Looking for a cheap cut of meat that’s great for smoking? Eye Round is a tough cut of beef that’s often prepared poorly turning out either too tough or too dry.
With a little bit of attention this tough cut can give your Texas brisket a run for its money. Slow braised in beef au jus and butter this eye round has massive beef flavor!
The Eye of Round Roast is located on the back leg of the cow and at first glance looks very similar to the tenderloin.
That being said it’s an extremely tough cut of beef because of its constant movement and being a weight bearing muscle of the animal. It is very lean with lots of connective inter muscular tissue.
To break all that down you’ll want to cook this cut low and slow. Not for nothing another big advantage of the eye round is the price.
Eye round is often on sale at local markets and in my research almost always cheaper than brisket.
Most of the time when you think of brining or curing beef we are discussing brisket to make corned beef or pastrami.
Eye Round can benefit from some of these processes as well. I like to give the eye round an overnight brine using Real Salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, onion and garlic.
The beef will turn a pale color but don’t worry, it won’t affect the final product other than making it more tender and juicy. For a easy cheat recipe for pastrami check out this recipe.
Smoking the Eye Round then wrapping in foil gives you the best of both worlds.
You get the beautiful smoke ring and flavor that you want with beef roasts. In addition wrapping the beef will help tenderize and hold in the juices to keep the roast a Moist.
The addition of beef broth and butter in the foil acts as a flavor booster to really take the roast up a notch.
To achieve a perfect smoke ring start the beef roast at a lower temperature around 225 for the first 3-4 hrs. Once the eye round has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. It’s really taken on all the smoke that it can.
Then you can wrap it up and raise the temperature after that. Once the eye round is wrapped I’ll turn my smoker up to 300 degrees F and cook it until I hit 205-210 degrees F. Internally.
This is the key to your success or failure in this recipe. You’ve been cooking all day and you’re hungry but don’t let your impatience get the best of you.
At 205-210 degrees F. the beef has pushed out a lot of juices but it can reabsorb those juices if you give it time. Plus if you cut it while it’s that hot it will probably tear and crumble when slicing.
Open the foil carefully on top so the beef can breath and cool down a bit. Make sure the beef still sit in its own au jus. Let the beef cool down for 30-45 minutes until it hits an internal temperature of 150 degrees.
It will still be hot and ready to eat but it will be perfectly moist as well. Pour off that leftover au jus in a bowl to serve along side the eye round for even more beefy goodness.
You have 2 choices when slicing your eye round. You can cook it less and retain more moisture but have it be tougher. Option two, you can cook it a little longer and have it be a lot more tender.
Both methods work but need to be sliced completely different. If you choose to undercook the eye round then its important to slice as thin as possible. If you have a meat slicer that would be even better.
If you cook it longer then the goal should be to slice at pencil thickness just like you would slice a beef brisket. Cut a slice and take a bite if you are happy with the tenderness then keep the slices that thickness. If its tough slice thinner and if its crumbling slice thicker.
You can dunk the slices in the au jus before serving to make the meat even juicier.
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