – Leaner roast from the rump or round. Good for thin slices.

  • Top round – Also a lean roast that’s ideal for carving.

  • Eye of round – Small, cylindrical roast that’s very lean. Nice for sandwiches.

The best roasts for smoking have good marbling which keeps them juicy. Leaner roasts need care to prevent drying out.

Step 1: Prepare the Roast

  • Start with a 2-5 lb roast graded USDA Choice or Prime.

  • Pat dry and lightly coat with oil or mustard to help the rub adhere.

  • Optional: Sprinkle with salt and let rest overnight in the fridge to dry brine.

Step 2: Apply a Dry Rub

  • Use a spice rub with salt, pepper and spices like garlic, onion and paprika.

  • Generously season the roast but don’t coat it completely so smoke can penetrate.

  • Let the rub sit for at least an hour before smoking.

Step 3: Prepare the Smoker

  • Set up smoker for indirect cooking, maintaining 225-250°F.

  • Use wood chips, chunks or pellets – oak, hickory, pecan and mesquite all work well.

  • Have a drip pan filled with water to regulate temperature.

  • Insert a digital meat probe into the thickest part of the roast.

Step 4: Smoke the Roast

  • Place seasoned roast in smoker with probe inserted.

  • Smoke at 225-250°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 135-145°F.

  • Time will vary based on size, about 30-40 minutes per pound.

  • Spritz with apple juice or broth every 45 minutes if desired.

Step 5: Wrap and Continue Cooking

  • Once roast hits 135-145°F, wrap tightly in foil or butcher paper.

  • Return to smoker and cook until 205°F for pulled roast or 135-145°F for sliced roast.

  • After wrapping, roast should take 1-2 more hours.

Step 6: Rest and Slice the Roast

  • Remove roast and let rest wrapped for 1-2 hours.

  • This allows juices to reabsorb for maximum tenderness.

  • For pulled roast, shred with forks once rested.

  • For sliced roast, thinly slice across the grain once cooled slightly.

Smoking Tips and Techniques

Follow these tips for the best results when smoking a beef roast at home:

  • Use a meat thermometer – Monitor temperature instead of cooking times for accuracy.

  • Minimize opening the smoker – Quickly spritz if needed, but opening less prevents heat loss.

  • Wrap at stall temp – Wrap roast at 135-145°F when it stalls to keep it moist.

  • Rest sufficiently – Wait 1-2 hours after smoking for juices to redistribute.

  • Slice properly – Cut across the grain for most tender sliced roast.

  • Try different woods – Experiment with woods like hickory, oak, pecan, apple, cherry.

Pair with Bold, Tangy Sides

Smoked beef roast deserves equally bold, tangy sides and sauces:

  • Potato salad – Vinegary potato salad balances the rich meat.

  • Coleslaw – Crisp, creamy slaw cuts through the smoky flavor.

  • Baked beans – Sweet, smoky beans complement roast beautifully.

  • Mac and cheese – Tangy BBQ or pimento mac and cheese tastes amazing.

  • Barbecue sauce – A rich, tomato-based sauce brings welcome acidity.

  • Horseradish cream – Perks up sliced roast with sinus-clearing bite.

With the right preparation, pairings and resting time, you can achieve incredibly tender, juicy and flavorful smoked beef roast right in your own backyard. Experiment with different cuts, rubs and woods to find your favorite roast recipe.

Smoked Roast Beef – How to BBQ Roast Beef (Eye Of Round Roast)


How long does it take to smoke a beef roast?

Preheat smoker to 250°F. Place chuck roast in smoker and smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F to 170°F (4 to 6 hours). Wrap tightly in 2 layers of foil or peach paper and return to smoker until internal temperature reaches 200°F to 205°F (45 minutes to 1 hour).

Should you wrap a roast when smoking?

Reinsert the temperature probe to help monitor the temperature. At this point, you do not need to add any more wood to the coals. Wrapping the meat will stop the chuck roast from taking on any more smoke flavor, and it also allows you to stoke up the heat to finish the cook. It also helps with tenderness.

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