Different Ways to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Updated: 12/01/22 •  11 min read

Last Updated on December 1, 2022

Annabelle – An experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother.

Different Ways to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin is arguably one of the richest cuts of meat in terms of taste and  texture. As the name implies, this cut of beef is extremely tender. It’s situated right under the ribs just below the backbone, and it is part of the renowned T-bone steak.

Given its position, this meaty, soft cut does not undergo any rigorous movements, hence it tends to stay tender throughout the life of the animal. For this reason, it’s more expensive compared to other cuts and you have to dig deeper into your pockets to buy this loin of beef.

Nevertheless, tenderloin is worth every dime, given its tenderness, juiciness, succulence and incomparable mild flavor. Besides, it has a rich taste that can transform any dull occasion into a true festival – every bite will leave a lasting impression long after the occasion is over.

So what is the best way to cook beef tenderloin?

Well, cooking beef tenderloin is not as intimidating as it might seem.  You can grill it, sear it or even bake it in the oven. Below we explore some of the best ways to cook beef tenderloin.

1. How to Grill Beef Tenderloin?

Grilling is one of the easiest ways to cook your beef tenderloin. Moreover, it does not require any special equipment or skills other than a normal charcoal or gas grill. Besides, cooking on the grill will leave your beef tenderloin just as tender as the roasted type, and it will give it a more delicious, smoky flavor.

What is even more appetizing is that you can season your meat using traditional herbs or dip it in marinade (just before cooking) to achieve a more flavorful outcome. Some people prefer a tenderizer tool to directly tenderize the meat by flattening the steak and then add breadcrumbs before grilling,  giving it a tasty, crispy texture.

Whatever your preferences, you’ll never go wrong if you decide to grill your beef tenderloin as long as you follow these instructions.


  • 4 pounds of beef tenderloin
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup mint-chive butter
  • Coarse salt


Option 1

1. Let the beef stand at room temperature for up to 30 minutes (depending on the size of the meat).
2. Set up your grill for indirect cooking by creating two zones. Heat up the direct cooking zone to 400° Fahrenheit and leave the indirect zone to remain cool and flameless.
3. Rub your beef tenderloin with extra-virgin olive oil.
4. Season the meat using salt and pepper.
5. Place your prepared tenderloin on a drip pan and sear over the direct side until all sides turn brown.
6. Transfer the seared meat to the indirect side of the grill with the fatty, meaty side up.
7. Cover the meat and grill until the internal temperature reaches 135° Fahrenheit. Grilling depends on the thickness of the meat. A 3-pound roast will take about 45 minutes to reach 135° Fahrenheit.
8. Remove the meat from the grill and brush with mint-chive butter.
9. Wrap in a foil and let the meat stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Option 2

1. Flatten the meat slightly using a meat mallet.
2. Season with your favorite seasonings, including salt and pepper.
3. Dip the season meat in melted butter. Rub the melted butter on all sides of the meat.
4. Coat the seasoned meat with fresh breadcrumbs.
5. Moisten the breadcrumbs by adding melted butter.
6. Grill the meat in low heat until the internal temperature reaches 125 to 135° Fahrenheit.
7. Serve with your favorite sauce and side dish.

2. How to Sauté Beef Tenderloin?

Sautéing is another quick and easy way of cooking your beef tenderloin. This method entails cooking your cut of beef over high heat in a shallow pan (sauté pan) while using a very small amount of oil or fat until the meat turns brown on all sides.

One major benefit of sautéing is that it doesn’t tamper with the essential nutrients of the beef tenderloin. In addition, this cooking technique ensures your beef remains juicy and it keeps the flavors vivid.

Since it does not use much oil, many chefs consider sautéing as a healthier way of cooking beef tenderloin. The only blemish is that it might leave out essential fats that the body might require to function optimally.

Here are the steps on how to sauté beef tenderloin:


  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons yellow hot pepper paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki stir fry sauce-marinade


Option 1

1. Cut your beef tenderloin into thin strips.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on a large skillet or fry pan over medium to high heat.
3. Season your beef tenderloin with pepper and salt.
4. Add the seasoned beef to the skillet and stir fry until the meat is caramelized.
5. Remove the browned tenderloin from the skillet and set it aside.
6. Now, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the same skillet and add sliced onion.
7. Stir the sliced onion until they turn crisp and tender.
8. Add garlic and yellow hot pepper paste, and stir for about 2 minutes.
9. Add drained, diced tomatoes, soy sauce and teriyaki stir fry sauce-marinade.
10. Return the beef tenderloin to the skillet and stir until hot.
11. Serve immediately with your favorite side.

Option 2

1. Flatten your beef tenderloin using a food mallet.
2. Season the flattened beef tenderloin with pepper and salt.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet.
4. Add the seasoned beef and sauté over medium to high heat
5. Brown both sides of the meat.
6. Remove from the pan and serve.

3. How to Cook Beef Tenderloin in the Oven?

If you want to explore other excellent ways of cooking beef tenderloin, consider cooking your meat in the oven. Nonetheless, this method tends to cook tenderloin unevenly. For this reason, you have to trim away any excess fat and silver skin, and tie up the tenderloin beef before cooking.

To avoid any guesswork, we are going to show you how to trim and truss your tenderloin before cooking it in the oven.

Trimming your beef tenderloin

You may ask the butcher to trim the tenderloin for you, but doing it on your own is more fun and gratifying. The essence of trimming your beef tenderloin cut is to ensure the meat cooks evenly and it does not taste rubbery.

Here are the steps for trimming your beef tenderloin:

Lift up flaps of fat with your fingers and cut them away. Do the same for the silver skin.
Locate the chain (the membrane that holds the side meat) and cut it away.
Locate the chateaubriand, which is the large section that attaches the main keel, and cut it away, but save it for other dishes.
Cut the tenderloin in half for easier preparation and cooking.

Tying up your beef tenderloin

To avoid uncooked patches, you are advised to tie your beef tenderloin before cooking it in the oven or roasting it. Here are the steps:

Buy a butcher’s twine from your local store or butchery.
Bring the string under one side of the meat and drape it over the top of the tenderloin.
Tie a butcher’s knot by bringing both pieces of string together before tightening.
Make a large loop and wrap it under the tenderloin.
Make another loop and continue with the process of looping and tying until the entire meat is trussed.


  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)
  • 1 tablespoon brown deli-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 1 cup Swanson beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


1. Season your beef tenderloin with pepper and salt at least 30 minutes before cooking.
2. Allow your tenderloin cut to rest until it comes to room temperature. This will make it easier to cook and prevent the meat from drying out on the inside.
3. Rub and season the meat with herbs and spices, including fresh thyme, chopped garlic, ground pepper.
4. Preheat your oven to 425c.
5. While preheating the oven, heat a fry pan or cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat.
6. Add vegetable oil to the pan and place your sliced tenderloin beef.
7. Sear each side of the tenderloin cuts for about four minutes until brown. When properly cooked, the meat should release from the pan easily.
8. Transfer the skillet containing the seared beef tenderloin into the heated oven.
9. Cook the seared tenderloin in the oven for about an hour until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 125° Fahrenheit.
10. Remove the skillet from the oven and then transfer the roasts to a plate.
11. Melt your butter over low heat and add the diced shallots.
12. Stir in deli mustard.
13. Thereafter, Increase heat and add Worcester sauce and Swanson beef stock.
14. Reduce heat and whist in the cream. Simmer for approximately 2 minutes until the sauce sicks to a spoon.
15. Stir in thyme, oregano, chives and parsley.
16. Rub your herb sauce over the seared tenderloin.
17. Serve immediately.

4. How to Pan-Fry Beef Tenderloin?

Pan-frying is the easiest way to cook your beef tenderloin (it only requires 5 minutes to cook it on a skillet meant for medium-high cooking) However, you have to prepare your meat and allow the cuts to come to room temperature (approximately 1 hour) before cooking. Doing so will ensure that your tenderloin steaks cook evenly without drying out.

Here are the steps of pan-frying beef tenderloin:


  • 4 beef tenderloin steaks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon


1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl or baking dish.
2. Add the tenderloin steaks to marinate for about an hour.
3. Heat a large skillet over a medium-high heat.
4. Place the marinated steaks in the pan and cook for 2 minutes leaving them untouched.
5. Turn steaks over and cook for another 2 minutes.
6. Remove the steaks from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
7. Serve immediately.

Tips on How to Choose Your Beef Tenderloin


Photo Credit: Kurman Communications, Inc.

As mentioned earlier, beef tenderloin is undeniably the most expensive cut for a number of reasons; it is tender and has a very rich, juicy flavor compared to other types of meat. 

With this in mind, knowing how to choose your tenderloin can go a long way to give you a better bang for your buck. Here are a few tips on how to choose your beef tenderloin cut.

Always consider buying tenderloin in bulk rather than in smaller pieces. Tenderloin is quite costly but some butchers offer discounts when buying in bulk. Moreover, this cut of meat can last for long in the freezer without going stale or losing its taste and freshness.
Store any meat you don’t intend to use in an airtight, freezer-safe bag to maintain its freshness and prevent cross-contamination. When you are ready to thaw the meat, simply place it on the lower shelf of the refrigerator and leave it to defrost overnight.
For best quality and flavor, opt for beef tenderloin labeled “Prime”. Depending on your country of residence, the highest quality beef cut should be “Prime” or “Choice”.
Some types of beef tenderloin cuts come already peeled while others come unpeeled. Peeled cuts do not require much preparation. On the other hand, unpeeled tenderloin will require you to trim any extra fat and skin before cooking. Considering this, choosing your steak cuts depends on how much time you intend to spend in preparing your meat before cooking.

Annabelle Watson

Wrapping Up

The best way to cook beef tenderloin all depends on how you want the meat to turn out. If you want the inside to remain juicy while the outside is brown and crispy, then you should sear it on a hot skillet. This meat considerations also applies to porterhouse, T-bone steaks, and other meat parts.

Alternatively, you can grill whole beef tenderloin over indirect heat or roast it in the oven for a well-cooked, flavorful dish. You just need to try all of these methods and decide what’s best for you.

READ ALSO: Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Beef.

Annabelle Watson

Annabelle is an experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother. All her recipes are well tested in the home long before they make their way to you: guaranteed crowd pleasers for every occasion, from a simple home dinner to fun and fast entertaining ideas.She currently resides in New York, with her husband and two adorable children (who often double as her helpers!).