1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

smoking "extra lean" beef

Discussion in 'Beef' started by ismoke, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. ismoke

    ismoke Meat Mopper

    OK, so I know this is a bunch of tomfoolery around these parts, but I'm thinking of trying my hand at smoking an "extra lean" roast.  Why, you ask?  Because my wife keeps giving me that "if you keep doing this your heart is going to explode and we should probably go ahead and up your life insurance policy" look every time I smoke something else that's wrapped in bacon, stuffed with bacon, and served in a bacon bun.  Therefore, I'm thinking if I can figure out how to smoke some tasty leaner meats, then all the better, right?  I love doing beer can chickens, and they taste great, however beef is my first love (well, my wife and son then beef). 

    So how can I do this?  Obviously keeping it from drying out will be the biggest issue, so I was thinking maybe braising it by smoking it in a pan with some beef broth.  However, I'm pretty sure that's kinda high in sodium, which while it might passify my wife until she figures it out, is really only masking the problem.  Therefore I'm asking the great minds at the SMF what they can think of to make them stay juicy and tasty, while being a little better on the ticker. 

    The types I'm thinking of trying would be top round (or bottom round), eye of round, etc.

    Any ideas??
  2. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd say go for it all the way and blow her mind by smoking a whole beef tenderloin! One of my favorites and very lean. I have bought them at sam's for 8.99 a lb. Heck, the holidays are coming up, a good excuse to splurge and you can be sure it will be the most yummy, tender piece of meat. You just might win some brownie points![​IMG]
  3. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Biggest problem with smoking lean stuff ?---Best thing to do is wrap Bacon around it!

    There are a lot of guys who know more about that kind of thing that this old Bear. They'll be along soon.

  4. ismoke

    ismoke Meat Mopper

    Those are delicious.  I could definitely use the holiday excuse this time of year, but after that....let's just say that I'm going to need an alternative in about 2 and a half months!

    That IS the biggest problem!!  I firmly believe that if I can make ANYTHING in the world better by either A) wrapping bacon around it B) adding cheese, or C) frying it.  I literally cannot think of anything that wouldn't be better with at least one of those things.  That also is why my doctor wants to put me on cholesterol meds if I don't get it under control, and I'm only 30.  Hence - leaner meats needed.  And a salad, but still.
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Get a Sirloin Tip roast and smoke it to 136-140 then let it cool and slice as thin as you can for Roast Beef sandwiches. You can marinade a London Broil and smoke it rare then slice across the grain.
  6. dforbes

    dforbes Meat Mopper

    You just need to explain how much healthier smoked food is compared to those greasy fried foods she used to make, and hey, now you do the cooking while she sits around and drinks those margaritas. Just put a positive spin on it, slip her a couple of shots of tequila. It will all work out.
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    This is a real good one for your lean beef needs. If you have a slicer, you can cut this real thin (like it will only have one side). If you don't have a slicer, this would be a great time to get one----Kinda like because of the little woman wanting you to make lean meats, you need a slicer to be able to slice it thin enough to have nice tender sammies. Besides, you really should have a slicer to be hanging around with the "Carnivores" who prowl these pages. A Slicer & a Camera !

  8. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've done the sirloin tip before, but I like my meat on the rare side so I only smoke to 120, and it always rises to about 126 or so. I don't have a slicer, but use my Wusthof slicing knife to get as thin as possible. To add more flavor I sautee some onions in olive oil and make an au jus. While the au jus is really warm I'll put some of the meat in it to soak a few minutes. I love it on a good sammie with some smoked provolone or one really healthy way to eat it is with steamed cabbage. That is really good.
  9. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     First off have you had your colesterol tested to see if you really have a problem with eating smoked fatty meats?

    The food you eat is only part of the equasion, in nutrition we say the Genetics Load the gun and the environmental conditions pull the trigger.  So get a blood test and look at your family history to find out what your risks really are.

    Assuming after that you find out you are at risk then you can start to smoke differently to meet your goals.

    I personally have lost 28 pounds since changing my smoke habits this past June.

    A few items from my cooking classes for nutritionally challeged or obese people that may help you get started:

    Purchase a kitchen scale if you do not own one.  Do an little experiment where you cut what you think is a USDA portion of red meat.  Then weigh it and see how far off you are... restaurants have skewed the idea of what a portion size is so bad that most people cut three servings when they are asked  to cut a single serving.

    Limit the fattier foods to once or twice per month.

    Purchase one of Todd Johnsons Amaze N Smoker to prepare yourself for handling leaner cuts of meat.  Most leaner cuts are best serve rare to medium rare, if you still want great smoke flavor you will like the low temp smoker like the Amaze N Smoker to add lots of flavor without adding to the meats temperature rise.

    After smoking you can flame sear on the grill to finish the product.

    Loin, tenderloin, sirloin tip, and rump roast will become your friends.  Learning to cook beef in the London Broil style is also a good method.  Smoking the cut prior to applying the London Broil method works real well.

    Learning to do fermented sausages will allow you to control fat content and create leaner sausages.

    Portion control is number one..... even if you are predisposed to heart disease the biggest problem is not what you eat, but how much of it you eat.  Both in quantity and frequency.
  10. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Have you got these wonderfull Tri-tips out there in MO? If so they are the way to go! It's part of the sirloin so smoke it to 140 for med rare, rest and slice. If you don't have a problem with pork, there's always the loins and tenderloins that can be done without bacon.
  11. Boy do I KNOW that look [​IMG]
  12. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    This is Kansas City (COW TOWN), "Beef It's What's For Dinner"...
  13. smokinaggie

    smokinaggie Newbie

    As a guy over 60 I'm always looking for ways to make healthy choices.  You might look into the advantages of Grassfed beef.  Cattle that never see the inside  of a feed lot but are raised and "finished" on grass makes for somewhat leaner meat but the fat in it is supposed to have real health advantages like a more desirable 20:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids.

    But back to the challenge of smoking leaner cuts...I'm still learning how to play this game and hoping for some good - to -great results. Good Luck.
  14. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    My vote goes to the sirloin tip. Sliced paper thin for sammies. That & tri-tip when we can get them around here are my favorites. Like squirrel we like them rare.
  15. Cross-rib is another great cut. It goes by many names, but that is what we called it at the shop I apprenticed at. It's basically beef upper bicep, and if cooked with mild-to-low temps to medium-rare (I prefer rare-rare myself) with just ordinary salt and pepper, it's pretty good. We called them 'poor man's ribeye'.

    I also second the grass-finished beef suggestion. An 8-ounce portion of grassfed has less saturated fat, and more omega-threes than chicken breast. It also has higher iron content, as well as associated minerals, and is darn tasty with a big ol' bowl of braised greens.

    Finally, there's fish. Goint to a marine/riverine food diet is a great way to get your cholesterol in control, and I know for a fact that Ahi tuna steaks are amazing grilled over hardwood charcol with pecan chips!
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011