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Hot Smoked Ribeye Roast

One of my favourite cuts of beef is the ribeye roast, in some places also called a cube roll. (in Germany: "hochrippe"; France "noix d'entrecote"; Spain: "bife ancho";)

To make roast beef in your kettle grill is really quite easy. The combination of indirect grilling and hot smoking enables you to slow roast this whole ribeye to perfection without charring the outside.

I bought a 4 pounds cut of Brazilian rib eye in a local supermarket. You can cut more than one beautiful ribeye steak from a cut like this, but this time I went for a juicy beef roast.

Photo of Hot Smoked Rib Roast

A rib eye is tender, very juicy, and has maximum flavour.

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Photo of Brazilian RibEye from the Supermarket Ingredients

For this hot smoked rib roast recipe you will need the following ingredients:

3-4 lbs.
1 teaspoon
2 tablespoons
Beef Rib Roast / Cube Roll (boneless)
Olive Oil (or other type of cooking oil)
Brazos Beef Rub

Brazos Dry Rub Brazos Beef Rub
The Brazos Beef Rub recipe is easy to make: salt and pepper, and a hint of Tex-Mex:
garlic, paprika, rosemary and cummin.

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Preparation of the meat

Brazilian ribeye, ready to receive the Brazos Beef Rub


Photo of Cube Roll, ready to receive a dry rub massage. Rinse the ribeye under cold running water, removing all loose particles, dangling pieces of meat or excess fat; The fat you see on the picture will melt and baste the meat during smoking;


Blot rib eye dry using paper towels; To help the dry rub stick to the meat, spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil evenly over the meat; (This works best using your hands)


Photo of Cube Roll, after a gentle dry rub massage. Work 2 tablespoons of Brazos Dry Rub over the 4 pounds cut of beef, ensuring all sides are evenly covered; I prefer to work the dry rub into the meat using my hands;


I would recommend to leave a solid piece of meat like this cube roll out of the refrigerator for like one hour or so before you plan to put it on the grill;

Juancho's Split Grill

Juancho's Split Grill To obtain sustained lower heat and improved temperature control inside the barbecue, and to increase the grate area and thus to be able to accommodate more meat or larger cuts of meat, I set up my relatively small Weber Grill for indirect grilling on one side as per the method that I call Juancho's Split Grill.

Photo of Ribeye / Cube Roll on the barbecue grate.

Once the barbecue had been set up and pre-heated, I put the ribeye on the grate above the drip pan. I inserted the probe of the electronic thermometer into center of the meat (initial reading was 51F) and closed the lid of the barbecue.

While the top vent holes in the lid will always stay fully open, I closed the bottom vent holes halfway.

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Smoking Temperature ?

During cooking, the heat will obviously penetrate the meat from the outside inwards.

The higher the temperature inside the barbecue, the faster the temperature inside the meat will reach your desired grade of perfection. And the faster the outside of the meat will be dry as the desert, if not jungle night black...

So, the trick is to keep the temperature inside the barbecue at a modest level, and to let the inside of the meat reach the desired temperature slow and easy.

For hot smoking this beef rib roast my goal was to keep the temperature inside the barbecue within the 275F - 325F range (roughly 140-160 degrees celcius).

To check the temperature inside the barbecue stick the probe of a thermometer through one of the top vent holes. By opening and closing the barbecue's bottom vent holes you can keep the temperature inside the barbecue within a certain range. (The top vent holes will always stay fully open)

This may seem very easy, but you have to watch it...

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How Would You Like To Have Your Beef Done ?

A slowfood ribeye will have to cook-and-smoke slowly for an hour and a half to two hours, or longer, until the inside of the meat will have reached perfection.

Perfection? Depends on your preferences. And then there's other things to take into account.

How would you like to have your beef done ?
± 125F
± 145F
± 160F
≥ 170F
Medium Rare   (our preference)
Ruined   (no offense, I mean "well done" ;-)

To keep an eye on the temperature inside the meat I use an electronic thermometer with a probe on a wire.

By monitoring the temperature increase at regular intervals you should also be able to make an estimate of the time when the meat is done to your liking. (However, always remember, to eat on time is not so critical, to drink on time is much more important !!!)

Photo of rib-eye roast on the barbecue grate.

The meat will take a different shape during smoking. This is the same piece of ribeye as shown above under "Preparation of the Meat". Note how it has become shorter and thicker as the meat is cooked.

This is caused by the shrinking of the outside layer of meat which is cooked the most and from which moisture has evaporated during the cooking process.

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Beware of the Afterburner

One thing you should seriously take into account (I mean it!) is that the meat will continue cooking after you take it from the grill.

I call this the "afterburner".

During smoking or grilling, hot gasses flow around the skin of the meat. As a result:


Juices on the outside of the skin will evaporate, causing the skin to dry; and


At the same time, the skin will collect the heat and transfer it to the inside of the meat, causing the meat to cook.

After you take the meat from the heat of the grill, two things will happen:


As the outer skin of the meat will be dryer than the inner core, juices will flow from the inside outwards to the dry skin until evenly spread; and


As the outer skin of the meat will be hotter than the inner core, the temperature will keep flowing from the outside inwards until it is equal. This is the afterburner.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, from my personal experience I can assure you that a 10F - 20F afterburner temperature increase is not exceptional, and it may ruin all your best intentions!

Therefore, my advise is to take the meat off the grill about 15F before it has reached your desired temperature.

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Let's Smoke!

With that lovely ribeye sitting in that black coal-fired microwave, take it easy. Have a drink, have a seat, check the fire, look at that smoke swirling through your backyard.

While you smell that fragrant smoke, read a magazine, listen to your favourite music. Relax.

Keep monitoring the temperature inside your barbecue, and try to resist peeking under the lid too often. Every time you open your smoker you will loose heat, and the cooking process will take longer.

On the other hand, if you have time anyway, what the heck...

Check That Smokey Ribeye

Photo of rib-eye roast on the barbecue grate, thermometer probe in place.

After about 1 hour of smoking I opened the lid of the barbecue to check if everything was OK.

Until that time the rib roast had been smoking at a temperature in between roughly 300F and 330F, and the temperature inside the meat had risen to a bit over 90F.

A nice brown bark had started to develop on the ribeye!

I refilled the water in the evaporator bowl and quickly closed the lid of the BBQ.

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Chow Time!

After almost 2 hours of smoking, the internal temperature of the rib roast had reached 130F.

Our target was "medium rare" which corresponds with an internal temperature of 145F, and we have to take into account a 15F afterburner.

So it's time to take it off!

I transferred the ribeye from the grill to a cutting board, covered it with aluminium foil, and let it rest for twenty minutes so the internal juices could redistribute inside the meat.

Afterburner effect? During the twenty minutes rest the internal temperature rose from 130F to 142F, just right for medium rare!

Photo of hot smoked roast ribeye during cutting. It was a real joy to cut this meat. Very tender and very juicy.

Everybody enjoyed the Q!

Mission accomplished.

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The PitBoss Suggests:

Hot Smoke Barbecue Fries Hot Smoke Barbecue Fries
Once you have tried these smoke-grilled potatoes, you won't be able to resist making them every time you see some spare space on the grate...

Juanita's American Coleslaw Juanita's American Coleslaw
This salad is pretty robust and can be prepared a couple of hours in advance. It combines absolutely great with any meat from your barbecue.

Leftovers ?

Enjoy this tender and flavourful roast beef - cold or warm - sliced on a fresh sesame bun, buttered or with mayonaise, or - as you please - with some mustard or horseradish!

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At Hot Smoke BBQ we love Chile Peppers!

Keep Smokin' !