Home-smoked Top Round

I have been curious to see how a cut of beef like top round would taste when smoked like a large cut of beef, like a brisket. So here’s what I found. I started with a ~3lb top round. I seasoned it the same way I do for my briskets – with a 50/50 sea salt and coarse-ground black pepper rub. It went on my Traeger Texas Elite 34 pellet grill, set to 250°F. I let it go for about 3 hours, spritzing it with a bit of water every 30 minutes after the first 90 minutes. There is not a significant amount of intramuscular fat or collagen to dissolve, so it wasn’t necessary to get the internal temperature of the meat all the way up to 205°F. Instead, this is definitely much more of a large steak. So what I was looking for was an internal temperature of ~140F. I checked the meat with my Thermapen MK4 a couple of times leading up to approximately 3 hours. Once it hit 140°F, I pulled it, wrapped it in pink butcher paper and put it in my Yeti cooler to rest for a couple hours. It held it’s temperature very nicely all that time, just like a brisket. When it was time to eat, I sliced it across the grain and served it. I was very happy with the outcome. The flavor and the texture were outstanding. Top round is a reasonably-priced cut of meat. And the cooking time is very doable, even on short notice. I’ll be doing this again and again.

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