When looking at different cuts of meat, knowing what is an excellent cut to smoke is a good idea before you buy. When you see a cut marked London Broil at your local meat counter, should you buy it for smoking?
London Broil can be a great cut of meat to smoke because of the excellent beef flavor. However, because of how lean these cuts are, you will want to go either low and slow for a long smoke or fast and hot to 135 degrees internal temperature. Either method should have a long rest of 30 minutes or more, tightly wrapped.
This article will cover everything you need to know about London Broil, including some tips for getting the best results.
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What is London Broil?
The common misconception is that London broil is a small roast or thick steak, but London Broil was a method of cooking a thick lean piece of meat by placing it in a broiler. Because London Broil is a tough cut of meat, it is common to marinate for 6 hours and rest after cooking for 30 minutes.
Traditionally most steaks called London Broil were cuts of flank steak. As time went by, thicker lean cuts of meat were used. Top round steak or sliced rump roast is commonly labeled as London Broil.
One of the pluses of London Broil is typically price point. Many meat suppliers will cut their surplus product into the general size and shape to qualify as London Broil and sell it at a lower price than Tri-tip or sirloin roast.
Because of how lean the selected cuts are, it is important how you prepare your thick steak or small roast. We will cover tips for smoking and grilling below.
What temperature do you smoke London broil?
There are typically two schools of thought. First, you can go low and slow at 225 degrees until you reach an internal temperature of 195 degrees.
Second, you can go fast and hot at 325 degrees until you reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees. Both methods will require a rest of thirty minutes tightly wrapped in foil and a bath towel for maximum tenderness.
When cooking a London Broil low and slow, it is common to treat it like a brisket. A good coating of basic beef dry rub should be applied to the top and bottom surfaces of the meat and placed in your smoker at 225 degrees.
After your internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, consider wrapping it in foil until it reaches 180 degrees to lock in moisture. Finish cooking your London broil unwrapped cooking at 275 degrees until you reach an internal temperature of 195 degrees. Then rest your meat tightly wrapped for 30 minutes or more.
For the fast and hot method, there is more prep work recommended. Start the day before by rinsing your piece of meat, then use a meat tenderizer tool to perforate across the grain. Marinate the London Broil for at least eight hours. If you go for less time, avoid salt.
Preheat your smoker to 325 or slightly higher. Inject your meat with a small amount of fresh marinate, don’t reuse the marinade. Lightly coat all surfaces with a bold flavored dry rub; we like Kosmo’s Cow Cover.
Place your meat in the hottest location of your smoker and insert a temperature probe for close monitoring. The second the probe reaches 135 degrees, wrap your London Broil for precisely 30 minutes.
With the method hot and fast, slice the meat into ½-inch thick pieces across the grain to help with tenderness. This preparation will have a steak’s consistency and a roast’s look.
How Long Does It Take to Smoke a London Broil at 225 Degrees?
The amount of time entirely depends on the size and the internal temperature you are going for. Roughly, it takes 30 minutes per pound at 225 degrees to reach 135 degrees internal temperature. However, you will want to add 15 minutes for larger pieces of meat.
For example, a 3-pound London Broil will take 90 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 135.
Serving Suggestions for London Broil
When you smoke your London Broil fast and hot, you can serve it the same way you do any steak. Our favorite is slice and diced on a robust green salad, including radicchio and avocado to balance out the beef.
For low and slow smoked London Broil, it is hard to beat it sliced on a toasted brioche bun with mayonnaise and your favorite steak sauce. The deep smoky flavor with the fall-apart consistency makes it a fan favorite.
Injection mixture for London Broil
The day before you inject your meat, mix ½ cup of low-sodium beef broth with ½ cup of your favorite barbeque sauce and two tablespoons of your dry rub mix. Let the mixture rest in the fridge overnight, and it will be ready to use the next day.
If you don’t rest your marinade, the seasoning will not thoroughly hydrate, but it is still useable. We like to keep our injections simple but flavorful.
Marinade for London Broil
Always start your marinade with the same spice profile as your seasoning or dry rub. Our base is ¼ cup of red wine vinegar, ¼ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of Worcestershire, and two tablespoons of dry rub.
Mix these ingredients in a gallon freezer bag, insert your meat, remove air and flip the bag after one hour. We recommend marinating for six hours or more. Also, feel free to add your favorite spices but avoid extra salt as it can dry out your meat.
Here are some other ingredients you might add to your marinade
- Dried rosemary
- Dried thyme
- Minced garlic
- Dry red wine
Best Optional Way to Prepare London Broil
Consider combining smoking and grilling for an amazing London Broil. Lightly cover your piece of meat with marinade, and then a medium coat of dry rub mixture. Let it rest while you get your smoker to 225 degrees.
Place your meat in the smoker for slightly over half the usual time or up to 115 degrees internal temperature. Consider adding a few unlit wood chunks to your smoker for extra smoke flavor.
Preheat your grill to the highest temperature, and then transfer the London Broil straight from the smoker to the grill. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, then take an internal temperature reading.
The goal is between 133 and 135 degrees, so continue to grill until you have reached 133. Rest your meat for 15 minutes to allow the temperature to even out and the juices to redistribute through the meat.
Is London Broil Jerky Good?
Jerky is another excellent use for London Broil. The most important aspect of using this meat cut is always cutting across the grain. I like to add a slight angle for the perfect balance of tenderness and just a little chew.
Preparing your jerky doesn’t need to be overthought. Double the marinading recipe above and double the marinading time for great results. I like to take a small portion and add red pepper flakes on both sides before cooking for a little kick.
When it comes to smoking your jerky, cook at 180 degrees until it is almost dry. Which could take 6 hours, then place it on the counter overnight to finish.
The truth about London Broil is there is no such thing but rather a how to make London Broil. When you see a piece of meat labeled London Broil, smoke it like any lean meat.
If you go hot and fast, stop cooking at an internal temperature of around 133 degrees. If you go with the low and slow method, bring it to 195 degrees. With both ways, a long rest is a must!