In my childhood home, we enjoyed London broil that was marinated overnight and then cooked on a charcoal grill. This fed an entire family on a summer Saturday evening. I always looked forward to this, as steak was a rare treat for kids.
The marinade tenderized the meat and added some really nice flavor. A London broil roast is not as flavorful as some of the pricier cuts, such as rib eye or New York strip. It is also fairly lean and can benefit from marinating or brining.
What is London Broil?
London broil isn’t really a cut of beef. Rather, it is a method of cooking certain cuts of beef, most commonly the top round steak or flank steak. The round steak is cut from the muscular hind portion of the steer. The flank is located just below the loin and behind the belly. Both have little fat to tenderize and flavor them while cooking.
I am unsure why the name of this method of cooking beef is called London broil. I could not find a reference to it having originated in London, England. It seems to have been a popular American restaurant dish.
London broil is a tougher cut of steak that is marinated prior to cooking. It is then char broiled or grilled. It is sliced thinly against the grain and served medium-rare. This method of preparing, cooking, and slicing the beef ensures that it is juicy and tender.
Smoking London Broil Cuts of Beef
Smoking is a good way to cook these leaner steaks and roasts. I like to use an electric Masterbuilt Smoker. You don’t have to marinate the beef prior to smoking it. However, I have found that the marinating process works a little better than simply applying a dry rub.
The marinade can be as easy as olive oil, a few dashes of wine vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Or, it can be more complex with ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, mustard, wine, and soy sauce. The idea is to include some form of acid to help tenderize the muscle fibers.
Marinate for at least 6 hours and up to overnight prior to smoking. Smoke for approximately 30 minutes per pound until you achieve and internal temperature of between 125°F and 145°F. And, always rest the beef before you slice it so that the juices can be reabsorbed by the muscle.
I recommend smoking two 2-1/2 pound London broil cuts at once. You can serve one for dinner and save the other for sandwiches the next day. I love making sandwiches with really thinly sliced London broil with lettuce, tomato, and Russian dressing on a ciabatta roll. You can also make a Texas style chili with the leftovers.
Smoked London Broil (Keto and Gluten-Free)
- One 2 to 2-1/2 pound top round steak or roast
- 1/4 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce (GF)
- 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Wood chips, such as oak or cherry
Total time:1 hour 30 min – Prep time:15 min + 8 hours marinating – Smoke time:1 hour 15 min – Serves:8 people
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the wine, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme. Place the steak in a sealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the beef and seal the bag well. Place the bag inside a baking dish or bowl and refrigerate for 6 to 10 hours.
2. Remove the top round roast from the refrigerator 40 minutes prior to cooking it so it can come to room temperature.
3. Fill the water bowl of your smoker half way and place the wood chips in the tray. Open the top vent. Preheat your smoker to 250°F.
4. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.
5. Place the roast directly on the smoker rack. If there is a probe thermometer attached, place it in one end of the roast. Smoke the beef for 60 minutes and check the internal temperature with the probe or digital meat thermometer. You are looking for 125°F for medium-rare and 145°F for medium. Continue to smoke for up to 75 minutes until the desired temperature is achieved. Remember to check the water and wood chips every 45 minutes and replenish as needed.
6. Remove the cooked top round roast to a clean cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
7. Slice the London broil against the grain thinly. Serve with your favorite side dishes. Some suggestions follow.
My fond memories of our London broil dinners include 2 easy side dishes. We always had a loaf of oven baked garlic bread and a salad with lettuce, fresh tomatoes from the garden, cucumbers, and Italian dressing. You might be able to bake the garlic bread in the smoker while the beef is cooking. Otherwise, just heat it up in your oven while the London broil is resting. London broil pairs well with a dry red wine, such as Zinfandel.
Lettuce, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad (Vegan, Paleo, Keto, and Gluten-Free)
- 2 large heads of romaine lettuce, rinsed and drained well
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 1 English cucumber
- 1-1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 TBS Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Total time: 15 min – Prep time: 15 min – Serves: 8 people
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
2. Grab a large salad bowl. Tear the lettuce leaves into bite size pieces. Place them in the bowl. Slice the tomatoes into small wedges or chunks. Slice the cucumber into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Add the tomatoes and cucumbers to the bowl and toss everything.
3. Right before serving, whisk the dressing to combine everything. Pour on enough to just dress the salad. Serve right away.
Baked Garlic Bread
- Two 16 ounce loaves of Italian bread
- 1 stick + 2 TBS butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 TBS fresh minced parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Total time: 25 min – Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 15 min – Serves: 8 people
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the butter, oil, garlic, parsley, and parmesan cheese until smooth and creamy.
3. Cut 1 inch thick slices into the bread making sure not go all the way through the bottom. Spread each slice with approximately 1 teaspoon of the butter mixture until all the butter is used up.
4. Wrap the loaves in aluminum foil. Place them in the oven and bake until the butter is melted and the loaves are hot, approximately 15 minutes.
5. Open the foil and allow everyone to pull slices off of the loaves and enjoy.