how long to bake a beef tenderloin

For a 2-1/2-pound beef tenderloin, roast the meat uncovered for 20 minutes at 250°F. Then turn up the heat to 425°F. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of meat registers 135°F (about 30 to 40 minutes). Remove from the oven. Cover loosely with foil.

A Rare Case: What’s the Best Degree of Doneness for Beef Tenderloin?

I used to be one of those “wave the steak in the direction of the fire and serve it to me” types. The rarer, the better. But when I actually started thinking critically about what was in my mouth, rather than letting whatever minor sense of machismo I had get the better of me, I realized that rarer does not always equal better, and Im willing to bet that anybody who currently thinks so could be convinced otherwise.

These days, I firmly believe that when youre cooking red meat, the degree of doneness to which you cook it should be directly related to its fat content. Rich, fatty cuts, like prime-grade prime rib, are better cooked to at least medium-rare, and often even up to medium—hot enough that the plentiful intramuscular fat can start to soften, spreading its flavor and its lubrication over your mouth.*

*In fact, in blindfolded taste tests I conducted, even avowed rare-meat-eaters more often than not picked the medium-rare prime rib or the medium prime rib over the rare as the best-tasting. This also may explain why the French, with their very lean beef, tend to prefer their meat cooked very rare, while Americans, with their extra-fatty meat, veer toward medium. Nobody can explain why the Brits cook their lean beef beyond well-done.

A lean tenderloin, on the other hand, has no intramuscular fat, so go beyond medium-rare at all and youre just drying it out. For tenderloin, edge-to-edge pink, with perhaps even a spot of translucent rare meat in the very center, is the way to go. And, of course, we still want a really nice dark crust on the exterior for flavor and texture.

What Temperature Should Beef Tenderloin Be?

The worst thing you can do is overcook a pricey cut of beef. Ideally you should cook it to a nice medium-rare or medium. The higher the internal temperature, the more tough the meat will become. My biggest suggestion is to use a digital probe thermometer for accurate cooking.

Here is a good chart to go by.

  • RARE – 115°F – 120°F
  • MEDIUM RARE – 120°F – 125°F
  • MEDIUM – 130°F – 135°F

PRO TIP: Keep in mind that the internal temperature will continue to rise about 5 to 7 degrees after being removed from the oven.

How To Prepare Beef Tenderloin

  • TRIM: Start by trimming your beef tenderloin if it is not already trimmed for you. I purchased mine from Costco and it came trimmed. To trim the beef tenderloin you’ll want to remove the “silverskin” that runs down the length of the tenderloin. Run your knife gently underneath while pulling it up with your other hand. Trim off any other excess fat around the outside and remove “the chain” which is just a fatty strip along the outside as well.
  • TIE: A beef tenderloin is a long cut of beef that comes to a point at one end. In order to get the beef to cook evenly it’s important to tie it up and make it as uniform in shape as possible. Using butcher’s twine you can easily tie it up. Tuck the long pointed end up into the thicker part of the tenderloin creating a uniform cylinder shape.
  • CHILL: To give your tenderloin a delicious crust on the outside, you can leave it in the fridge overnight unwrapped. This will dry out the surface, helping it to gain a gorgeous browned crust when seared. This step is optional, so if you don’t have time, don’t worry, you’ll still get great results.

For a 2-1/2-pound beef tenderloin, roast the meat uncovered for 20 minutes at 250°F. Then turn up the heat to 425°F. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of meat registers 135°F (about 30 to 40 minutes). Remove from the oven. Cover loosely with foil.

FAQ

How long and at what temperature do you cook beef tenderloin?

For roasts that are 2 to 3 pounds, roast at 425°F for 35 to 40 minutes for medium rare (135°F) and 45 to 50 minutes for medium (150°F) doneness. For roasts weighing 4 to 5 pounds, roast at 425°F for 50 to 60 minutes for medium rare (135°F) and 60 to 70 minutes for medium (150°F).

Is it better to roast a beef tenderloin at a high or low temperature?

Low-heat roasting— 225°F to 300°F, or 200°F to 275°F in a convection oven—will produce a roast with rosy interior that’s evenly cooked all the way through, but you won’t get much in the way of a well-seared crust.

How long do you cook a 1 inch tenderloin for?

For a 1-inch cut, grill 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare (145°F) or 12 to 15 minutes for medium (160°F). For a 1½-inch cut, grill 15 to 19 minutes for medium-rare (145°F) or 18 to 23 minutes for medium (160°F). Transfer the meat to a platter. Cover the meat with foil and allow it to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

How many minutes per side for tenderloin?

Once the grill is hot, place the tenderloin filets directly over the heat, and cook for approximately 8 minutes. Cook for 2 minutes per side on the long sides, then cook for 1 minute per side on the short sides. This will help ensure even cooking, and a beautiful sear on all sides.

Related Posts