The tenderloin is the most expensive cut of beef and contains, arguably, the most tender, succulent meat. If the thought of a perfectly-cooked filet has your mouth watering, imagine the accolades and awe cooking a whole tenderloin will receive! This beef tenderloin recipe is made by Rus Jones from Smoky Ribs using our Slow 'N Sear® Deluxe Kamado Grill and then demonstrates how to use the SnS Grills Scraper.
PrepTypically whole beef tenderloin can be purchased trimmed or untrimmed. Buying an untrimmed beef tenderloin can save you quite a few dollars, but you will have to do the task of removing the fat, connective tissue and silver skin that covers the beef tenderloin, but this is a very straight forward procedure and can easily be done with a very sharp boning or filet knife. When removing the fat and silver skin, pay close attention to each cut making sure not to gouge into the actual meat.
Once you have the entire whole beef tenderloin trimmed and free of the excess fat and all the silver skin, it is time to break the beef tenderloin down to ultimately expose the center cut section of the beef tenderloin. This center cut is where Filet Mignon steaks are cut from. It is the most tender cut on the steer, and also the most expensive.
Now that all the silver skin and fat has been removed you will be able to easily see what is referred to as the chain. It is connected to the side of the tenderloin and runs its entire length, and is barely connected with connective tissue and silver skin. On one end of the beef tenderloin you will notice the head. It’s a fat end that is also semi connected by more connective tissue and silver skin, and finally the opposite end from the head is referred to as the tail because it tapers down to a much smaller diameter. Please refer to the video below to see how these cuts are made.
Here are some basic guidelines:
Start by separating the head where the connective tissue and silver skin creates a natural separation. Now you want to remove the chain. Many times you can actually remove the chain by simply pulling it away, but a sharp knife can easily tackle this task as well. Now lastly you will cut away the tail right where it begins to taper down, as well as the tapered end where you removed the head. All of the meat that you have cut away from the center section of the beef tenderloin is excellent meat and can be used in a variety of other dishes as well as it can be ground and extra beef fat added for superb burgers.
SeasonNow that you have successfully broken the whole tenderloin down and removed the center cut section, you will need to season the roast. I highly recommend the dry brine method, where you will use 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound, or you can use 1/4 teaspoon plain table salt per pound. Salt the roast evenly with the proper amount of salt on all sides. Place on a wire rack and place into the refrigerator (uncovered) overnight. This will season the roast deep into the meat providing the perfect amount of seasoning in every bite. Once you remove the roast out of the refrigerator the next day, you can add any seasoning of your choice but remember to use a “no salt” seasoning since you have already added the salt through the salt brine. I used black pepper and the salt brine, but you can use other herbs as well depending on your taste preferences.
Note: In the video I dry brined the entire beef tenderloin before breaking it down, mainly because I had immediate plans to use the seasoned meat for another purpose, but typically you would dry brine only the center cut roast in preparation to be cooked.
For optimal results, you will want to reverse sear the beef tenderloin roast. Remove the water reservoir from the Slow 'N Sear, and fill with your favorite style of charcoal. Place a fire starter or two in the very corner of the Slow 'N Sear to get the charcoal going. After about 10 minutes or once you know you have the charcoal lit, then close the Kamado lid and dial in 225°F and no more than 250°F. You will adjust the bottom and upper vents to dial in this temperature.
Once the SnS Kamado is running at 225°F, place the beef tenderloin on the indirect side of the Kamado, away from the heat. This indirect cooking will slowly bring the core temperature of the roast up in temperature. Once your internal core temperature reaches 115°F to no more than 118°F, remove from the Kamado and tent with foil and allow to rest while you get the Slow 'N Sear up to a searing heat from one end to the other. This can be accomplished by adding in more already lit charcoal from a charcoal chimney, or as I did in the video, I used a few more fire starters on the opposite end, and it took under 10 minutes to have the entire Slow 'N Sear ready for a hot sear.
Now lay the rested beef tenderloin on the grate directly over the hot coals, paying attention to flip and turn as needed to prevent any burning. Check the internal temperature as you are searing the roast until you hit 128°F to 129°F internal temperature. Remove the roast from the Kamado, and place on a wire rack to sit and rest for 5 minutes or longer. Carryover heat will bring the core temperature up a few more degrees for the next 5 minutes, which should give you a perfect medium rare. Mine finished at 131°F. Starting at one end, slice to your desired thickness.