Smoked eye of round with beef au jus is an inexpensive cut of meat that we are going to pack with great flavor and cook with low heat.
The Best Roast: Eye of Round
Eye of round is one of the most underrated cuts of beef when it comes to the world of smoking. However, I am going to show you the best way to cook it, resulting in a tender roast with a BIG beefy flavor that slices like butter.
If you are at the grocery store, and looking for an economical, and affordable cut of beef that’s great for smoking, and will deliver on big beef flavor then don’t sleep on considering an eye of round roast!
I know what you are thinking – Frank, that is a tough cut of beef. Well, that is because it is often poorly prepared and results in super dry beef that is tough to chew.
However, 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 of round has a massive beef flavor!
Speaking of Beef, If you are looking for more beef recipes, checkout Smoked Corned Beef, Smoked Chuck Roast and Texas Style Beef Ribs
Where is the Eye of Round Located?
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 intermuscular tissue.
To break all that down you’ll want to cook this cut low and slow. Not for nothing, but 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.
Is Eye of Round called by any other names?
Yes, eye of round roasts are sometimes labeled as top round roasts at the butcher counter. They are both the same cut of beef from the rear leg of the animal though.
Is Eye of Round the same as Chuck Roast?
Great question, but no eye of round roasts and beef chuck roasts are not the same cut of meat at all, although they are both tougher cuts of meat, and are usually more economical than other cuts.
As we mentioned, round roasts are from the rear leg of the animal, while chuck roasts are cut from the shoulder, and are a bit fattier.
Smoked Eye of Round Ingredients
Meat: 4 lb of eye of round beef.
Seasoning: 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper, ½ tbsp real salt, ½ tsp granulated garlic, and ½ tsp of granulated onion.
Slow Cooking Ingredients: ½ cup of beef broth and ½ stick of butter.
How to Make Eye of Round Recipe
Trim fat. Trim any excess fat on the fat side of the eye round and remove any silver skin.
Brine. To make the brine, follow the directions in the section below.
Season. Prepare the seasoning by combining salt, pepper, onion, and garlic.
Prep meat and smoke. Pat brined beef dry and season the eye of round with the spice blend. Smoke at 225 degrees for 3-4 hrs or until beef reaches 160-170 degrees F.
Wrap and add broth and butter, and continue cooking. Remove your eye of round from the smoker and raise the temperature to 300 degrees F. Double Wrap the Eye Round in aluminum foil with a ½ cup of beef broth and ½ stick of butter added in. Reinsert the probe and return it to the smoker.
Smoke the meat. Cook beef for 3-4 more hrs depending on size until beef reaches an internal temperature of between 205-210 degrees F.
Let meat rest. Open the top of the foil to let the beef rest in the juices until it cools to about 150 degrees F. Before slicing into ¼ inch slices.
Serve and Enjoy. Before serving, pour off the au jus and serve alongside the eye of round.
Brining Eye of Round Roast Before Smoking
Most of the time when you think of brining or curing beef we are discussing brisket to make corned beef or pastrami.
Eye of round can benefit from some of these processes as well. I like to give the eye round an overnight brine using real salt (kosher salt works too), peppercorns (or freshly ground course black pepper), bay leaves, onion powder, and garlic powder.
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 an easy cheat recipe for pastrami check out this recipe.
What to serve with a Beef Eye of Round Roast
Make it a whole meal complete with incredible side dishes! Serve up your tender beef with a side of Sheet Pan Green Beans Almondine with Bacon, Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Bake, or Corn and Avocado Summer Salad- Best Cookout Side Dishes!
Pro-Tip: Don’t forget a nice glass or cup of red wine to finish it off.
Smoking vs Braising
Smoking the Eye Round and then wrapping it 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 to smoking,wrapping the beef will help tenderize and hold in the juices to keep the roast moist.
The addition of beef broth and butter in the foil acts as a flavor booster to really take the roast up a notch.
How to get a Perfect Smoke Ring
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 of 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 of round is wrapped I’ll turn my smoker up to 300 degrees F and cook it until I hit 205-210 degrees F internally.
Resting Before Slicing
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 breathe and cool down a bit. Make sure the beef still sits 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 alongside the eye of round for even more beefy goodness.
Slicing the Roast
You have 2 choices when slicing your eye of 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 differently. If you choose to undercook the eye round then it’s important to slice it as thinly as possible. Or you can use a meat slicer if that would be even better.
If you cook it longer then the goal should be to slice it at pencil thickness just like you would slice a beef brisket.
Cut a slice and take a bite, and if you are happy with the tenderness then keep the slices that thickness. If it’s a little tougher than you would like, slice it thinner and if it’s crumbling, slice it a little bit thicker.
You can dunk the slices in the au jus before serving to make the meat even juicier.
How to Store Leftover Roast Beef
Alright, home cooks and pit kings, you smoked it, you ate it, and now it’s time to save it.
Allow your meat to reach room temperature and then grab an airtight container and toss it in the fridge.
The leftovers will keep for about 3-5 days, in the refrigerator, and you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to save your leftover beef au jus too.
What can I do with my leftover roast beef?
There are so many amazing dishes that you can make with leftover roast beef, that you will be hoping you have some leftovers so that you can try them all!
- Pot Pie with Roast Beef, vegetables, and gravy
- Roast beef sandwiches (don’t forget the Au Jus)
- Roast beef, lettuce, and tomato tortilla roll-ups
- Serve it on top of salad
- Roast beef nachos with cheese, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream
- Chop some up and put it in scrambled eggs or potatoes
Helpful Kitchen Tools
Pan: Don’t want to heavily wrap your meat before adding butter and broth? Consider using an aluminum shallow roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil.
Meat Thermometer: When checking for doneness it is important to be confident in your meat’s temperature. I recommend having an ovenproof thermometer or an instant read thermometer on hand.
More Beefy Inspiration
- Beef Bourguignon
- Beef Heart Satay
- Texas Style Beef Ribs
- Rotisserie Prime Rib
- Grilled Maryland Style Pit Beef
Smoked Eye of Round w/ Au Jus
- Pellet Grill (Rec Tec 700)
- 4 lb Eye Round of Beef
- ½ cup Beef Broth
- ½ stick Butter 4oz.
- ½ tbsp Real Salt
- 1 tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Granulated Garlic
- ½ tsp Granulated Onion
- Trim any excess fat of the eye round and remove any silver skin.
- For Brine Instutions See Recipe Below
- Combine Salt, Pepper, Onion and Garlic
- Pat Brined Beef dry and season the Eye Round with spice blend. Smoke at 225 degrees for 3-4 hrs. Until beef reaches 160-170 degrees F.
- Remove Eye Round from smoker and raise temperature to 300 degrees F. Double Wrap the Eye Round in aluminum foil with a ½ cup of beef broth and ½ stick of butter added in. Re insert probe and return to the smoker.
- Cook beef for 3-4 more hrs depending on size until beef reaches an internal temperature of between 205-210 degrees F.
- Open the top of the foil to let the beef rest in the juices until it cools to about 150 degrees F. Before slicing into ¼ inch slices. Pour off the au jus and serve alongside the Eye of Round.
- ½ Gallon Water
- ½ cup Real Salt
- ¼ Cup Black Peppercorns
- 1 Yellow Onion Peeled rough chopped
- 1 head Garlic Cloves Peeled and smashed
- 6 Bay Leaves
- In a pot bring water, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, onion and garlic to a simmer stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes until salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and add ice cubes until brine is completely chilled. Pour brine over the eye round and store in a sealed container for 8-12 hrs in the fridge.
Really interested in how this turned out? Even w/ the brining, cooking to a temp of 210 and cutting that thick…I can’t imagine how many times you had to chew? Maybe I’m wrong. Cooked 2 last week,…the Medium Rare one, sliced very thin was good. However, the one that creeped up to Medium Well was almost inedible.
its all or nothing, you can slice thin like you did at med rare otherwise you have to treat it like brisket and cook it well beyond well done to break down the muscle fibers. I wrap it so it sit in its own au jus to stay moist. when its done its fork tender and not chewy at all.
Can i did it for a smaller piece.
yes you can use a smaller piece, it will change the cooking time but internal temps will remain the same
Even with the mistakes (no time to brine) and adaptations (wrapped at 140 and finished in the oven) this was the most tender eye of round I have ever raten.
Awesome,glad you enjoyed the post. Eye round is an underrated cut!
I’ve never commented either. This made me want to.
Brined and injected
225 to 148 deg
Cup beef broth half stick butter
Covered foil pan on 300 to 208 deg
Thank your for this instruction!
#5 in your instructions don’t make sense. Why would you cool beef 3-4 hours?
Spelling error, its supposed to say Cook, not cool. thanks for pointing that out. it has been corrected
Perfect smoking technique for eye of round. Works well on my RecTec 700
Thanks!! I love Eye round and this is almost as good as a tasty brisket. So glad you’re Team Rectec as Well!
Have you tried this with a butcher paper wrap instead of foil?
normally I use butcher paper with beef but for this recipe I prefer the foil so I dont lose any of the juices. I pour all the rendered beef juices into a pot and add beef stock to make an au jus to serve along with the eye round to keep it extra moist.
Made this recipe with a few alterations. I already had the meat marinading when I read this recipe. So I skipped the brine. I followed most of the rest of this recipe, but instead of just beef stock in the “wrapped part” I added some of the marinade that I cooked first. The meat was soft and flavorful. My husband said it was the best piece of beef he’s ever had!!
Fantastic!! thank you for the feedback and I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!! I do love that Eye round recipe
I am going to try this recipe tomorrow (sans brine), but my question is what do you estimate in cooking time getting the meat from 160 to 210? I assume there may be a stall like in a brisket. I am trying to predict cooking time, thx!
depending on the size its normally about 2-3 hours. you can also raise the smoker temp once its wrapped to speed it up a bit.
This was my first attempt at smoking meat. Followed your instructions to a “T”,even the brine. Found the eye of round on sale two for one. Came out perfect and tender, nice smoke ring. Glad I have leftovers. Thanks.
Thats fantastic to hear. Eye round is such an underrated cut of Beef. thanks for trying it out and leaving a review.
Well, I’m going
To try this recipe Next weekend for a dinner party. I purchased a 8.5lb so I’m thinking it will take total 10hrs. I have a Komodo style cooker. Will let you know how it turns out.
On a Komodo style it may finish a little quicker so keep an eye on it but it will definitely be tasty. Please keep me posted
We followed this recipe to the letter and it is the best smoked roast we have ever done! My husband was really worried this cut would be tough but it turned out amazing! Thank you!
Love to hear that so glad you enjoyed the recipe.Thank you so much for the 5 star review!!!
I have made this a couple of times now for my In-Laws and my father in law always raves about it. Smoke it on the BGE. I found that when i finished at 206 it was perfect.
I could drink the Au Jus.
I picked up a couple of top sirloin that were on sale. Do you think I will get the same result as the Eye?
Yes a sirloin will be similar but depending on the fat content it will provably be tender at a lower temp. I have a smoked chuck roast recipe on my other website culinarylion.com that I cook more like a brisket.
My new favorite. Did not brine. Injected with beef broth. Coated with Montreal steak seasoning and followed directions from there. Sliced as thin as I could. So juicy and flavorful. Made copycat Arby sauce and ate the 3 pound roast in 3 days by myself. Try it-you will like it.
Thank you!! so glad you enjoyed it!!
I want to make this today. I will have to inject and not brine. What type of wood did you use for your smoke?
I like using a blend most of the time but for beef I normally use hickory, oak or pecan.
Would you use this same method on a bottom.round?
Sure the same method is gonna work on a top round, London broil or a chuck roast.
Dry brined a BIG ol Eye of Round
Took forever to cook (225 smoked to 160F, tight foil wrapped with some wine n beef broth at 300 in over til 199F) rested and sliced.
Best $20 I’ve ever spent!
That sounds awesome!! glad it came out tasty!! love the addition of some wine!!
I skipped the brine because I had already marinated the roast before I found this recipe. Other than that, I followed the directions to the letter.
The meat was tender, but dry. I was disappointed.
Pellet grill king
Not sure what this guy is thinking but you don’t cook anything to 210°? Jesus chicken is what 165. Why would you go another 50° on a roast? Unless you’re looking for beef jerky do not do this. Pull it off at about 150 and let it rest for about 10 minutes
Going to start this recipe tonight when I get home from work. I have an almost 8 lbs eye of round so I obviously need to double everything, but my eye of round has some hard fat on the bottom should I trim this or leave it alone?
You can trim it up a bit but you can leave some fat, it will be fine
Someone tell pellet grill king this isn’t chicken or a steak you don’t cook it to temp you cook it harder to break down the meat. You don’t cook brisket or chuck to 165 you cook it more and let it rest. Some of these pellet guys think they know everything
Yeah, everyone is entitled an opinion but You would have to slice that eye round paper thin at that temperature for it to be tender.
can you use a sirloin tip roast rather than eye of round
I think that would be fine. You may want to cook that more like a chuck roast bit either way will work.
Turned out super, was very windy and cold today so needed longer to finish.
Fantastic, so glad you enjoyed it.
I tried this tonight. I’ve done the rare and I must say it turned out absolutely amazing. Worried all day about the outcome cause I’ve done medium rare and everyone love it but this was great. Never would have thought. Good job. Loved this recipe.
To the “Pellet King”, apparently you’ve never smoked a brisket before.Pull @ 203° and let rest. Same with this cut. Fat renders and tenderizes (for lack of a better word) the tough meat.
Thanks so much for posting this. While I’ve modified it a bit, your plan helped me turn eye of round into a family favorite.
I skip the brine and do a mustard rub, take it up to 160 then, wrap it with Full stick of butter and follow the rest of the instructions.
My 10 year old would never eat any other beef and now requests this. I make it a couple times each month.
I love to hear this!! I think the Eye round is so underrated and Im glad you enjoyed the recipe!! thank you for sharing!!
I have the eye round roast on my Rec Teq Bullseye 380 cook g at 225. Been on for 2.25 hrs and looking good at an internal temp of 142 degrees. I followed the recipe exactly as posted and will continue until the very end. I will follow up with a final comment once my eye round roast has been finished and served to eat. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Instead of wrapping it in foil, could I use a foil pan and cover it? Or would that not keep it moist enough?
Yes that will work just as well if not better
Just up from the table. Excellent way to cook eye of round. We have cooked “low and slow” to 200°F for years. Three hours of smoke added a great depth of flavor. If they are still on sale at Kroger in the morning we will do this again soon.
Awesome, so glad you had a successful cook!!
What type of pellets do you use?
I use the Kingsford Competition blend most of the time
I’m in the process of making this and I’ve got so many questions.
For the Beef Brine;
1. The head garlic cloves. Do you peel it? Do you cut it? Do you crush it?
2. Do you bring the whole concoction to a boil before setting it to simmer? Or just bring it up to a simmer?
3. How long do you simmer it for? An hour? Longer?
4. When you put the beef into the brine do you refrigerate it, let it sit at room temperature, or do you keep adding ice to it to keep it chilled?
For the Smoked Eye Round w/ Au Jus
1. For the garlic in the Spiceology mixture, is it to be garlic salt, granulated garlic or garlic powder?
2. When you mention 1/2 stick of butter, is it a half pound, or 1/8 pound (assuming 4 sticks to a pound of butter)?
I’m excited to see how this turns out. The comments below are so positive.
Thank you for the feedback on the instructions, I went back and updated them so the recipe should be more clear. Hope you try it out.
So I did the brine and was looking to add something to the pot to bring the brine over the top of the meat…we just bought a case of cherry coke so I fit a couple unopened cans would do the trick. I checked the brine a few hours later and the mixture caused one of the cans to pop, haha. I left it be, we will see how a little cherry flavor works out.
that’s an interesting flavor combo, let me know how it turned out!!
Delicious! This is my third time doing this recipe. It’s become quite a hit among my family especially with how tender and flavorful it is. Thanks for this!
that’s awesome, one of my favorite recipes for eye round
I was recommended this blog by way of my cousin.
I’m no longer sure whether or not this post is written by way
of him as nobody else realize such special approximately
my trouble. You’re wonderful! Thank you!
I am smoking 2 eye of rounds (5 1/2 lbs) for Easter. I’m doing them ahead of time and wonder how soon after they are done do they need sliced. I’d like to do it the next day. Thoughts??
I’m smoking 2 eye of rounds for Easter 6lbs apiece. I’d like to smoke them the night before. Will it be ok to wait and slice them the next morning? How would you store them over night? I could probably do it overnight if that would be better. Thoughts?
Eye round is very lean and can dry out. If you have to slice it ahead of time you’ll need to heat the au jus and rehydrate the meat. The total cook time is around 6-7 hours. If you cook them early in the morning you can let them rest and keep them hot in a cooler wrapped in a towel then slice right before serving. Hope that helps
Chris Lane Rocks
This is about affiliate links, would NEVER cook a eye of round this way… unless you like chewing on rubber. Low and slow 225° pull at 135 and wrap in foil. Drop in a cooler for an hour. Your jaw will thank me. Ultra tender melt in your mouth, cut against the grain. Better yet cool down and run it through your slicer.
Its funny you would write a review like this. Ive made this recipe many times and it comes out perfect each time. Im a professionally trained chef who works regularly with my local butcher. Top round can be prepared many different ways but I assure you this is as tender as a brisket
Grillin and chillin
This is the first time I’ve felt compelled to leave a review on a recipe I followed. I was skeptical about getting this cut of meat to such a high internal temp, but it came out fantastic. Made sandwiches with thick slices and you could bite right through the meat. Family loved it. This is my go-to recipe for round roast now.
Thank you, you’re not the first to be skeptical of this recipe but Im glad you gave it a chance!! its my favorite way to cook eye round and Im never looking back!!! Thanks for Sharing!!!
Just bought a wood pellet grill for the first time and this recipe was not only easy to follow but came through with the tender juicy roast with a beautiful smoke ring…I used hickory pellets and the neighbourhood smelled amazing!
thanks for the feedback, what was hard to follow, I can try to better explain the process. Glad it worked out for you!
Trying this recipe out in a few days, I’m stressed and excited about this one! My roast is 8 pounds, how much longer do you think it will take to smoke?
It really won’t take too much longer because its not about the weight as much as it is the diameter. Dont stress. Start early and let it rest if it finishes before you’re ready to serve. Slice it at the last minute and pour over some au jus to keep it moist
I brined overnight and I am about to start up my smoker. Ill be using hickory pellets and I am super excited for this process! I like to smoke the cheaper cuts but as you stated you need to slice super thin for it to be tender. So far I have followed everything to a T. Thank you for the detailed instructions hopefully I dont screw it up!!! When you wrap it do you put the meat in first then pour over the broth? My only worry is leakage from the foil.
If you want you can wrap the roast in an aluminum pan so nothing leeks ( or any oven safe dish)
Just be sure to save the juices to pour over the eye round to keep it moist.
Is the brine with the smashed garlic and rough chopped onion as good as the granulated garlic and onion?
Second meat I cooked on my smoker, followed the directions as posted a d it was perfect. My husband doesn’t have teeth and he was able to eat it no problem, he didn’t even need a knife. Thanks for the recipe.
fantastic!! so happy that it came out perfect for you and the hubby!!
I followed this recipe and it was perfect. Forget the leftovers advice, there were none! Tender and juicy, my family of 5 gobbled it up. The one thing I would leave out is the butter in the au jus, too rich, I would just go with the beef broth the next time.
Awesome always love to hear that!!!
I made this today for our family Christmas get together. Made my own Christmas brine. Followed the rest of the recipe and it turned out great. Family loved it and said I need to make it again
Fantastic!! that can be a tough cut so I’m glad you enjoyed it and it worked out!! Merry Christmas
This worked great! It finished earlier than I expected, so I had to keep it in a warm oven, but even with that it was very tender.
My wife found the eye of round on sale, but doesn’t like anything that looks red in cooked meat. So all the other recipes that said pull and slice at 135 were nonstarters. This worked perfectly.
I dry brined and so kept the salt out of the rub. I also used a little more pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder than your recipe because I had nor wet brined with seasoning. I used a foil pan covered with foil.
I cooked on a Kamado joe and FYI it only took about 6 hours. Also FYI, I do something similar with chuck roast and that is good too!
Thanks for the recipe.
Fantastic!! glad everyone enjoyed it!!