How to Smoke Bottom Round Roast (Easy Smoked Recipe)

By Autumn Ellenson

Bottom round roast is a flavorful cut of meat that is hugely popular for making roasts, beef jerky, and cold cut to be used for sandwiches. Not only does it taste great, but one roast can be used for many different meals!

The newest trend is to smoke this beef roast over low heat for a long time rather than roast it in a traditional oven. That’s because the smoke adds a layer of flavor that you cannot achieve simply by roasting it.

Many think it is the best way (or only way) to cook this delicious cut of beef. I certainly love smoked bottom round roast… but only if it’s done right!

The following is my guide on how to smoke bottom round roast. I start with what it is and where to buy this flavorful cut of meat. Then I provide an easy-to-make dry rub, a guide for choosing the best wood chips for your smoking process, and a simple recipe that gives mouthwatering results!

What is Beef Bottom Round Roast?

sandwich stacked with thin slices of smoked roast beef and pickle on top

Beef bottom roast cuts come from the back end of the cow, specifically the hind leg and rump. Other cuts from that same area include top round and the eye round.

Sometimes called rump roast, meat from that area can oftentimes be tough because of its low-fat content and marbling. Since they are such lean cuts of meat, many people choose to slow cook their beef in a smoker.

Bottom Round Roast is great for sandwiches and beef jerky

Traditionally, beef bottom round roast is a popular cut for making pot roast and smaller cuts for sandwich making. You can also easily turn tender cuts into beef jerky.

The Difference Between Bottom Round and Top Round Roast

Bottom round and top round roasts are two larger cuts of beef that are easily confused. So, what is the difference?

Both cuts of meat cook well in slow-cooked and moist ways, like in a traditional slow cooker. High temperatures can dry them out. If using a salty dry rub, they can be cooked well on a smoker, too.

While these meat cuts have some similarities, they need to be prepared and treated in different ways.

Top round beef roast is cut from the rear leg or the inside of the “round” of the cattle. But a bottom roast is cut from the outside of the “round.” That difference means that the bottom round is usually a tougher yet leaner cut of beef than the top round roast.

The Best Place to Buy Bottom Round Roast

rows of various meat cuts in butcher department at grocery store

Finding a bottom roast can be a little harder to do than other, more traditional cuts of meat. Many stores do not commonly stock them since they are harder to sell.

The best way to find this cut of beef is to ask at the meat counter at your favorite store. If they do not typically sell them, they may be able to order one for you.

Otherwise, go to your local butcher shop. If they don’t have it in stock, they should be able to place an order for you.

Choosing the Best Wood Chips

Most people agree that the best wood chips to use to smoke your beef bottom roast is oak. I tend to agree…

However, the fun part of smoking is trying out different flavor combinations. The most popular wood chips may not be the flavor that you love most. Do not be afraid to try different wood chips the next time you smoke a roast!

Tip: Break your wood chips in smaller chunks for a more-even cook and smoky flavor

Breaking your chips into smaller wood chunks helps cook your roast more evenly because it burns more steadily at that low temperature. It can also help infuse more of the oak smoke flavor into your meat.

Dry Brine for Your Roast

A good, salty dry brine can help offset the leanness of a bottom roast, keeping it more moist and tender. It can also help elevate the natural flavors of the meat.

  • use about 1/2 tsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt per pound of beef

If you simply want to dry brine your beef for tenderness, then coat it with the salt evenly and place it in a dutch oven in the fridge for at least two hours. Doing the dry brine the night before is even better!

If you want to elevate the flavor of the meat even more, consider adding a good dry spice rub…

Dry Rub for Your Roast

bottom round roast in metal pan coated with yellow mustard and dry rub

This is my go-to dry rub when I smoke roasts. It’s quick and easy and I usually have all of the ingredients in my pantry.

Dry rub ingredients for a 3-pound beef bottom:

  • 1 tbs fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Coat the meat in yellow mustard, if desired. Pat the dry spice rub onto the roast before smoking.

Cook Time & Temperature

The bottom roast takes approximately 30-40 minutes per pound of beef when smoked at 225 degrees F. For a 3-pound beef cut, it takes about 90 – 120 minutes smoke time to reach a safe, internal temperature of 130 degrees F. That gives you medium-rare doneness.

Beef Bottom Round Roast Recipe

I can’t tell you how to smoke bottom round roast and not give you a great recipe. So, here it is, as promised. This easy recipe includes my go-to dry rub and all the steps to get a deliciously smoky result!

Ingredients

  • 3 lb beef bottom round roast
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard

Dry Rub

  • 1 tbs fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

raw bottom round roast on cutting board with coarse salt and pepper

1. Prepare the roast overnight or at least two hours ahead by applying a layer of kosher salt to all sides of the beef. Place it in the refrigerator overnight or for two hours minimum. When getting ready to smoke your roast, take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before smoking. This will let the meat get to room temperature before you cook (resulting in a more even cook).

Tip: Remove roast from fridge at least 30 minutes prior to smoking for a more even cook

2. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Set it up for indirect or slow cooking, and add the wood chips you chose to the chamber.

3. In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients.

4. Coat the roast with a thin layer of prepared yellow mustard, then pat on the dry spice rub covering all sides of the meat.

5. Once the smoker reaches the proper temp, place the roast onto the smoker racks. Place the digital thermometer (if you are using one) inside the thickest cut of meat, until it reaches the halfway point. Close the lid or door and smoke the beef for approximately two hours, until the probe thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F.

6. Remove the bottom roast from the smoker and tent it with aluminum foil.

7. Slice the beef into thin pieces using a sharp knife. Enjoy your meal!

Bonus tip: Use leftover slices for BBQ beef sandwiches. Or, dry to make flavorful beef jerky!

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