French Dip Sandwiches are everywhere, with just about every deli and casual eatery offering a version of this classic sandwich. But we turned the dial up on our smoker to infuse serious flavor into these smoked French Dip Sandwiches with au jus, and WOW! This is one of those over-the-top delicious recipes. Got a smoker? You HAVE to make these smoked French dips!

French dip sandwich with toasted roll on a platter with chips an au jus.

In this recipe:

What Is A French Dip Sandwich?

Bite into fresh hoagie rolls loaded with thin, tender, and juicy slices of perfectly smoked roast beef in this smoked French dip sandwich. But that’s not all! We’ve amped up the flavor in this classic beef recipe with even more with a fantastic onion spread made with oodles of garlic, plenty of onions, and a savory dipping sauce. And it’s sure to be one of your family’s favorite dinner recipes! 

A French dip sandwich isn’t complete without a side of au jus, and this jus is off the charts! It’s got so much flavor in it that you’ll be dipping down to the last drops. Are you ready for a hot sandwich with tender beef that’s off-the-charts delicious? Let’s get started!

If you like French onion flavor, you’ll love this French Onion Soup and French Onion Burgers!

Ingredients for this smoked sandwich on a marble surface.


Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. You’re sure to have most of these in your pantry already and check out the link to get your hands on the Umami mushroom powder. All in all, this recipe can take 4-5 hours, but if you prep the steps ahead of time, it comes together easily for the best French dip recipe you’ve ever tasted.

For the onion spread:

This is our favorite French onion sauce for the perfect sandwich. Loaded with sautéed onions and begging to be spread on this smoked French dip and scooped up by all the chips. Double this recipe; trust us. 

  • Canola oil – Or any neutral-flavored vegetable oil.
  • Onion – Yellow or white.
  • Garlic – Fresh, and you’ll need a few heads.
  • Scallions – Also known as green onions.
  • Sour cream – Full fat works best, but you can trim a few calories with low-fat if you prefer.
  • Mayonnaise – Again, full fat is my pick, but low-fat versions will also work.
  • White wine vinegar – Cider vinegar will also work.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Dig that bottle out of the back of your fridge; you’ll need a few teaspoons! 
  • GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder – or your favorite mushroom powder. See more about why we love umami and how to use it here.


  • More garlic – Bring on the garlic! You’ll need another whole head of garlic for the beef.
  • More Ooomami Umami powder
  • Beef roast – We smoke an eye of round roast for this recipe, but see our tips below for additional suggestions.
  • Beef broth – Use low or no-sodium-added beef broth to control the salt.
  • Note – because we love the onion dip and au jus so much, we skip the gooey cheese for this recipe, but feel free to add Swiss cheese or provolone cheese if you want. 


  • Butter – Unsalted is our pick.
  • All-purpose flour – To thicken the jus.
  • More beef broth – Use low or no sodium added to control the salt.
  • Thyme – Fresh is best, or you can use a good pinch of dried.
  • Sherry – Don’t drink it all! Save a bit for the jus.


  • Crusty rolls – You’ll need half a dozen 6-inch rolls, split and lightly toasted. You can also use bakery-fresh crusty bread, Italian bread, or French rolls. Don’t use soft hoagie rolls as they will fall apart because of the savory juices and not hold up with the au jus.
Tender sliced beef and onion spread in a toasted french roll on a platter with chips.


There are a few steps in this recipe, and the beef needs to be marinated in garlic for a while. Start this recipe early in the morning or the night before, especially if you want dinner for busy nights. 


Start by making the onion dip. Start by coating the onions in oil and season them with a pinch of salt. Cut the top off another head of garlic and drizzle it with oil. Add the onion and garlic to an aluminum foil pan and smoke for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Remove the caramelized onions and garlic from the smoker and let them cool.

Squeeze the garlic from the papery shells and mince. Finely chop the onions. 

Whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl. Add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Ooomami powder, and black pepper. Mix well. 

Fold in the chopped onion, garlic, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This onion spread can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.


Slice the top off the head of garlic, exposing the cloves inside. Rub the garlic with oil and pop it into the smoker or a preheated oven at 225 to 250 degrees F until softened.

Squeeze the garlic out of garlic skins and mash with a fork when cool enough to handle. Season with salt and pepper and mix to create a paste. Stir in the Ooomami Umami powder.

Rub the roast liberally with oil, then with the garlic paste. Wrap it in plastic and chill in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. 

When ready to cook, preheat the smoker and prepare it for indirect heat. You want about 225 – 250 degrees F. 

Add a pan with 1 cup of broth under the cooking area of the roast to catch any meat drippings.

Smoke the roast until it reaches 120 degrees F, about 1.5 to 2 hours. Add another cup of broth to the pan halfway through the cooking time. 

Remove it from the grill, wrap it in foil, and let it rest. Save all the flavorful beef drippings in the pan!


Place a large cast-iron skillet on the grill over direct heat to heat up, and move it to indirect heat before smoking.

Add the butter and let it melt, then whisk in the flour and mix well. Cook the flour and melted butter for 1 minute. 

Slowly whisk in the broth from the drip pan in a slow stream, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. Add the thyme and bring it to a simmer when all the broth is incorporated. 

Let it simmer until reduced by half, at least 15 minutes, then remove it from the heat and whisk in the sherry. Or check out this article on how to make au jus on a stove top. 


Slice the cooked beef into thin slices. 

Brush some of the onion spread on both sides of the toasted roll.

Dip the beef slices into the hot au jus and layer onto the prepared rolls. 

Serve your French dips immediately with small cups of the delicious au jus broth for dunking.


An electric slicer is the best tool to get paper-thin slices of beef for this French dip au jus recipe. If you don’t have a slicer, here’s how you can get thin slices:

  1. Wrap the cooled roast in plastic wrap and thoroughly chill it for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Place the cold beef on a cutting board, and using a super-sharp knife, slice the roast as thinly as you can.

Alternatively, place the roast in the freezer for 30-40 minutes and then slice it thinly with a sharp knife.

Smoked round roast slices to show pink center.


  • You can make the onion spread and jus ahead of time and smoke the beef. Then, assemble your sandwiches just before serving.
  • Pick crusty, fresh rolls. They’re perfect for absorbing all that delish beef jus.
  • Make sure to capture all the beef drippings with a roasting pan or aluminum foil pan as it smokes to make the French dip sauce.
Platter with french dip on a rustic table with chips and a cup of delicious au jus.


This is such a hearty and satisfying smoked beef sandwich that you don’t need much else with it. Here are some of our favorite sides to go with dipped beef sandwiches:

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftover roast beef in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to eat the roast beef, let it come to room temperature. 

To freeze the beef, freeze the sliced beef IN the jus in an airtight plastic container for up to 3 months.

To reheat it, thaw it in the fridge overnight, then warm it in a skillet on the stove top. Don’t overcook the beef – heat it enough to warm it through – then assemble your beef dip sandwiches.

If you’re short on time, you can also microwave the roast beef slices in 30-second intervals. 

Close up of a mouthwatering French Dip sandwich on a rustic table.

More Delicious Smoked Beef Recipes

With a handful of ingredients such as juicy beef, cooked onions, a rich au jus, and hoagie rolls, you can make this delicious comfort food the whole family will love!

Have you tried this recipe? Do us a favor and rate the recipe card with the  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

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Smoked French Dip Sandwiches with au jus

5 from 38 votes
Prep: 4 hours
Cook: 4 hours
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6
French Dip Sandwich with bowl of au jus in background.
Talk about flavor. These smoked French dip sandwiches pack a serious punch with layers of deep beefy flavor from the smoked onion dip to, perfectly grilled raost beef and rich au jus all piled high on a bun just begging to be dipped again!


For the Onion Spread

  • 3 tbs canola oil
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 head garlic top removed
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami Powder
  • 6 scallions chopped
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

For the Beef:

  • 1 head garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder
  • 1 tsp neutral cooking oil canola, vegetable, or avocado
  • 1 3-to-4 lb beef eye of round roast
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth

For the Jus:

To Serve

  • 6 6" inch Italian rolls split and lightly toasted


Prep the Smoker:

  • Prep your smoker for 225 to 250° F by building a 2-zone fire for direct and indirect heat.
  • Allow the smoker to come to a steady and consistent heat before smoking.
  • Add 2 to 3 post oak wood chunks if desired when ready to cook to add more flavor.

Make the Onion Dip:

  • Coat the sliced onions in oil and season with a pinch of salt.
    3 tbs canola oil, 1 onion, 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Drizzle the head of garlic with oil, making sure garlic gets into the cloves.
    3 tbs canola oil, 1 head garlic
  • Add the onion and garlic to an aluminum foil pan and smoke for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool until easy to handle.

Chop the Garlic

  • Remove the garlic cloves from the head and mince.
  • Whisk the sour cream and mayo in a bowl.
    1 1/2 cups sour cream, 1 cup mayo
  • Stir in the white wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, Ooomami powder and black pepper.
    2 tsp white wine vinegar, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami Powder, ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • Fold in the chopped onion, garlic and scallions.
    6 scallions
  • Season with salt to taste.
    1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Store in an airtight container and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

Smoke the Beef:

  • Remove the top of the garlic and rub with oil.
    1 head garlic, Kosher salt, 3 tbs canola oil
  • Place in the smoker or in a prehaeted oven to 35 to 45 minutes, until softened (this step can be done while prepping the onion dip).
  • Remove the cloves, mash with a fork and season with salt to create a paste like texture. Stir in the Ooomami umami powder.
    1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder
  • Rub the eye of round roast liberally with the oil.
    1 tsp neutral cooking oil, 1 3-to-4 lb beef eye of round roast
  • Coat the beef evenly with the garlic paste mixture.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge 4 hours to over night.
  • When ready to cook, prep the smoker for indirect heat, for about 225 to 250° F degrees.
  • Add a pan with 1 cup broth under your cooking area for the eye of round roast to create a moist environment and to catch any of the garlic rub that falls off.
    2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Smoke the roast untl it reaches 120° F, about 1 ½ to 2 hours, adding 1 more cup of broth to the drip pan halfway through cooking.
  • Remove from the grill, wrap in foil and rest.
  • Carefully remove the pan with the drippings.

Make the au Jus:

  • Place a large cast iron skillet on the grill over direct heat to get the pan warm.
  • Move to indirect heat just before it’s smoking.
  • Stir in the butter and flour. Allow to cook 1 minute.
    2 tbs unsalted butter, 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • Whisk in the Ooomami umami powder.
    1 tsp GirlCarnivore Ooomami Umami powder
  • Carefully whisk in the broth from the drip pan, a little at a time to avoid clumps, forming a roux.
    2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Whisk in all of the remaining broth from the pan and the additional.
    2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Add the thyme and bring to a simmer.
    1 tsp fresh thyme
  • Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce by half.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the sherry.
    1 tbsp sherry

Slice to Serve:

  • Slice the beef into thin deli sized slices.
  • Only slice as much as you will need to prevent the leftover meat from drying out.

Assemble the sandwiches:

  • While the grill is still hot, toast the buns. The toasted bread holds the au Jus liquid better.
    6 6" inch Italian rolls
  • Brush a hearty dollop on onion spread on either side of the roll.
  • Dunk slices of the beef into the hot au jus and layer onto the prepared rolls.
  • Serve immediately with additional cups of au jus for dipping.


Adapted from Food Network Magazine, April 2011
Each of the components can be made ahead of time and assembled before serving.
You can use a rump roast, top round or even sirloin tip roast for this recipe. Look for a lean beef roast with 
In the onion dip, if you want bonus flavor, quickly char the scallions on the grill before chopping them. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 936kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 73g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 243mg | Sodium: 1164mg | Potassium: 1592mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1951IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 8mg
Course: bbq, Main Course, sandwich
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs


Our preference for this French dip recipe is to use eye of round. It’s lean, smokes quickly and easily, and has loads of flavor. It’s also cheaper than some other cuts of beef. You could also use thinly shaved leftover beef or:
Ribeye – It’s more expensive, but oh, the flavor! Smoked ribeye is so good.
Sirloin – Any sirloin cuts (top, bottom) will smoke and slice nicely.
New York Strip – You can smoke a roast-sized chunk of NY strip and slice that.
Whatever you pick, make sure that the beef isn’t a tough pot roast cut like chuck roast or rump roast. Those cuts have too much connective tissue, and this isn’t a long smoke – the beef doesn’t smoke long enough to tenderize those cuts.


Yes! Well, you can freeze the meat and the jus. Freeze the rolls separately. Sadly, the onion spread won’t freeze, but it’ll keep a few days in the fridge.

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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5 from 38 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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