How To Grill Beef Tenderloin

How to Grill Beef Tenderloin

Flavor: 3 Out Of 5

Alternative Names: Whole Filet, Filet Mignon, Chateaubriand


Photo on left is a whole beef tenderloin. The photo on the right, small end is folded under the roast and tied with twine at 1-2 inch intervals to give the roast a more uniform shape to help cook the tenderloin more evenly.

The tenderloin is a long cylindrical muscle cut from the middle of the cow right out of the short loin section. The muscle tissue does almost no work, so the tenderloin is the most tender piece of beef you can buy and because of this the most expensive.

Sold whole or as a smaller center cut roast, it has a pleasantly mild almost non-beefy flavor. Beef tenderloin is well recognized and a favorite for entertaining and in many parts of the world this cut is known as grilled filet mignon recipe.

Knowing how to grill filet mignon is important, it is a cut that cooks quickly but can easily dry out. The secret to acquiring a tender but moist roast is to sear the roast first and then move it to a high indirect heat. This will give the tenderloin a nice outer crust and seal in the juices as long as the internal temperature is grilled to medium-rare and at the very most medium doneness. If you like a little smoky flavor added to your beef than adding wood chunks or wood chips is easy to do on the grill

Cooking Instructions

How to grill beef tenderloin

Gas Grill

1. About 60 minutes before grilling the tenderloin remove from the refrigerator, bringing it to room temperature. This next step is optional, to add a smoky flavor soak 2 cups of wood chips covered in cold water about 15 minutes, drain and place in a metal wood chip box which can be found where most grills are sold.

You can also use rectangular disposable foil tray for the wood chips or make your own out of aluminum foil. Take a piece of aluminum foil 15-20 inches long, fold both longs sides up about 1 inch and repeat on both short ends creating a tray to hold the wood chips. Cover container tightly with foil and use a fork to make about 5-6 holes to allow the smoke to escape

2. Place tray with wood chips on the grill and turn on all burners to high. Close lid and preheat 15-20 minutes until the wood chips are heavily smoking. If not using wood chips preheat grill for 15 minutes on high.

3. Meanwhile rub the roast with vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper to taste or sprinkle on your favorite dry rub. Hours before just rub the roast with vegetable oil and rub the dry rub mixture onto the roast.

4. Scrape the grill clean with a wire brush, sear the roast on high 2½-3 minutes per side for each of the four sides.

5. Leave the main burner on high and turn off all other burners. Place the tenderloin over the cool part of the grill, cook until the internal temperature reaches 125-135 degrees, which should be about 25-30 minutes with lid down. As the temperature drops try to keep the grill temperature about 350-400 degrees, adjust the heated burner as necessary.

6. Remove the roast 5 degrees before the desired temperature, the roast will rise another 5 degrees well resting. Transfer roast to cutting board and tent loosely with tinfoil 20-30 minutes to allow juices to redistribute evenly throughout the roast. Remove twine, cut cross ways across the roast and serve.

How to Grill Beef Tenderloin

Charcoal Grill

1. About 60 minutes before cooking the tenderloin remove from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature. This next step is optional, to add a smoky flavor soak wood chunks covered in cold water for 1 hour and drain or soak wood chips 15 minutes in cold water and drain, place in an aluminum or tinfoil container. Cover container tightly with foil and use a fork to make about 5-6 holes to allow the smoke to escape.

2. Meanwhile, light a fire with charcoal briquettes and allow to burn until covered with a thin layer of gray ash. Move coals to one side of the grill, piling 2-3 briquettes high. Open bottom vents completely and if using wood chunks or wood chips place wood chunks or the containers with wood chips on top of the charcoal and set cooking grate in place .

3. Open grill lid vents completely and cover, turning the lid so that the vents are opposite the wood chunks or chips to draw smoke through the grill. Let the grill heat for 5 minutes and clean with a wire brush.

4. Meanwhile rub the roast with vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper to taste or sprinkle on your favorite dry rub. Hours before just rub the roast with vegetable oil and rub the dry rub mixture onto the roast.

5. Scrape the grill clean with a wire brush, sear the roast on high 2½-3 minutes per side for each of the four sides.

6. Place the tenderloin over the cool part of the grill, cook until the internal temperature reaches 125-135 degrees, which should be about 25-30 minutes with lid down.

7. Remove the roast 5 degrees before the desired temperature, the roast will rise another 5 degrees well resting. Transfer roast to cutting board and tent loosely with tinfoil 20-30 minutes to allow juices to redistribute evenly throughout the roast. Remove twine, cut cross ways across the roast and serve.

Doneness Description Meat Thermometer Reading
Rare Red with cold, soft center 125-130 degrees
Medium-Rare Red with warm, somewhat firm center 135-140 degrees
Medium Pink and firm throughout 140-150 degrees
Medium-well Pink line in center, quite firm 150-155 degrees
Well-done Gray-brown throughout and completely firm 160-165 degrees

The internal temperature will rise about 5 degrees during resting time. Remove the tenderloin 5 degrees before the desired doneness. Remember you should always use an instant-read thermometer to check the doneness of a roast. Insert thermometer into thickest part of roast in 2 different spots. A thermometer is a must if you want to learn how to grill beef tenderloin to perfection.

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US To Metric System Chart

Oven Temperatures

Fahrenheit (°F) Celsius (°C)

125° 52°

150° 66°

175° 80°

200° 93°

225° 107°

250° 121°

275° 135°

300° 149°

325° 163°

350° 177°

375° 190°

400° 205°

425° 218°

450° 232°

475° 246°

500° 260°

 

SBI!