This is a beef tenderloin recipe that I have been doing for years, and I love it—of course. That said, what’s more important than the recipe itself is the technique I use to cook it perfectly every time. More on that later. While this isn’t an every-night meal, it’s definitely a crowd pleaser for family gatherings or special occasions.
I use the center cut, also known as the Châteaubriand. It’s not typically available at the grocery store, so plan on ordering one in advance. It comes pre-trimmed so there is very little preparation work to do. This is a very tender piece of meat, like cut it with a spoon tender. However, because it’s so lean, it lacks the flavor of ribeye or strip steak.
To make up for that, I use a simple Dijon and herb crust that really takes the flavor up a notch. The specific Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper are up to you. For this recipe, make the effort to use fresh rosemary and thyme for the flavor and texture profile. There’s a commonly invoked guideline about substituting dry herbs, but such a beautiful piece of meat deserves the extra touch you can only get with fresh herbs. You won’t regret it. I recommend you start with my recipe, but feel free to change up the flavor profile while using the same roasting technique.
How To Cook Beef Tenderloin
Many people love a good roast beef tenderloin recipe, but grilling it is fun and easy. There’s no roasting pan to clean. All you need is a good meat thermometer and a grill. Most recipes call for you to sear the beef first, then roast it in the oven or on the grill. I take just the opposite approach with this recipe to achieve the perfect medium-rare temperature.
You’ve heard me talk about the reverse-sear method in many of my recipes. I like that method for a number of reasons, and I use a similar method here. Though I don’t sear the meat over direct heat, I do bring it up to temp slowly using moderate indirect heat, then roast it at the end using very high indirect heat to form the perfect crust. You can learn how to cook beef tenderloin like this for a great dish in just under an hour.
Is Tenderloin Filet Mignon?
In a roundabout way, yes. Filet mignon steaks are cut, usually about 2 inches thick, from the same cut of meat. They make excellent steaks, of course, but when cooked whole it’s just called a beef tenderloin. The beef tenderloin is to the filet mignon as a standing rib roast is to a ribeye steak.
Tips For Grilling
The Shape: This cut is sort of long and cylindrical. To keep that shape, I recommend using some butcher’s twine and tying it up to help support the muscle fibers during the cook.
The Temperature: Because this is such a lean cut of meat, it’s going to cook quickly. Be sure you’re using a reliable leave-in thermometer to monitor the meat’s internal temperature.
The Fuel: You can use either charcoal or gas for this recipe, and in either application you can add some wood for some smoke flavor if you like. I don’t use wood because I think the smoke takes away from the herb crust rather than adds to it, but that’s personal preference.
Herb-Crusted Grilled Beef Tenderloin Recipe
Serves: 6-8 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: ~45 minutes
Ingredients1 3-4 lb. beef tenderloin3 tbsp Dijon mustard1 tbsp olive oil2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper2 tsp coarse sea salt
How To Make Herb-Crusted Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Step 1: Light your grill and set it up for two-zone cooking, establishing the temperature at 225° F.
Step 2: While the grill is preheating, set the beef on the counter and allow it to start warming to room temperature. Tie the tenderloin with butcher’s twine to help it keep its shape while on the grill.
Step 3: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the herb crust.
Then, using your hands evenly coat the entire cut of beef with the mixture.
Step 4: Insert a reliable leave-in thermometer into the thickest portion of the beef, and place it on the grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and allow the beef to roast until the internal temperature reaches 100° F, which takes about 30 minutes.
Step 5: Remove the beef from the grill and turn up the gas (or stoke the coals) to increase the grill temperature to 650° F. Place the beef back on the grill over indirect heat, close the lid and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 122° F, which takes about 5-7 minutes.
Step 6: Remove the beef from the grill, place on a baking sheet, and tent it with aluminum foil. Allow the meat to rest for 7-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Carryover cooking will bring this to a perfect medium rare.
For more information please see the list of Beef tenderloin on the gas grill