Learn step by step how to make a smoked bottom round roast on ANY grill or smoker!
This beef roast is seasoned, smoked, then seared to a perfect medium rare.
Whether you've got a Traeger or Pit Boss pellet grill, a Weber Kettle, or a Masterbuilt electric smoker, we've got you covered.
Much like we dressed up our smoked corned beef for St. Patrick's Day, we are going to take this bottom round roast up a notch by adding some great BBQ flavors, wood smoke, and getting the temperature to a perfect medium rare.
We are going to cover:
- How to prep your bottom round for the smoker
- How to set up different grills and smokers for a smoked bottom round
- What temperature to smoke your beef bottom round
- The best wood choices for a smoked bottom round beef roast
- How to know precisely when your smoked bottom round is finished
- How to rest, slice, and serve your perfect smoked bottom round roast.
Wow, that's a lot...so let's get smokin'!
How to Prepare a Bottom Round Beef Roast for the Smoker
Thankfully you won't need to do much of anything to your bottom round roast other than take it out of the package and season it before you smoke it.
There isn't usually too much fat to trim off a bottom round roast, but if there is, you can certainly cut off the excess so that the seasoning penetrates the meat better.
Make sure to always use a good boning knife like this one from Mercer so you don't tear up your beautiful beef roast while trying to trim the fat.
Once the excess fat is trimmed, give it a rub down with a good high smoke point oil so that if you decide to sear it later, the oil doesn't burn.
Top Seasonings for Smoked Bottom Round Beef Roasts
If you REALLY want to use a sugary BBQ rub like Blues Hog, one of our favorites for low and slow cooking, then skip the searing step at the end.
For our recipe below, we use a mixture of kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, cayenne, and fresh minced garlic to form our exterior bark.
If you want a quick store bought rub with NO sugar, then try Bad Byron's Butt Rub. If you read our recipes often, you will see we recommend this one often for sugar free seasoning.
We oil up and season bottom round for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator, before placing it on the smoker.
This gives the salt loads of time to penetrate the meat and really flavor it all the way through.
Best Smoking Wood Choices for Smoked Bottom Round Beef Roast
For a big piece of beef like a smoked bottom round roast, go with something like hickory, alder, or pecan that will compliment the beef well.
If you want to keep it simple and straightforward, choose a lighter smoking wood like oak, apple, or peach.
When in doubt, you can always mix and match your choices together.
Best Times and Temperatures for Smoking a Bottom Round Beef Roast
You will need to watch both your cooking temperature and internal temperatures carefully when smoking the bottom round beef roast.
Grill or Smoker Temperature
We recommend setting up the grill or smoker to cook at 225-250°F INDIRECTLY.
So we are keeping the temperature low to not only keep the meat moist but to also impart as much smoke flavor in the brief time it takes to cook as we can.
Watch the Internal Temperature Closely
You HAVE to use a good instant read meat thermometer to know where the internal temperature is of your smoked bottom round beef roast.
While we have used and recommended ThermoPro for years, lately we have also become big fans of the MEATER leave in thermometer.
It is extremely accurate and has an incredible 165 foot bluetooth range and works right with your smartphone so you don't need to carry a separate controller around with you like many other remote thermometers require.
It's got a great free app that is constantly being updated and even has an algorithm to predict how much longer your type of meat will take to cook based on cooking temperature, target temperature, current internal temperature.
It's like a GPS for your meat!
Anyways, back to our smoked bottom round beef roast.
We are going to slowly bring the internal temperature up to about 125°F, then sear it as hot as we can for about 2 minutes on every side until the internal temperature hits about 131°F and then remove it from the grill or smoker.
You can't do all this without accurate thermometers. There is very little room for error when smoking a lean beef roast like bottom round.
For spot checking throughout the cook, we are particular fans of this one from ThermoPro because of its durability and affordable price.
So keep them handy and use them often.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Bottom Round Beef Roast?
A general guide is that most beef roasts take about 25-30 minutes per pound to smoke at 225°F.
So plan on a 5 lb bottom round beef roast to take about 2 to 2.5 hours to cook to medium rare.
Then add in your searing time and about 30 minutes to let it rest after cooking it before slicing.
Unless you want all those delicious juices running all over your cutting board instead of staying in the meat where you want them, you need to set aside time for the smoked eye of round to rest.
Setting up your Smoker for a Smoked Bottom Round Roast
Vertical or Offset Charcoal Smoker
Fill your firebox or lower charcoal basin with about ¼ a bag of unlit charcoal and create a small hollowed out depression in the center where you can add your lit briquets.
If your smoker comes with a water pan, like the Weber Smokey Mountain, fill the water pan as well to help stabilize the temperature and add moisture to the cooking chamber.
Light a charcoal chimney about ⅓ way with charcoal and wait about 20 minutes for it to fully ignite. You don't want TOO many lit briquests initially or the temperature will get too high too fast and be unmanageable.
Fill your water pan first, then add the lit briquets to the center depression you created.
Keep the dampers about ½ way to ¾ open until the temperature is to about 200°F. Then slowly close them down until you are maintaining a temperature of 225-250°F.
This will obviously take longer on a cold winter day than a hot summer one.
Add 1-2 chunks of smoking wood once the smoker is up to temperature and put your bottom round roast on the cooking grate to smoke.
Propane or Electric Smoker
Propane and electric options are some of the easiest smokers for beginners to start with.
For Propane: Open your gas valve and light the bottom burner. Adjust it to keep the temperature constant at 225° F.
Fill the water tray if there is one.
Need a refresher? Check our our Complete Guide to How to Use a Propane Smoker HERE.
Fill the water tray if there is one.
However, we recently found a great solution.
If you are tired of having to reload fresh wood chips into your electric smoker, especially on longer cooks like with a smoked bottom round beef roast, then check out this Masterbuilt Automatic Slow Smoker Attachment.
It basically burns new fresh wood chips at a constant rate, much like how a pellet grill works, freeing you up to do other things while getting your food nice and smokey!
Fill the pellet hopper with your choice of smoking wood pellets.
Plug in the pellet grill and run it through its start up process.
Once it is creating smoke, turn the temperature to 225° F.
When the pellet grill has come up to temperature, place your bottom round beef roast on the grill grates.
For searing the meat later, don't forget to also throw on your Grill Grates now, preferably over to the side next to the meat to start heating up.
As we've said time and time again, Grill Grates are the perfect, and a necessary, accompaniment to any pellet grill for high heat searing.
Never used a pellet grill before?
Read our ultimate guide to pellet grills to learn why they are so easy and how to set one up for success every time.
Gas or Charcoal Grill
On a charcoal grill you can use wood chunks just like you would in a charcoal smoker.
On a gas grill you will likely need to use a smoker box filled with wood chips, or a pellet tube smoker filled with wood pellets.
Think you need a fancy smoker to smoke food at home? Think again. Great smoked food can be made right on your current gas or charcoal grill.
If you are unfamiliar with these gas grill smoking devices mentioned above, no worries, we have you covered!
Can't decide which is best? Then check out our full comparison guide here.
In the case of a smoked bottom round roast, we would opt for the pellet tube smoker since it will provide you with a longer smoking time without needing to refill multiple times like a smoker box.
However either one will work just fine depending on what you have available.
Set up your gas or charcoal grill for indirect cooking with the burners or a small amount of lit briquets on one side and plan for your meat to be on the other side.
Later, when it is time to sear the meat, we will move it over to the hot side.
Once the temperature of your grill is about 225-250°F, place your wood chunks, smoker box, or pellet tube smoker over the coals or lit burners and once smoke begins coming out, place your meat on the opposite side.
Reverse Searing the Smoked Bottom Round Beef Roast
"Reverse Searing" is just a fancy term for searing your meat at the very end, once it is pretty much all the way cooked through, in order to get a nice crispy exterior crust that you sometimes just can't get from low and slow smoking alone.
Once the internal temperature of the smoked bottom round roast reaches about 125°F, you are going to move it with some tongs to the hot part of the grill, some Grill Grates on a pellet grill, or even just a hot cast iron skillet.
You will need to keep turning the smoked bottom round to get each side seared evenly.
Now, there are several ways to do this depending on what type of grill or smoker you are using.
Gas or Charcoal Grills
These are the easiest grills to reverse sear the bottom round roast on.
When the roast is up to 125°F, simply move it over to the hot side of the grill over the charcoal or the hot burners and crank the heat.
Use a good pair of long handled BBQ tongs to keep the bottom round beef roast continuously rotating and searing on every edge, about 2 minutes per side.
Electric and Propane Smokers
Anything to get a nice searing hot surface to move your smoked bottom round roast to when it's ready.
The hands down BEST way to sear meat on a pellet grill, especially an older model that may not have a built in searing feature, is to use a Grill Grate.
These handy aftermarket pellet grill accessories use the ambient heat of a pellet grill to create a searing hot surface on which to finish your meat hot and fast.
Make sure to measure and choose the right size for your specific pellet grill.
How to Slice a Smoked Bottom Round Beef Roast
Let it Rest
You will then remove the smoked bottom round roast from the hot grill, Grill Grate, or skillet and let it rest on a cutting board.
Do not cover, wrap, or tent with foil when you let meat rest or it will continue to steam and over cook!
Let the smoked bottom round roast rest for about 20-30 minutes before slicing.
Slicing Like a Pro
Make sure to use a good meat slicing knife if you want those ultra thin deli style slices for the best roast beef ever.
We particularly like this meat slicing knife from Mairico.
The outside slices will be more done than the very center if you have people in your house who prefer various levels of doneness to their beef.
Or, if you are serving your smoked bottom round roast as a dinner, go ahead and slice thicker ¼" slices to serve with a jus, horseradish, or cream sauce.
Make sure to only slice what you plan to eat immediately in order to keep the beef roast as moist as possible.
Best Things to Serve on the Side
You can't go wrong with a flavorful jus to make a smoked french dip or a traditional horseradish cream to cut through the richness of the smoked bottom round roast beef.
Hope you enjoy!
Smoked Bottom Round Roast with Horseradish Cream Sauce
- Smoker, Grill or Pellet Grill
- Cutting Board
- Meat Slicing Knife
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Dual Probe Thermometer
- Wood for smoking (chunks, chips, or pellets). Preferably Hickory or Pecan.
- Cast Iron Skillet or Grill Grates for a Pellet grill for searing optional
- 1 Bottom Round Beef Roast About 5 lbs
- 2 tablespoon Cooking Oil High smoke point oil like avocado or grapeseed oil
Savory Beef Rub
- ½ cup Kosher Salt
- ½ cup Black Pepper
- ¼ cup Fresh minced garlic about 10 cloves fresh
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Dried rosemary or can substitute fresh rosemary finely minced
- ½ tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
Horseradish Cream Sauce
- 1 cup Sour cream
- ¼ cup Horseradish
- 1 tablespoon Stone ground or dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon White wine vinegar
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Season the Bottom Round
- Take the bottom round out of the packaging and trim any excess fat present.1 Bottom Round Beef Roast
- Rub with a thin layer of cooking oil.2 tablespoon Cooking Oil
- Mix all the rub ingredients and thoroughly coat the entire outside of the bottom round roast including the sides with the mixture.½ cup Kosher Salt, ½ cup Black Pepper, ¼ cup Fresh minced garlic, 1 tablespoon Paprika, 1 tablespoon Dried rosemary or can substitute fresh rosemary, ½ tablespoon Onion Powder, 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to put on the grill or smoker.
Setup and Start the Grill or Smoker
- Start or light your smoker and bring the temperature up to 225°F. If using a gas or charcoal grill, only light one side and set the grill up for indirect heat.
- If not using a pellet grill, add wood to the smoker using either chunks or a smoker box or pellet tube smoker placed over the hot charcoal or burners on a gas grill.
Smoke the Bottom Round Beef Roast
- Place the bottom round roast in the cooking chamber away from any direct heat. Place a temperature probe into the deepest part of the roast.
- Smoke for about 2 hours until the internal temperature reaches about 120°F.
Prepare the Horseradish Cream
- While the bottom round is smoking, you can prepare the horseradish cream sauce if you wish.
- Combine all the horseradish cream sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to incorporate. Add extra salt as needed.1 cup Sour cream, ¼ cup Horseradish, 1 tablespoon Stone ground or dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt, 1 teaspoon White wine vinegar, Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to serve with the smoked bottom round roast later.
Reverse Sear the Smoked Bottom Round Roast
- Prepare to move the bottom round to the hot side of the grill for reverse searing, or, prepare a hot skillet with cooking oil or Grill Grate on a pellet grill to sear the bottom round when it is ready.
- Once the internal temperature of the smoked bottom round roast reaches 120°F, move the beef roast to the selected place for reverse searing. Rotate about 2 minutes on each side until it is fully seared on all edges.
Remove, Rest, and Slice the Smoked Bottom Round Roast
- Let the smoked bottom round rest on a cutting board, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes.
- Using a good meat slicing knife, slice in about ¼" thick slices. Only slice what you plan to eat so the meat does not dry out.
- Serve immediately with the horseradish cream sauce.