Smoked Roast Beef Using Eye of Round Roast

smoked eye of round roast on a charcoal grill

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Want to know how to make smoked roast beef on your charcoal grill? This smoked eye of round makes the BEST roast beef for sandwiches or sliced and served with creamy horseradish. And best of all, it’s super easy to make!

Ingredients for Smoked Eye of Round Roast Beef

ingredients to make smoked beef roast
  • eye or round roast, 3 to 4 pounds – The roast that I used was about 3.5 pounds.
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons creamy horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • your favorite steak seasoning
  • salt and pepper

How to Make Smoked Roast Beef on a Charcoal Grill

1. Set up your charcoal grill like a smoker.

No need to have a fancy smoker to make the BEST smoked eye of round roast… You can use your regular old charcoal kettle grill as a smoker, if you set it up the right way. Visit this post to see how to set up your charcoal grill like a smoker, and aim for a temperature of around 250 degrees.

charcoal and wood chunks smoking in a charcoal grill

You can also add a few chunks of any wood that you would normally use for smoking beef. I used apple wood chunks because I was out of hickory.

2. Season your eye of round roast.

While your grill is settling in on the correct temp, season your meat with salt, pepper, and your favorite steak seasoning. I used my homemade seasoning, which is the perfect blend of sweet and spice. Just be sure to season your beef roast liberally because, remember, the eye of round cut is a pretty bland piece of meat because it doesn’t have much fat.

Plus, your roast will probably have a pretty wide diameter and you’re going to be serving it sliced thin, so the only seasoning you will taste is on the outer edges.

Here’s what my beef roast looked like after I seasoned it:

eye of round roast with seasoning

3. Coat your roast with horseradish-mayo mixture.

Since the eye of round roast doesn’t have much fat, you want to add some extra fat yourself… Remember, fat equals flavor!

horseradish mayonnaise mixture in a bowl

Start by mixing together the mayonnaise, horseradish, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl. Then using a spoon, lather that mixture all over your beef roast, coating the meat evenly.

This wet mixture will give your roast MAJOR flavor, plus it will help create a great crust on your smoked beef!

4. Put your beef roast on the grill and smoke at 250 degrees.

Once your roast is seasoned and lathered with that horseradish-mayo goodness, it’s time to put it on the grill. Place your meat away from the charcoal as much as possible, and smoke until you reach the desired doneness. I prefer my beef to be medium rare, so I cooked mine to 120 degrees.

Also, you will be searing your roast as a final step to get a great crust, so don’t smoke it to too high of an internal temp, because the temperature will still raise during the searing process.

eye of round roast smoking on the grill

*Be sure to check out this post to learn about the importance of proper thermometer placement for the perfect smoked meats: How to Use Your Charcoal Grill as a Smoker

The total time on the grill was about 1 hour 30 minutes for me, but your smoked roast beef could take more or less time depending on the size of your roast and your desired doneness. This is where a great two-way thermometer comes in handy!

5. Once your roast reaches the target temp, sear it on all sides.

After you’re done smoking your beef roast on your kettle grill, open the grill lid to allow the coals to get hot. Remember, keeping your grill lid open allows more oxygen to get to your coals, and oxygen is fuel for fire.

Once your coals are hot, move the smoked eye of round roast to the grill grates right above the charcoal and sear the meat on all sides to get a nice char. This takes about 1 minute per side. You want a nice deep color while not burning your crust.

6. Take your smoked beef roast off the grill, and allow it to rest before serving.

After your smoked beef roast is seared on all sides, take it off the grill and transfer it to a plate or cutting board to rest for about 20-30 minutes.

smoked beef roast sliced thin on a cutting board

Then, shave your smoked roast beef as thin as you can, and pile it high on a bun with your favorite toppings. You can also store it in the refrigerator and use it all week long for cold roast beef sandwiches.

FAQs about Smoking a Beef Roast

What kind of roast works best for smoking?

Pretty much any beef roast can be smoked on your grill including chuck roast, rib roast, eye of round roast, top sirloin roast, brisket, or tri-tip roast. You can go here to read more about the difference between these beef roasts.

Heck, you can even smoke a pot roast on your charcoal grill in a cast iron pan with potatoes and carrots, like I did here:

smoked pot roast on the grill

The smoking technique is pretty much the same no matter which cut of beef that you choose. However, some beef will need to cook longer to break down tendons and make it more tender.

What temperature should I cook the beef roast to?

The target temperature will vary based on your preference. Since the eye of round roast is a much leaner cut, I didn’t want to cook it to too high of a temp and have the meat get tough, so I cooked mine to right on the verge between rare and medium rare. Plus, remember that I seared my roast before taking it off the grill so that I could get a nice deep crust… this extra step raises the internal temp also.

I stopped smoking my eye of round roast when it reached 118 degrees, and then I transferred it to the area directly above the coals to sear it.

To smoke your roast to a rare temp, aim for 120 to 125 degrees. For medium rare, smoke it to about 130 to 135 degrees. And remember, the temperature of your roast will rise about 5 degrees while it is resting, so be careful not to overcook it.

How long does it take to smoke an eye of round beef roast?

The time needed to smoke your roast beef will vary depending on the size of your roast, the temperature of your meat when you put it on the grill, and the temperature of your grill.

I like to take my beef out of the refrigerator about an hour before I put it on the grill, so that I’m not putting it on the grill ice cold.

The eye of round roast that I smoked was about 3.5 pounds, it had been sitting out of the refrigerator for 1 hour, and my grill was about 250 degrees (though sometimes it would reach as high as 280 degrees). With all of those conditions, my beef roast was done cooking in about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

How can I serve the smoked eye of round beef?

Since eye of round is a really lean cut of beef, it can get tough when cooking. So to combat this, I like to serve it sliced thin. Here are some ideas for what to do with your smoked roast beef:

  • Keep it simple and serve it sliced thin on a toasted bun with some sliced onion and horseradish cream sauce.
  • Saute some onions and peppers to go with it, and serve it with your favorite melted cheese on a french roll for a play on a cheesesteak sandwich.
  • Add the thinly sliced smoked roast beef to an onion bun with cheddar cheese sauce for a homemade Beef and Cheddar sandwich.
  • Serve your smoked beef roast barbecue style with pickles, coleslaw, sliced onion, and barbecue sauce on a toasted bun.
  • Slice thin and serve warm with a simple homemade horseradish sauce consisting of one part each of creamy style horseradish, mayo, and sour cream. This is my wife’s favorite way to eat it!
smoked beef roast sliced thin on a cutting board

Smoked Eye of Round Roast

Yield: 3-4 pound roast
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

This smoked beef roast is SUPER flavorful, even though it's a lean cut of beef. The secret is in the combination of the dry seasoning and the perfect wet rub! Great for smoked roast beef sandwiches!


  • 3 to 4 lb eye of round roast
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons creamy style horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 spring rosemary, finely chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • your favorite steak seasoning


  1. Set your grill up like a smoker and aim for a grill temp of 250 degrees. Add a few chunks of your favorite smoking wood if you like. Apple wood and hickory are both great choices.
  2. While your grill is heating, season your meat liberally with salt, pepper, and steak seasoning.
  3. Mix together Worcestershire, mayo, dijon mustard, horseradish, minced garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl. Lather the mixture evenly on all sides of your seasoned roast.
  4. Carefully place your roast on your grill, away from the charcoal as much as possible. Smoke with the grill lid down until you reach your desired doneness, or about 120 degrees for medium rare.
  5. Once your roast reaches the desired internal temp, as read by an internal thermometer, open the grill lid to allow the coals to get hot.
  6. Transfer the beef roast to the grill grate area just above the charcoals and sear your roast for 1 minute on each side. You want a deep color, without burning the crust of the roast.
  7. Transfer the roast beef to a cutting board or plate, and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing.
  8. Slice as thin as you can and serve, or store in the refrigerator for roast beef sandwiches.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 52g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Different online calculators may calculate nutritional information differently. Also, the addition of optional ingredients and varying brands and products may change the information. For the most accurate data, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients that you us

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