Tender smoked eye of round makes a surprisingly tasty roast beef sandwich. Great for Sunday dinner or a holiday meal!
Y’all, the smoked roast beef sandwiches we make from the smoked eye of round roast are STUPID GOOD!
When you bite into this sandwich, the crisp crunch of the onion collides with the creaminess of the Swiss cheese and tiger sauce that blankets the warm and tender smoked beef roast on a toasted bun. It’s absolute sandwich heaven!
David and I were inspired by Baltimore pit beef sandwiches we learned about on an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America. The roast beef sandwiches are made of fire-roasted beef shaved and stacked high on a bun with sliced onion and Baltimore Tiger Sauce.
The Baltimore Tiger Sauce is of German origin, a creamy horseradish sauce made with mayonnaise, sour cream, and mustard. I’m not sure where this sauce has been all these years, but we plan on using it for many more beef recipes and maybe even prime rib.
This easy, inexpensive sandwich recipe may be a holiday meal or a special occasion you want to serve your friends and family.
What Is Eye of Round Roast?
Eye of round roast, also known as round eye pot roast, is a primal cut from the cow’s hind legs between the rump and rear shank. The roast is cut from the elongated muscle located in the center of the round. This is why the cut gets the name “eye of round.” This muscle is used a lot, making it lean and tough.
The eye of round needs to be cooked very low and slow to become tender. It’s perfect for roast beef!
Is The Eye Of Round Roast Expensive?
The average cost will vary greatly depending on where you live. I got lucky and found this whole eye of a round on sale for $2.99 a pound. This roast would typically cost $35, but I purchased it for under $15—a steal, given the skyrocketing meat prices nowadays. Eye round is truly a bargain deal.
What If I Can’t Find An Eye Of Round Roast?
If you cannot find an eye of round, top round and bottom round are suitable substitutes. All three cuts are taken from the rump and hind leg of the steer (round primal). Each is pretty lean and becomes tough if overcooked. Slow cooking is ideal for making them tender and smoking low and slow!
How To Prepare Whole Eye of Round Roast For Smoking
Our whole eye of round roast weighed 4.715 pounds before trimming and cutting.
- Remove Fat and Silverskin: On this particular cut of meat, you want to trim off all of the excess silver skin. The roast can come with patches of fat which generally is where the flavor is, but on this particular cut, there is silverskin between the fat and lean meat, which is chewy and will not render, so trim as much off as possible.
- Trim the Tapered End: You also want to make this roast as uniform as possible so that it will cook evenly. Trim off the tapered end and reserve it for soups or stews later.
What Seasoning Works Best?
For this recipe, we used a vibrant and flavorful Brazillian Steakhouse Seasoning. It adds a savory depth of flavor to beef with deep, earthy notes and pungent aromatics like onion and garlic. We also used Worcestershire sauce as a binder for the rub.
Substitutes: If you don’t have any Brazillian Steakhouse Seasoning on hand, use your favorite beef dry rub or equal parts salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
The Worcestershire sauce doesn’t add much taste to the meat. You can substitute with oil or mustard or refrain from using a binder.
What Wood Is Best for Smoking Eye of Round
This is our first recipe using hickory smoke on beef, and it certainly won’t be our last!
We chose hickory wood chunks because it provides a rather pungent but sweet taste to the meat. Since the beef is not smoked for very long, it can take all the smoke you can give it in a short amount of cooking time.
Other wood options for smoking beef:
How Long Does It Take To Smoke An Eye of Round Roast?
It should take 1.5-2 hours at 225-225 degrees F to smoke a 3-pound eye of round roast until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. Remember, it is more important to concentrate on the internal temperature than the time.
David used his Weber kettle grill set up with a 3-Zone Fire, using grill baskets on each side to hold the charcoal and wood. Each basket should have about 8-10 hot briquettes with a chunk of smoking wood on each side. Setting up the grill this way allows the roast to cook evenly without flipping it around. If your heat source is one-sided, flip the roast when the temperature reaches 60-90 degrees F internally, and turn the meat around so both sides of the roast spend equal time towards the hot coals.
Use the chart below to help you determine when to pull the roast off the grill, pellet grill, or smoker.
Beef Temperature Cooking Chart
|Pull Temp(After Smoking)
|Target Temp(After Searing)
|Medium rare (recommended)
Ingredients Needed To Make the Roast Beef Sandwiches
The recipe card at the end of this post lists the full ingredient list with measurements.
For the Smoked Eye of Round:
- Eye of round roast: 3-4 pounds trimmed. Use a beef bottom round roast or a rump roast if you cannot find the eye of round.
- Binder: (optional) Although a binder does not flavor the meat, we love Worcestershire sauce and use it to bind the rub to the meat. You can use prepared yellow mustard or oil instead.
- Brazilian Steakhouse Seasoning: We use McCormick’s but your favorite dry rub.
For the Roast Beef Sandwiches:
- Steak Rolls: Any buns or sandwich rolls you prefer. Toast with cheese for the ultimate sandwich! French rolls or hoagie rolls work well.
- Cheese: We use lacy Swiss cheese because it melts well and adds creaminess. Feel free to you cheddar, mozzarella, or provolone for even more cheesiness.
- Onion: thinly sliced sweet onion provides a little crunch and melds the flavors of the sauce and meat.
- Sauce: Baltimore Tiger Sauce. Use the recipe to follow, or use another favorite.
Baltimore Tiger Sauce:
- Sour Cream
- Horseradish: Use prepared horseradish. The ingredients in the jar should only be horseradish, vinegar, and salt. Not horseradish sauce that already contains cream, such as mayonnaise or sour cream.
- Mustard Powder: Mustard powder is pure without the addition of vinegar. You can use prepared yellow mustard to taste.
How to Make A Roast Beef Sandwich With Smoked Eye of Round
Here’s a basic overview of how to make smoked roast beef sandwiches. The recipe card at the end of this post provides detailed instructions with times and temperatures.
- Fire Up the grill or smoker.
- Smoke the eye of round roast
- Make the Baltimore Tiger Sauce
- Remove the roast from the grill, wrap it in aluminum foil, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Top the buns with cheese and bake until the cheese melts.
- Build the smoked roast beef sandwich. Slice the meat and serve curled on a toasted steak roll with sliced onions and Baltimore Tiger Sauce.
Tips For Smoking Eye of Round Roast
- Trim the Fat: Remember, there is silver skin under the fat, so everything comes off. You don’t want to have chewy meat.
- Use A Binder: A binder like Worcestershire sauce to ensure the rub sticks to the meat is a good idea but not always necessary.
- Use a thermometer: Small cuts of beef cook quickly, so use a reliable probe meat thermometer from Thermoworks when cooking this roast. Well-done beef is never good.
- Lots of Smoke: This is a very short cook, so pump that beef with lots of smoke. It can take it!
- Make Tiger Sauce Ahead: For best results, make the Baltimore Tiger Sauce at least 30 minutes ahead to allow the flavors to meld.
- Resting Before Slicing: Remove and wrap the beef for 30 minutes before slicing it thin. This ensures it is tender and juicy.
- Slicing: A meat slicer works best, but if you don’t have one, use a sharp knife, take your time, and slice the beef as thin as possible. For best results, store leftover roast beef whole in the refrigerator and slice the next day. Cold beef slices are much easier to cut than warm!
How To Store Homemade Roast Beef?
Allow the beef to cool to room temperature. Wrap the entire roast beef in foil or plastic wrap and place it inside an airtight container.
How Long Does Cooked Roast Beef Keep In The Fridge?
Properly stored, roast beef will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Freeze after four days, wrapped tightly in a freezer bag.
How Do I Reheat the Roast Beef?
It’s almost inevitable that the rare pink roast beef will turn gray and cook even more when warming back up. To reduce doneness, fill the bottom of a skillet with a small amount of water. Heat until it steams over medium-low heat and steam the meat warm; about 3-5 minutes. It may turn gray but will be just as tasty and tender. You can also eat it cold if you prefer.
Serving Roast Beef
Please let us know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! Your feedback keeps us going, and we are always interested to hear what you think about our recipes.
Roast Beef Sandwich Using Smoked Eye of Round
For the Meat:
- 3 pound eye of round roast
- Worcestershire Sauce as a binder (optional), can use mustard or oil instead
- 2 tablespoons Brazilian Steakhouse Seasoning or beef rub of choice
For the Sandwiches:
- 4 Steak Rolls
- 4 Swiss Cheese slices
- ¼ Onion thinly sliced
- Baltimore Tiger Sauce recipe to follow
Baltimore Tiger Sauce:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
Prepare the Roast For Smoking:
- Trim any excess silver skin and fat off of the eye of the round roast. Cut off the tapered end so that the roast is uniformly shaped – reserve for later use.
- Sprinkle the roast liberally with Worcestershire sauce, then add the rub.
Fire Up The Grill Or Smoker:
- Set up the grill or smoker for indirect heat. Preheat to 225-250 degrees F.David used his Weber kettle grill set up with a 3-Zone Fire, using grill baskets on each side to hold the charcoal and wood. Each basket should have about 8-10 hot briquettes with a chunk of smoking wood on each side. Setting up the grill this way allows the roast to cook evenly without having to flip it around. If your heat source is one-sided, flip the roast when the temperature reaches between 60-90 degrees F internal, turn the meat around, so both sides of the roast spend equal time towards the hot coals.
- Place the prepared beef on the grill in the center of the grill or away from direct heat. In a probe thermometer into the thickest portion of the roast. Close lid on grill and monitor temperature. Add more unlit coals and wood as needed to maintain the temperature and smoke.
- Meanwhile, make the Baltimore Tiger Sauce. Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- When the internal temperature is between 125-130 degrees F, remove roast from the grill. Wrap in foil for at least 30 minutes and allow it to rest.
Toast the Bread:
- During the last few minutes of resting the meat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the buns open (if not presliced). Place the buns open-faced on a sheet pan. Cut the slices of cheese in half and lay a slice of cheese on the top and bottom of each bun. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese just begins to melt. Remove and build your sandwich.
Slice and Serve:
- Slice the meat and serve curled on a toasted steak roll with sliced onions and Baltimore Tiger Sauce.