There are few holiday roasts that can compare to a smoked beef tenderloin. The beef is unbelievably flavorful and tender, and it looks amazing when it’s served on the table.
What you need to smoke a tenderloin:
When smoking roasts, I prefer to use very basic flavors. I want the meat to retain its rich umami flavor while taking on an aromatic smoked flavor. For this one, I simply used:
- Tony Chachere’s BOLD Blend
- Kiln Dried Hickory Chunks
How to make the best Smoked Beef Tenderloin
Make sure to build your fire for offset heat. Instead of treating the tenderloin like a steak for a high-and-fast cook, we are gently slow cooking it. Prepare to add wood chunks and the meat once the embers have reached a stable temperature.
The tenderloin can maintain its shape by being tied, or trussed as the chefs prefer to say. When slicing filet mignon, there is frequently a thicker and a thinner end.
The big cut can be tied every inch or so with butcher’s twine to keep its slender shape for a lovely presentation when served.
Once the meat has been tied, season it with a little olive oil and Creole seasoning. The meat already has a phenomenal flavor, so we’re just adding a little kick to it.
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. When it is seared and later while it is resting, it will continue to cook.
After the smoke, the meat is reverse seared to get that gorgeously browned crust on the outside. It is then double wrapped in foil and rested for 10 minutes before being cut into pieces.
When the meat is rested, the juices stay where they should be and do not rush out as the meat is cut. I like using two wraps to catch any liquid that does happen to accumulate. Hello, easy drippings to pour back atop the meat!.
Why is tenderloin so tender?
The tenderloin comes from the cow’s loin, just past the mid-back and in between the ribs and sirloin. It is typically a muscle that is not used enough because of where it is located. It doesn’t have connective tissue and doesn’t develop the thick fat cap of a rib roast, which results in the delicately sliced texture we desire in an exceptional lean cut.
From this cut, the renowned tenderness of chateaubriand and filet mignon steaks is derived. Due to this, it is also one of the priciest cuts and frequently used for special occasions.
Leaner cuts, like the ribeye or prime rib, tend to have more flavor than meat that is less rich. However, when prepared properly, this cut is prized for not requiring a knife and for complementing traditional toppings.
How to buy a whole tenderloin?
If it’s not the peak holiday season, purchasing a whole tenderloin can be challenging. If so, check your local markets because they frequently sell them whole at excellent prices around Christmas and New Year’s. The best alternative is to call your butcher in advance and request a tenderloin in the desired size. Most will provide options between choice and prime, which can increase the price of a cut of meat that is already expensive by more than a few dollars per pound.
Tenderloin is already the most tender cut when choosing a grade, so if I trust my butcher or know the source of the meat, I am okay with making a “choice” choice here since I am already paying for the best of the best.
What is a reverse sear and when do I use it?
We smoke the beef to an internal temperature of 120 degrees using the “reverse sear” technique, then we roll it across a hot cast iron griddle or grill grates to create an external crust and an internal temperature of 130 degrees F before resting.
The term “reverse searing” refers to the process of cooking meat slowly until it reaches a specific internal temperature before being seared on the outside with high heat. As in my beef wellington, it is the opposite of browning a roast before cooking.
Both have their benefits, but when smoking meat, it works well to give the meat time to absorb the flavorful smoke before sealing everything in with the final sear.
On large cuts of meat that I am cooking over live fire or in a traditional oven, I use the reverse sear technique. I enjoy properly cooking a porterhouse or making sure a thick tomahawk ribeye is cooked to the desired temperature throughout the entire cut.
With the exception of sous vide, which I also finish with a sear, reverse searing can result in some of the most consistent color you can get from top to bottom.
What wood to use for smoking beef tenderloin:
I use strong flavorful woods like hickory, oak, or mesquite for quick smokes like this one. These are the best woods for smoking beef because they produce potent aromas that allow the flavor to meld quickly, as in the case of a beef tenderloin, which we only smoke for about an hour to reach 120 degrees.
Using good chunks rather than chips will also help to enhance the flavor quickly.
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- 1 beef tenderloin, trimmed, and tied, weighing 2 to 3 lbs.
- ▢ 2 tbsp Olive oil
- ▢ 1 tbsp Tony Chachere’s Bold Blend
- ▢ 1 recipe Smoked Crab Imperial
Prep your Beef Tenderloin and Smoker
- Prepare your smoker for offset heat by starting a fire on one side and keeping the temperature at around 250.
- To ensure that your tenderloin maintains its shape while cooking, trim it as necessary and tie it off every 1″ to 1 1/2″
- After rubbing with olive oil, evenly distribute Tony Chachere’s BOLD blend over the entire tenderloin.
- Place the beef on the cooler side of the grill.
- Smoke the tenderloin for one hour at 250 to 300 degrees in a smoker until a digital thermometer registers 120.
- Either transfer the beef to a preheated grill or a sizable griddle or skillet that has been heated over medium-high heat in order to sear it evenly on all sides.
- 5 to 7 minutes per side, rotate the beef to ensure even browning on all sides.
- Remove the beef from the heat, wrap it in two layers of foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Slice into 1-inch-thick portions, top with decadent crab imperial, and serve with fresh vegetables in season.
- Garnish with freshly minced parsley, if desired.
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How long does it take to smoke a beef tenderloin at 225 degrees?
Place the meat-containing pan or rack onto the smoker grate once the smoker is ready, and allow the meat to start cooking. If you’d rather, you can just put it on the smoker grate. You can anticipate it to take around 2 hours at 225°F (107°C), but this will vary depending on a number of factors: the thickness of the meat.
How long does it take to smoke beef tenderloin?
Prepare your smoker at 250 degrees Fahrenheit with apple or other fruit wood. Place the tenderloin on the smoker and allow it to smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This should take approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
How long to smoke beef tenderloin per lb?
Place the roast directly on the grill grates to smoke the beef tenderloin. When smoking the tenderloin until it reaches an internal temperature of 110 degrees F, allow 15 minutes per pound of meat to cook.
How long does it take to smoke a beef tenderloin at 275?
Preheat smoker to 275°F. Garlic powder, black pepper, and kosher salt should be used to season the tenderloin. Smoke at 275°F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the tenderloin reaches 130°F internally. Let rest before serving.