A beef tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef you can buy. It is full of flavor, very tender, and is very juicy. It is a preferred cut of beef for many people.
Before we talk about how to cook a beef tenderloin, let’s talk about how you buy one.
How to buy a beef tenderloin
You can buy a beef tenderloin in several different ways. The first consideration you will decide is what grade of beef you will purchase. Chances are you will encounter beef that is graded prime or choice. Less than 2% of all beef is graded as prime beef. It is the most marbled with fat and has the most flavor. It is also the most expensive. Typically specialty butcher shops, higher end grocery stores, and some warehouse stores carry prime beef. Most grocery stores carry choice beef; it is the second most marbled beef, and it is very flavorful as well. Choice beef is less expensive. I typically make my choice on by what is on sale. Sometimes prime beef may only cost a little more than choice, and if that is the case, I will go with the prime.
You can buy a tenderloin in the cryo-vac, you will need to break down the tenderloin yourself. It isn’t difficult you need a sharp knife. There will be some waste when you break down a tenderloin. You can also buy them trimmed, and ready to go. In the cryo-vac you will be purchasing the whole tenderloin, and if you buy one that is already trimmed you will purchase only what you need. For this recipe, I purchased only a roast-sized portion. You can easily adjust your cooking time as needed when you make the roast.
When you buy your already trimmed tenderloin, make sure that it has the silverskin that covers the meat removed. Sometimes the butcher may leave a bit of it still on the roast. If you don’t remove it, the roast will be tough where that silver skin remains.
How to cook a beef tenderloin
I like to use a two-step cooking method when I prepare a tenderloin roast. The primary cooking is done in the oven. The final stage of the cooking is simply searing the meat before allowing it to rest before cutting. I like to sear after it cooks in the oven. Often, we like to sear then bake. We are going to reverse that in this recipe. Why? If we do it before, the crust isn’t on the outside isn’t crisp, and browned. If we do it after we bake, it looks naturally beautiful and has a nice crisp outside.
It is critical that you use a meat thermometer with this recipe while cooking a roast is pretty straightforward, and you can use this chart to cook with it. Oven temperatures can vary. So I like to check the temperature once when we have hit about 75% of the cooking time. This roast is going to be cooked at 300 degrees. If you want your roast rare, it will take between 20 to 25 minutes per pound, medium rare it should take between 30 to 35 minutes per pound.
Temperatures for Beef Tenderloin
A lot of people are pretty finicky about what temperature to cook meat. I personally always like to cook beef more on the rare side. This way if I need to cook it later to reheat it, I feel I don’t end up with something that is close to shoe leather. This is a very personal choice. Unlike pork, you can eat beef safely when it is rare.
How to long to cook beef at 300 degrees
Rare 120 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit about 15 to 18 minutes a pound
Medium Rare 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit about 20 minutes a pound
Well 140 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit about 25 minutes a pound
How much tenderloin do you need to serve XX amount of people?
It is recommended to serve about 1/2 pound of tenderloin per person. This weight should be taken before cooking. So if you are serving 10 people you would need five pounds of raw tenderloin. The 1/2 of beef may seem like a very large portion. Some water weight cooks out, and you will end up with less beef after cooking.
Beef tenderloin add-ons
When you finish your beef tenderloin, you may want to serve it with some flavored butter, or even a little horseradish sauce.
Things to serve with your Tenderloin Roast
More roasted beef recipes
How to make Beef Tenderloin in the Oven
- 2 pound beef tenderloin center cut is best
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter divided use
- Allow tenderloin to rest until it reaches room temperature. This could take about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Salt and pepper the roast liberally. Spread 2 tablespoons of butter on the roast. Place the roast on a rack on top of a baking sheet.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes per pound for rare, medium rare it should take between 30 to 35 minutes per pound. Check temperature with a thermometer. If you are not using a rack be sure to flip the roast over when cooking. When you remove the roast heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear all sides of the roast in the butter until the sides brown. Allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes before serving.