can you smoke beef tenderloin

Place the tenderloin on the smoker, insert a probe thermometer into the center of the roast and smoke until internal temperature reaches 120 degrees. Remove the tenderloin from the pit and cover loosely in foil and rest for 20-30 minutes. Slice the tenderloin into desired thickness and serve.

Satiate every craving with this incredible smoked beef tenderloin. Perfect fork-tender beef with a rich medium-rare center and just a hint of heat and smoked flavor. It’s the veritable way to take filet mignon to a whole new level while feeding a crowd. Want even more flavor? Top it with luscious crab imperial for a restaurant-level experience at home.

Smoked tenderloin is about as decadent a recipe as you can get. And where we love the simplicity of a grilled beef tenderloin, being the most tender cut, it picks up the smoke flavor with a short cook over coals and wood before being topped with a luscious crab imperial. Talk about holiday dinner done right.

This recipe works because it’s an absolute showstopper meal perfect for guests or intimate date nights. The beautiful medium-rare pink all the way through the succulent slices is stunning..

Beef tenderloin has long been the dinner roast of choice, next to prime rib, with considerably less fat and cooking methodology required. And, where prime rib makes for amazing big slices with a lot of flavor from the rendered fat, this, can be cut with a fork. Literally.

Now, imagine that sliced with a smokey crab imperial laced with just a pinch of that southern Creole heat. It’s not a huge kick, but enough that will have guests wondering just what the magic ingredient is.

While your guests are left wondering how many hours you spent in the kitchen, you can choose to tell them it was as easy as 3 ingredients and a bit of smoke, if you want. Or leave them to be mystified at your grilling mastery.

How to buy a whole tenderloin?

Buying a whole tenderloin can be tricky if it’s not prime holiday season. If it is, check your local markets, they tend to put them on sale whole at great prices for Christmas and New Year’s. Otherwise, calling your butcher ahead and asking for a tenderloin and the size you need is the best option. Most will offer options between choice and prime and this can add more than a few dollars per pound on an already expensive cut of meat.

When picking a grade, tenderloin is already the most tender cut, so if I trust my butcher, or know the meat source, I am ok with a ‘choice’ selection here, given that I am already paying for the best of the best.

How to make the best Smoked Beef Tenderloin

Make sure to build your fire for offset heat. We are gently slow cooking the tenderloin, not treating it like a steak for a high and fast cook. Once the embers are holding temperature, be ready to add wood chunks and the meat.

Tying (or trussing as the chefs call it) the tenderloin helps to retain the shape. There is often a thicker end and a thinner end (where you slice the filet mignon from).

Using butcher’s twine and tying the big cut off every inch or so helps to maintain its slender figure for a pretty presentation when serving.

can you smoke beef tenderloin

Once you have tied the meat, season it with olive oil and a simple dash of Creole seasoning. The meat already has incredible flavor, so we are just enhancing it with a bit of a kick.

can you smoke beef tenderloin

Using a digital thermometer is important for accurate cooking. When smoking, you want to keep the lid closed to keep the smoke in and avoid rising and lowering the heat. If you do a lot of smoking, invest in a probe that can be inserted into the meat while it’s smoking with a reader you can see outside of the smoker.

Only smoke the tenderloin to 120-125. It will continue to cook when it is seared and then while it’s resting.

After the smoke, you sear the meat, a technique known as reverse searing, to get that beautifully browned crust on the outside, double wrap it in foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Resting the meat helps the juices to return to where they need to be and not rush out immediately as it’s sliced. I also like the double wrap to retain any liquid that does accumulate. Hello, easy drippings to pour back atop the meat!

can you smoke beef tenderloin

What is a reverse sear and when do I use it?

Using a ‘reverse sear’ technique, we smoke the beef to an internal temperature of 120 degrees before rolling it across a hot cast iron griddle or grill grates to get an external crust and a 130 degrees F internal temperature of the meat before resting.

Reverse searing is a term used when meat is cooked low to achieve a certain internal temperature before applying high heat to create the exterior crust. It is the opposite of browning a roast before cooking, like in my beef wellington.

Both have their advantages, but in the case of smoking meat, it works great to allow the meat to absorb the rich smoke flavor and then lock in everything with the final sear.

I use the reverse sear method on large cuts of meat that I am cooking over live-fire or traditionally in an oven. I love it to finish a porterhouse right or in the case of a thick tomahawk ribeye, ensure that there is an even desired temperature through the entire cut.

Reverse searing can produce some of the most even color you can get from top to bottom (with the exception of sous vide – which I also finish with a sear).

Place the tenderloin on the smoker, insert a probe thermometer into the center of the roast and smoke until internal temperature reaches 120 degrees. Remove the tenderloin from the pit and cover loosely in foil and rest for 20-30 minutes. Slice the tenderloin into desired thickness and serve.

FAQ

Is beef tenderloin good smoked?

We did this smoked beef tenderloin for Christmas but it’s a great meal for anytime.While it does not have the fat of say a ribeye, it is still super tender and full of great beefy flavor.

Should I sear a tenderloin before smoking?

Only smoke the tenderloin to 120-125. It will continue to cook when it is seared and then while it’s resting. After the smoke, you sear the meat, a technique known as reverse searing, to get that beautifully browned crust on the outside, double wrap it in foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Is a beef tenderloin the same as a filet mignon?

It’s common to wonder, “Is beef tenderloin the same as filet mignon?” The answer is no, they are two different cuts of beef. However, filet mignon comes from the beef tenderloin, cut from the very end and most tender area of the tenderloin.

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