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posted April 22, 2020

Smoked Roast Beef: Deli Style

This Smoked Roast Beef recipe will change the way you cook roast beef forever! Slow, smoke-roasted and sliced thin, you’ll want this for Sunday supper and then sliced thin on sandwiches for the rest of the week.

Slices of smoked roast beef on a wood cutting board with decorative text.

What is Smoked Roast Beef?

This smoked roast beef recipe makes the perfect Sunday roast and the leftovers become the most delicious deli style roast beef! This method produces a perfectly pink, medium rare roast beef, packed with flavor and a kiss of wood smoke. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy, a some grilled green beans and fresh rolls for a classic roast beef dinner you’ll come back to over and over again. 

The best thing about this roast recipe may be the leftovers. Chilled and sliced thin, this smoked roast beef makes the most unbelievable sandwiches. You are slow roasting a whole muscle, which means no food binders, no preservatives, no added sugars, nitrates, nitrites, artificial caramel coloring, or anything else you don’t want on your plate or in your sandwich. This is as clean as you can get, with more flavor than you can imagine. French dips or cold subs, you’ll never have better roast beef between two slices of bread.

Best Cuts to Use

In this recipe, I recommend using an eye of round roast. The tight grain of muscle and lack of excess fat makes it perfect for slicing thin and serving warm or chilled. Other great cuts to use would include a sirloin tip roast, a tri tip roast, top round roast, tenderloin roast, or a top sirloin petite. These cuts are similar in size and weight and are ideal cooked to medium rare and sliced thin. They will have great beefy flavor and a tender texture when sliced against the grain.

How to Make Smoked Roast Beef

You start by seasoning your beef roast. I recommend using my Signature Beef Seasoning (2020 NBBQA 1st place beef seasoning!) because it is the perfect complement to smoky beef. Next, you slow smoke your eye of round roast (typically 2-3 lbs) until the internal temperature is to the doneness you like. Make sure you own a great internal thermometer so you can track the temperature of your roast during this first slow roasting step.

We like our roast beef pretty rare, so I cook to 120 degrees F during the first step. If you want closer to medium, cook to 130 internal temperature. Medium well, cook to 145 degrees F. Eye of round is a pretty lean roast and if you cook it any higher than medium, you will have a pretty dry roast. I don’t recommend cooking this type of roast beef to well done.

For the second step, the roast gets a hot hot sear on the outside to add flavor and finish cooking. This is what gives you that gorgeous dark exterior to add contrast along the edges of each slice.


Tips for Smoked Roast Beef

  • -Once your roast is done, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing if you are serving it hot.
  • -If you want to slice your roast thin for sandwiches, let the roast chill thoroughly before slicing. You can slice thin with a sharp knife if you don’t have a meat slicer.
  • -Place your slices in freezer bags and store in the fridge for use within a week or in your freezer and use within a month or two. Delicious in French dip sandwiches!

Hopefully you guys will see how truly simple this is to do at home and how much MONEY you can save over buying stuff from the deli counter at the store. If you have any questions, hesitations, need a cheerleader or advice, leave a comment below I’m always happy to help!

More Ways to Make Smoked Roast Beef:

If you can’t get enough smoky roast beef in your life, I’ve got a few delicious recipes for you to try!

Smoked Beef Tenderloin with White Wine Mushroom Gravy
Garlic Butter Smoked Prime Rib Roast
Smoked Mississippi Pot Roast
Pulled Beef Chuck Roast

Smoked Roast Beef Recipe

deli style roast beef

Homemade Deli Style Roast Beef

Susie Bulloch (
This Smoked Roast Beef recipe will change the way you cook roast beef forever! Slow, smoke-roasted and sliced thin, you’ll want this for Sunday supper and then sliced thin on sandwiches for the rest of the week.
4.92 from 12 votes
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 2 hrs
Total Time : 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 321kcal



  • 1 2-3 lb eye of round roast


  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F with a hardwood like oak, hickory, or pecan.
  • Season the eye of round roast liberally on all sides with the beef seasoning.
  • Place the roast directly on the grill grates or in a roasting pan, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees for rare roast beef.
  • Remove the roast from the grill and increase the temperature to High (around 450-500 degrees) or preheat a cast iron pan on your stove top to High. Place the roast on the hot grill or pan and sear for 2-3 minutes per side until the roast is nice and dark all around.
  • Remove the roast from the heat and rest for 10 minutes. Slice thin against the grain and serve. For any leftovers, allow the roast to cool until it stops steaming, then cover and place in the refrigerator until chilled (I leave it overnight). Once chilled through, slice thin and serve on sandwiches.


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 773mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 5mg
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