How to Cook Beef Tenderloin: A Comprehensive Guide

Beef tenderloin is a premium cut of meat that’s perfect for special occasions or a fancy dinner party. But cooking this meat can be intimidating, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. In this article, we will guide you on how to cook beef tenderloin to perfection.

Choose Your Meat Wisely

Choosing the right meat is the first step in preparing a good beef tenderloin dish. Look for a cut that is bright red, has a tight and firm texture and a good amount of marbling. The age of the beef also plays a big factor in tenderizing meat. Choose meat that has been aged for at least 14 days or more, to ensure tenderness.

Preparation is Key

Before cooking your beef tenderloin, you need to prepare it first. Begin by trimming the excess fat and silverskin from the meat. Tie the beef tenderloin in several places with cooking twine to form a uniform shape. This will help to cook the meat evenly. Don’t forget to let the meat rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking to ensure even cooking.

Cooking Techniques

You can cook a beef tenderloin in different ways, and each technique yields a different result. Here are three popular cooking techniques you can use:


Grilling beef tenderloin is a popular method because it imparts a smoky flavor to the meat. Preheat your grill to high heat and then season the meat with salt and pepper before grilling. Cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit for rare to medium rare and 135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium.

Baking and Roasting

Baking and roasting are two similar techniques that involve cooking the meat in an oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and season the meat with salt, pepper, and your preferred spices before baking. Place the beef tenderloin in a roasting pan and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit for rare and 135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare.

Sous Vide

Sous Vide is a popular method that involves cooking the meat in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag. First, preheat your sous vide machine to 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the beef tenderloin with your preferred spices, then vacuum-seal it in a plastic bag. Place the bag in the sous vide machine and cook for about 1-2 hours. Once done, sear the meat in a hot pan for a crispy exterior.

Resting is a Must

After cooking the beef tenderloin, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This is an important step because it allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that it’s tender and juicy. Don’t cover it with foil while it rests, as this will steam the meat and make it less tender.

Serving and Plating

Beef tenderloin is often served with side dishes such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and gravy. After resting, slice the meat against the grain with a sharp knife. Serve the beef tenderloin on a platter, garnish with herbs or spices for a more festive look.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I cook beef tenderloin?

The cooking time for beef tenderloin varies depending on the size, cooking technique, and desired level of doneness. A general rule of thumb is to cook the beef tenderloin for 15-20 minutes for every pound at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do I have to tie the beef tenderloin?

Yes, tying the beef tenderloin is important to ensure even cooking. It also helps the meat retain its shape, making it more visually appealing.

What can I serve with beef tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin goes well with side dishes such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and gravy. It also goes well with a salad, corn, green beans, and Brussel sprouts dish.

In conclusion, cooking beef tenderloin can be intimidating, but with the right steps, you can prepare a delicious and juicy meat perfect for any special occasion or a hearty dinner. Always choose good-quality meat, prepare it well and choose the cooking technique that suits your preference. Happy cooking!