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Is a rump roast good for smoking?

Smoking meats is a popular cooking technique that infuses flavor and tenderizes tough cuts of meat. The low and slow cooking method helps break down connective tissues in tougher cuts like rump roast, making them incredibly tender and juicy. Rump roast specifically refers to a cut of beef from the rump or round primal cut. It’s an inexpensive, lean cut that can turn out delicious when smoked correctly.

What is a Rump Roast?

A rump roast comes from the round primal cut of a steer, which includes the rump and hindquarters. It sits toward the back end of the animal above the sirloin. This is a hard-working area on the cow, so the meat from the rump is quite tough and lean. Rump roast is an inexpensive cut that contains a good amount of connective tissue.

There are a few different types of rump roasts:

  • Bottom round rump roast – This comes from the upper part of the leg and tends to be the most tender.
  • Top round rump roast – This is cut from the outer muscle of the round and is very lean.
  • Eye of round roast – This is a small, cylindrical roast that sits within the bottom round.

The bottom round rump roast tends to be the best choice for smoking since it has the most marbling and connective tissue. This will break down and become tender during the long cooking time.

Benefits of Smoking a Rump Roast

There are several advantages to smoking a rump roast rather than cooking it another way:

  • Infuses smoky flavor – The hours spent smoking permeates the meat with delicious smoky flavor you can’t achieve otherwise.
  • Makes it tender – The collagen in rump roast breaks down during low, slow smoking to make it incredibly tender.
  • Retains moisture – Smoking cooks the meat gently so it stays juicy and doesn’t dry out.
  • Adds bark or crust – The outer surface develops an irresistible crust or bark from the smoke.
  • Leftovers are amazing – Sliced smoked rump roast makes incredible sandwiches.

While rump roast can be challenging to cook well with dry heat methods, smoking is a foolproof way to achieve melt-in-your-mouth results.

Choosing a Rump Roast for Smoking

When selecting a rump roast for smoking, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose the bottom round – This cut has the most marbling and connective tissue to break down during smoking.
  • Get a roast at least 3 pounds – You need a sizable roast to allow for shrinking during cooking.
  • Look for marbling – Some visible fat marbling is good since it will baste the meat as it smokes.
  • Check the thickness – An even thickness of 1.5-2 inches is ideal so it cooks evenly.
  • Pickuniform shape – Avoid oddly shaped roasts that will cook unevenly.

A well-marbled 3-4 pound bottom round rump roast is the best bet for juicy, tender smoked results.

Best Wood Chips for Smoking Rump Roast

Choosing flavorful wood chips is key to infusing delicious smoky flavor into the meat. Here are some of the best wood chips for smoking rump roast:


Mesquite wood chips impart an intense, earthy smoke flavor. This bold chip works well with beef.


The most classic smoking wood, hickory lends a robust, smokey-bacon flavor. It’s a perfect complement to beef.


Oak wood chips lend a mellow, nuanced smokiness. Oak smoke nicely balances the flavor of beef without overpowering it.


For a slightly sweeter smoke, apple wood chips add a fruity hint of flavor. Apple wood gives great results with pork or poultry too.


Cherry wood chips produce a mildly sweet, fruity smoke that goes great with beef. The tangy hint mellows out the richness.


Pecan wood imparts a touch of nuttiness along with subtle smoke. It pairs beautifully with rich meats like beef or lamb.

Any of these wood chip varieties will infuse delicious flavor into a smoked rump roast. Mixing a bold chip like mesquite with a fruity chip like cherry or apple allows you to layer flavors.

Smoker Temperature for Rump Roast

The right smoker temperature is key to ensuring tender, properly cooked meat. Here are some temperature guidelines:

  • 225-250°F – This ultra low, slow range creates the most tender meat if you have time.
  • 250-275°F – For a slightly faster cook time, this temperature range works very well.
  • 300°F or above – Higher heat can speed things up but may result in drier meat.

Aim to keep your smoker between 225-275°F for the best texture and moisture. Cook times will vary based on size of the roast and temperature.

Estimated Smoking Times for Rump Roast

The smoking time can vary greatly depending on the size of the roast, temperature of the smoker, and whether you wrap it. Here are some general time estimates:

Rump Roast Weight Unwrapped at 225°F Unwrapped at 250°F Wrapped at 250°F
3 pounds 5-6 hours 4-5 hours 3-4 hours
4 pounds 6-8 hours 5-7 hours 4-6 hours
5 pounds 8-10 hours 7-9 hours 6-8 hours

The best way to tell when it’s done is to use a meat thermometer. Remove the roast when it reaches an internal temperature of 200-205°F. The meat will continue cooking slightly as it rests.

Smoking Rump Roast Step-By-Step

Follow these simple steps for smoking rump roast to tender, juicy perfection:

  1. Prepare the meat: Pat the rump roast dry and coat all over with a rub of seasoning like salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, brown sugar, etc. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so the seasoning can penetrate.
  2. Prep the smoker: Soak your choice of wood chips in water for 30 minutes. Prepare the smoker by lighting the charcoal and bringing up to 225-250°F. Place a drip pan filled with water underneath where the roast will sit.
  3. Add the wood chips: Once the smoker is up to temperature, add some drained wood chips right on the hot coals to start smoking.
  4. Add the roast: Carefully place the seasoned rump roast on the middle rack, being sure not to lose too much smoke. Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part.
  5. Maintain the temperature: Keep the smoker between 225-250°F, adding more charcoal and wood chips as needed to maintain even smoke.
  6. Spritz and wrap (optional): After a few hours when the meat hits 150°F, you can unwrap and spritz with apple juice or broth. Rewrap in foil to power through the stall.
  7. Check for doneness: Start checking temperature about 1 hour before expected finish time. Remove it from the heat when it registers 200-205°F.
  8. Let rest before slicing: Allow the roast to rest tented in foil for 15-30 minutes before slicing across the grain to serve.

If you follow these tips, your smoked rump roast will come out incredibly juicy, smokey, and tender enough to cut with a fork.

Serving Smoked Rump Roast

Sliced smoked rump roast makes amazing sandwiches, but there are so many ways to serve it:

  • Slice thinly and serve on sandwiches with barbecue sauce
  • Cube or shred for smoked beef tacos or nachos
  • Chop and add to beans, soups, stews, or chili
  • Pair slices with roasted vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes
  • Top a salad with sliced smoked roast beef
  • Serve on crusty bread with horseradish sauce and au jus

Leftovers will keep refrigerated for 4-5 days. Sliced portions can be frozen for 2-3 months. Reheat slices wrapped in foil with a splash of broth.

FAQs about Smoking Rump Roast

Should you brine a rump roast before smoking?

Brining is not necessary since rump roast only needs to get to 200-205°F, so it stays plenty moist without brining. A salty dry rub achieves good flavor penetration.

How long does it take to smoke a 5 pound rump roast?

Expect around 8-10 hours unwrapped at 225°F, or 6-8 hours wrapped at 250°F for a 5 pound roast. Use a meat thermometer for the best doneness indicator.

What is the best cut of beef for smoking?

Brisket and chuck roast are most common, but bottom round rump roast has great flavor and becomes incredibly tender when smoked low and slow.

Should you wrap rump roast when smoking?

Wrapping after a few hours in foil or butcher paper helps power through the stall phase and reduces total cook time. Keep unwrapped for maximum smoke flavor.

What temp should rump roast be when done smoking?

An internal temperature of 200-205°F is ideal for pulling a smoked rump roast. The meat fibers break down completely by this point to become incredibly tender.


Rump roast may not seem an obvious choice for smoking, but this inexpensive cut shines when given the low, slow smoking treatment. Choosing a well-marbled bottom round roast, seasoning it well, and smoking it for hours allows the connective tissues to melt into tender, juicy meat that takes on amazing smoky flavor.

Smoking is far more forgiving than roasting a rump roast in the oven, yielding incredibly moist and tender results every time. Just be sure to bring the internal temperature up to 200-205°F for the ideal tenderness. Sliced smoked rump roast makes for amazing sandwiches or can be used in endless recipes. With the right preparation, a rump roast is an amazing cut of meat for smoking.