How to Cook a Beef Tenderloin

by | Dec 10, 2019 | All, Main Dishes

We love to splurge for the holidays and nothing says celebration like beef tenderloin. Learn how to cook a beef tenderloin on the grill and in the oven! It’s super simple and no matter how it is prepared, it’s ALWAYS a hit

Sliced beef tenderloin on a brown cutting board with salt and pepper bowls on side.

How to Cook a Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin is so decadent on its own that it is best when it is simply prepared, but it’s also special because a lot of people don’t take the time to make it at home. Or they are too nervous to try because it is such an expensive piece of meat.  

It’s easy to get mouth-watering beef every single time when you follow these simple steps.

  1. Trim 
  2. Tie
  3. Season
  4. Cook
  5. Rest
  6. Serve

Step 1: Trim the roast

When you buy a whole tenderloin, check it to see if there is any shiny “silver skin” on it. Many times your butcher will trim it for you. But if not, it’s important to remove that before you start cooking otherwise you will end up with chewy, tough bites.

  • Carefully slip the tip of a very sharp knife just under the shiny silver skin.
  • Keep the knife close to the surface so you don’t cut into the meat
  • Slide the knife down the length of the tenderloin pulling the “skin” off with other hand
  • Discard skin and repeat process if necessary
  • Make sure you trim any fat on the beef as well. Tenderloin is so tender you don’t need the fat like you do on other cuts of meat.

 

Tied roast of beef on a baking sheet with salt and pepper on side.

Step 2: Tie the roast

After you are done trimming, it’s time to tie the beef! When you purchase a beef tenderloin, you will find that one end is narrower than the other. Tying the beef is an essential step to make sure that your roast cooks evenly.

Here are some quick tips for how to tie your roast if you’ve never done it before: 

  • Tuck narrow end of tenderloin under to create uniform thickness.
  • Take one end of a piece of food grade kitchen twine and tie a knot.
  • Make a loop with the string and put around the tenderloin
  • Pull loop snugly around beef and repeat process in 1-2 inch intervals down side of beef
  • Cut the twine when you reach the end of the tenderloin and tie another knot.

Step 3: Season the beef

You only need 3 ingredients to make the best beef. We like to keep the seasoning simple when we cook a beef tenderloin and let the flavor of the meat shine on its own. So go the pantry and grab these pantry staples:

  1. Salt
  2. Pepper
  3. Olive oil

Rub the entire tenderloin with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Set the seasoned, tied beef tenderloin on a jelly roll pan until ready to cook.

Once the beef is tied and seasoned, now it’s time to let it warm up.

Don’t skip this step! It’s important to ensure the beef is room temperature before you start cooking, otherwise you will end up with raw meat in the middle and overdone meat on the ends. And when you splurge on a tenderloin, you don’t want to ruin it.

Uncut roasted beef tenderloin in skillet.

Step 4: Cook the beef

Cooking the beef is where the magic happens! Some people prefer to make their tenderloin in the oven while others love the flavor of grilled beef. Below are instructions for both roasting and grilling beef tenderloin. Choose your favorite! 

How to roast beef tenderloin

Follow these easy steps for creating the perfect roast tenderloin every time: 

    1. Season beef tenderloin generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil all over and rub the seasonings into the beef.
    2. Let beef sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before cooking.
    3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.
    4. Add tenderloin and brown on each side
    5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until meat reaches desired temperature.
    6. Remove meat from heat and tent with foil to let juices redistribute. After 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Sliced beef beef tenderloin on cutting board with steak knife and fork.

How to Grill Tenderloin:

We love to use our grill all year round and grilled beef tenderloin is always on our holiday menu. Never grilled a tenderloin before? It’s easier than you think! 

    1. Season beef tenderloin generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil all over and rub the seasonings into the beef.
    2. Let beef come to room temperature before grilling.
    3. Heat grill to 400 degrees.
    4. Place beef tenderloin on the grill over direct heat for 20 min. Turning every 10 minutes.
    5. Reduce heat to 350. Grill for 20-25 minutes over indirect heat for medium-rare (or until the desired temperature is reached) turning every 5-7 minutes.
    6. Remove meat from heat and tent with foil to let juices redistribute. After 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Sliced beef tenderloin on a platter with creamy horseradish for serving.

What should the temperature of the beef be when it’s done?

That all depends on how you like to eat it. I’m a rare girl myself, but here are the recommended temperatures for cooking beef:

  • Rare (cool red center) 115-120 degrees
  • Medium Rare (warm red center) 120-125 degrees
  • Medium (warm pink center) 130-135 degrees
  • Medium-Well (light brown all the way through) 140-145 degrees
  • Well-done (brown all the way through) 150-155 degrees

Remember that your beef will continue to cook about another 10 degrees as it rests so never cook beef to its final, desired temperature. The resting period is important to let the juices redistribute through the meat. 

Tip: A quality meat thermometer is a must here. This one is our favorite. Super fast, crazy accurate and easy to clean. 

sliced beef tenderloin on platter with horseradish sauce.

The trick to perfect beef comes in the preparation and care at the grill or in the oven. But once you know this easy method, you too will be able to produce a masterpiece that will impress your friends.

And believe me, it is worth the time and the investment. This beef is buttery, succulent and full of flavor.

The best thing about serving it at the party? It’s no fuss and tastes fabulous at room temperature. Perfect party food if you ask me. 

Curious about what else is on my holiday menu? Here are a few of the go-to favorites:

Sliced beef tenderloin on a dark brown cutting board with salt and pepper on side.

Yield: 12 servings

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Celebrate an occasion with perfectly roasted beef tenderloin that melts in your mouth.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

How to Grill Beef Tenderloin

  1. Season beef tenderloin generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil all over and rub the seasonings into the beef.
  2. Let beef come to room temperature before grilling.
  3. Heat grill to 400 degrees.
  4. Place beef tenderloin on the grill over direct heat for 20 min. Turning every 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350. Grill for 20-25 minutes over indirect heat for medium-rare (or until the desired temperature is reached) turning every 5-7 minutes.
  5. This can also be done in the oven: See notes for steps.
  6. Remove meat from heat and tent with foil to let juices redistribute. After 10 minutes, slice and serve with buns if desired.


How to Roast Beef Tenderloin in the oven

  1. Season beef tenderloin generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil all over and rub the seasonings into
    the beef.
  2. Let beef come to room temperature before grilling. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  4. Add tenderloin and brown on each side. Place pan in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until meat reaches the desired temperature.
  5. Remove meat from oven and tent with foil to let juices redistribute. After 10 minutes, slice and serve.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 705Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 45g
Learn How to Cook Beef Tenderloin in the oven and on the grill to get perfectly prepared meat every single time.

 

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

Our Story

About Lisa

Hi, I’m Lisa! Looking for the party? It’s probably at my house. Nothing brings me more joy than sharing good food with friends and family. That and a seriously good cocktail.

4 Comments

    • Avatar

      You are welcome at my house anytime, Erin! 🙂

      Reply
  1. Avatar

    I had planned to prepare your Garlic Prime Rib for Christmas lunch since prime rib is my mother’s favorite cut of meat; however, when you live in a small town, you can’t always find what you want. I was able to find tenderloin and it was fabulous. My whole family enjoyed the meat. The red wine gravy/sauce is a must have. My future son-in-law believes it can be served with anything … beef, pork, chicken, eggs, as a soup. It may well have been his favorite part of the meal.

    Thank you for your great recipes.

    Reply

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