An Easy Pit Beef Recipe for Memorial Day Weekend!

This week I will show you how to make delicious homemade pit beef right on your grill at home. Its easy too!

Everyone in the Baltimore area loves pit beef, right?  Whether it is from a tent at the local fairgrounds or from a vender on the side of the road, we can’t get enough.  The nice thing is that pit beef is really easy to do at home.   Let’s break out the grill, welcome in the warm weather, and grill some pit beef for the Memorial Day weekend!

This week I will show you how to make delicious homemade pit beef right on your grill at home. 


For the dry rub:

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder,
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper,
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

For the sandwich:

  • Soft Kaiser Rolls,
  • Eye round beef roast (Costco has gorgeous eye rounds but if you can’t find one in your grocery store ask the butcher for the best cut)
  • Onions,
  • Mayo, Horseradish, or BBQ sauce

Begin by making the dry rub.  Mix together the garlic powder, black pepper, salt and the chili powder. Trim any excess fat off the eye round.  It is okay to have a little fat but try to get any large chunks off.  Place the dry rub all over the eye round and let it rest in the refrigerator for a little bit (15 min up to a couple of hours). 

Prepare your grill for high heat.  High heat is when your hand is only able to stay over the heat for 1-2 seconds at about 1 inch above the grate.  The game plan with pit beef is to sear the sides of the roast over direct high heat and then finish cooking with indirect heat. Remember that direct heat is cooking directly over the flame and indirect heat is cooking away from the flame, either on the opposite end of the grill where no coals are or up on a gas grill rack.

Place the roast over direct heat for 3 minutes.  After 3 minutes, turn the roast over to a different side for another 3 minutes.  Continue until the entire roast has a nice sear all around it.  After the direct sear, the inside temperature of the roast is nowhere near ready for eating so place the roast on the indirect (no heat) side of the grill.  A thermometer is really necessary for cooking a roast beef because you will ruin the meal if you over cook it.  When the roast is finished on direct heat I place the meat on the indirect heat side of the grill and stick a digital thermometer right in the center of the meat.  See photo.

After about 40 minutes of indirect heat the eye round should have an internal temperature of roughly 135 degrees F. This will yield a juicy medium rare roast.  If you don’t have a thermometer I would start checking for doneness after 30 minutes of indirect cooking. 

Let the roast rest for 15 minutes and then use an electric knife or a sharp chef’s knife to cut the eye round as thinly as possible. If this was for Ravens tailgate purposes I would use my meat slicer for ultra thin pit beef. However, I dislike cleaning the meat slicer so today I will sacrifice the thickness of my pit beef for the ease of tossing my electric knife blades in the dishwasher! The meat is so tender if cooked correctly that the thickness doesn’t really matter anyway.

I think it is a Baltimore thing but I love raw onions and horseradish on my sandwich. Really nice!

Here is a temperature chart to determine the various degrees of doneness for your pit beef (pit beef cooking temperatures):

  • 120°F to 125°F, (49°C to 52°C) for rare;
  • 130°F to 140°F (55°C to 60°C) for medium rare;
  • 145°F to 150°F (63°C to 66°C) for medium; and
  • 155°F to 165°F (68°C to 74°C) for well done (i.e., shoe leather).
  • (Note: 120° is a pretty rare roast).

So give this easy pit beef recipe a try this weekend.  I guarantee your guests and family will thank you!

John is the author of the internet food blog http://www.grilling24x7.com. Check out more grilling recipes and tips at http://www.grilling24x7.com and follow John on Twitter at http://twitter.com/grilling24x7

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John - Grilling24x7 May 29, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Phillip, I leave the probe in the meat the entire time it is cooking on the indirect side. The probe I am using is a wireless Maverick (see the 4th one down on this page - http://grilling24x7.com/tools.shtml ). My thermometer is pretty fancy as in it has a wireless transmitter which transmits up to 100 feet but you can always grab a $12 thermometer from Target and it will do just fine. In this case you wouldn't leave the probe in the meat.
Robert Armstrong July 05, 2011 at 07:07 PM
Have you ever smoked a Big Bacon Explosion? http://www.bbqaddicts.com/blog/recipes/bacon-explosion/
John - Grilling24x7 July 06, 2011 at 11:56 PM
No I haven't. It is on my to do list. Similar things are referred to as "fattys" on BBQ discussion boards. Looks great doesn't it!?
Red Sox March 08, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I love smoked oriole bird. Serve with a side of BOSTON baked beans and a cold Sam Adams......delicious!!!!!
Chris Lucas February 03, 2013 at 04:35 PM
I like this receipe for Super Bowl Sunday. I think the Birds over cooked those BOSTON beans all summer. Go O's!! Go Ravens!


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