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Maryland Pit Beef With Creamy Hopradish Sauce

By Chris Capell

I grew up in Laurel, Maryland, just down Route 1 South of Baltimore, and was going to Baltimore Orioles games in the 70s to watch Brooks & Frank Robinson, Boog Powell and the boys play baseball at Memorial Stadium. You could say Maryland is in my blood. The first time I had “pit beef” was at Boog Powell’s BBQ stand at Camden Yards, and I began to understand why this local favorite is so popular. Pit beef is in a class of its own, and we owe it all to the area East of Baltimore. I digress.

Maryland pit beef is round roast cooked over charcoal, with a crunchy slightly charred exterior, and cooked to no more than medium rare. Sliced into thin, pink ribbons, then piled high on a Kaiser Roll with the bite of horseradish, the creaminess of mayo, and the punch of thin-sliced raw onion. The taste is reminiscent of a slightly smoky roast beef with a blast of flavor from the charred edges.

For this recipe I tried to stay well within the regional traditions while applying some of the things I’ve learned over two decades of grilling and barbecuing. This method uses a technique called “reverse sear”, which involves smoking the meat first then searing at the end for flavor and crust.


Print Recipe

Pit beef

  • 3-4 lbs top or bottom round (we used top round, sometimes labeled London Broil)
  • Dizzy Pig Cow Lick beef rub to coat (also good with Raising the Steaks or Game On!)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, sliced thin

Creamy Hopradish Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp Dizzy Pig IPA hop seasoning


Prepare Creamy Hopradish Sauce (can be done in advance)

  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.

Maryland pit beef

  1. Prepare grill for indirect cooking at 275-300°F. If desired, add a chunk or two of oak, hickory or cherry.
  2. Trim membranes and silver skin from beef.
  3. Sprinkle some salt on the beef.
  4. Season roast on all sides with Cow Lick.
  5. Insert cooking probes into roast and place on grill.
  6. Cook beef until the center reaches 115-120°F.
  7. Remove from grill – note that internal temp will rise.
  8. Prepare grill for direct cooking over a hot fire (500°F or higher).
  9. Sear meat over flames for a few minutes per side until well browned, even slightly charred.
  10. Remove from grill and rest for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Don’t forget that the temperature will rise after you remove from grill. Try not to exceed 135°F internal temperature after the rest.
  12. Cut roast in half and slice as thin as you can – we prefer to use an electric slicer for this.
  13. Serve on Kaiser roll (or choose gluten-free option) with Creamy Hopradish Sauce and thin sliced onion.