How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin is tender, versatile, and easier to cook than you might think. Cooking beef tenderloin is simple with our step-by-step guide. Once you know how to cook beef tenderloin, try our delicious (and impressive) beef tenderloin recipes.

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Buy Just the Right Amount

Beef tenderloin is popular (and expensive) because it's so tender and rich. The good news is the butcher trims the tenderloin so only the most tender meat remains, which means you need to buy only as much as you need. To determine how much tenderloin to purchase, plan on four servings per pound of tenderloin.

 

Cooking beef tenderloin is easy -- use our handy guide for perfectly cooked tenderloin. Beef tenderloin cooking times will vary from piece to piece, so we recommend using a thermometer. 

How Long to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Untitled Document

Cut

Weight

Approximate Roasting Time
(based on meat directly from refrigerator)

Final Roasting Temperature
(when to remove from oven)

Tenderloin roast
(cooked at 425°F)

1 pound

35 to 40 minutes

45 to 50 minutes

140°F (145°F medium rare after standing)
155°F (160°F medium after standing)

 

2 to 3 pounds

35 to 40 minutes

45 to 50 minutes

135°F (145°F medium rare after standing)
150°F (160°F medium after standing)

 

4 to 5 pounds

50 to 60 minutes

60 to 70 minutes

135°F (145°F medium rare after standing)
150°F (160°F medium after standing)

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Get our favorite methods for cooking beef tenderloin. We'll show you how to cook tenderloin in the oven, on the grill, and on the stove. 

Whole Tenderloin and Center-Cut Tenderloin Roasts

Step 1: Prep the Beef
Trim any fat and silver skin (the thin, pearlescent membrane running along top of tenderloin) from the tenderloin. Season as desired. For a whole tenderloin, fold under the tapered end (tail) or cut it off for even cooking. Timings below are based on meat removed directly from the refrigerator.

Step 2: Roast or Grill the Tenderloin
Roast: Browning the tenderloin first is optional, but it benefits the meat by caramelizing the outside and locking in the juices. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Quickly brown the tenderloin on all sides in the hot oil. Transfer the roast to a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Preheat oven to 425°F. Insert an oven-going thermometer into the center of the tenderloin. Roast, uncovered, until desired doneness according to the timings. Transfer meat to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. The temperature of the meat will rise during this time (this is reflected in the timings).

Grill: For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the drip pan. Place meat on the grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill, allowing 3/4 to 1 hour for a 2- to 3-pound roast (135°F) and 1 to 1 1/4 hours for a 4- to 5-pound roast (135°F). Add more charcoal to maintain heat as necessary. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust heat for indirect cooking.) Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. The temperature of the meat will rise 10°F during the standing time.

 

Tenderloin Steaks

Step 1: Prep the Beef
Start with beef tenderloin steaks cut 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick (1 inch for grilling). Trim fat from steaks. Season as desired. Timings below are based on meat removed directly from the refrigerator.

Step 2: Saute or Grill the Tenderloin
Saute: Heat skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon butter and reduce heat to medium. (Or spray cool skillet with nonstick cooking spray before heating; continue as directed.) Cook, uncovered, for 7 to 9 minutes for 3/4-inch steaks or 10 to 13 minutes for 1-inch steaks to desired doneness (145°F for medium rare and 160°F for medium).

Grill: For a charcoal grill, place meat on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill to desired doneness, turning once halfway through grilling. Allow 10 to 12 minutes for medium rare (145°F) or 12 to 15 minutes for medium (160°F). (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place meat on grill rack over heat. Cover the grill.) Remove steaks from grill; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

 

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