This recipe for beef tenderloin is perfectly seasoned, and it comes out juicy and fork-tender every time!

Beef tenderloin isn’t complicated to cook— with the right method it’s absolutely simple. In this recipe, I use a reverse sear for tender meat and a more consistent cook throughout. This beef is a delicious meal to enjoy on a special occasion.

slice of Roast Beef Tenderloin on a cutting board

What is Beef Tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is a very lean tender piece of beef from under the backbone. This area of the animal doesn’t get a lot of use which makes it extra tender!

When served in single portions, tenderloin is cut across and known as filet mignon. When it’s cut from the center to form an even roast, it is sometimes called Chateaubriand.

It is possible to purchase a whole beef tenderloin or “filet” that includes the head, center, and tail. While this is definitely one of the most expensive cuts of beef it’s way less expensive to make it at home! Because of the hefty price tag, many home cooks feel intimidated by cooking it; however, there’s no need to worry!

With the reverse sear method below (and an instant-read thermometer) it comes out absolutely perfectly every single time.

Kitchen Recommendation

If you cook meat, a thermometer is one of the most important tools in your kitchen!

Meat is expensive and this is a minimal investment that ensures the best cook on everything from steaks to beef to pork tenderloin. A $15 investment can ensure you cook all of your meats correctly!

Ingredients/Variations

BEEF TENDERLOIN This recipe calls for a 4-pound tenderloin. The time and temperature it’s cooked at depends on the weight (and a little bit on the shape).

SEASONINGS Since tenderloin doesn’t have a lot of marbling, it’s important to season it properly to enhance the flavor (and that it isn’t overcooked!). This simple seasoning blend really nails it with peppercorns, thyme, rosemary, kosher salt, and brown sugar.

OLIVE OIL Olive oil allows the seasoning mix to stick to the meat while cooking.

What is Reverse Sear?

When meat is seared, it is often cooked at a high temperature to brown the outside and then cooked at a lower temperature to the desired doneness.

In a reverse sear, the meat is slow cooked until tender and juicy and then it is cooked at a high temperature to get a browned crust… the reverse of searing meat.

This technique can be applied to steaks or other thick cuts of meat (like roasted lamb) and the results are almost always perfection. A reverse sear makes for tender meat and you’ll get a more consistent cook throughout.

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

This easy method features a long and slow cook time. Searing it in the oven at the end makes tenderloin come out deliciously juicy and fork-tender!

  1. Allow meat to rest at room temperature for 1 hour, preheat oven according to the recipe below.
  2. With a flexible, sharp-tipped knife, lift a 1-inch section of the fat & silver skin, poking the knife all the way through. Gently run the knife under the fat section in 1-inch strips, peeling it off as you go.

slicing skin off beef to make Roast Beef Tenderloin

  1. Pat roast dry and tie at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine.

tieing string around beef to make Roast Beef Tenderloin

  1. Rub the roast with oil and roll in herbs, salt & black pepper.

taking the temperature of Roast Beef Tenderloin

  1. Insert a thermometer into the center of the roast and place in the oven. Cook just until it reaches 120°F. Remove from the oven immediately.
  2. While the roast rests for 10-15 minutes, preheat oven to a searing temperature of 450°F.
  3. Place roast back in oven and sear until internal temperature reaches 125-130°F (or desired temperature below).
  4. Remove promptly and allow to rest again, loosely covered with foil. This allows the juices to redistribute.

Roast Beef Tenderloin after cooking

Beef Tenderloin Temperatures

  • Rare 120 – 125°F Bight red center
  • Medium Rare 130 – 135°F Dark pink center
  • Medium 140 – 145°F Pink center
  • Medium Well 150 – 155°F Browned center with very little pink
  • Well Done 160°F

close up of Roast Beef Tenderloin on a plate

What to Serve with Beef Tenderloin

Serve beef tenderloin with a vegetable and some type of mashed potatoes & gravy for the perfect meal. We love to add a caesar salad and garlic bread. After all, beef tenderloin deserves some special treatment when it comes to side dishes!

Veggies

Potatoes

slices of Roast Beef Tenderloin on a cutting board

Tips

  • Invest in a meat thermometer, it’s essential for cooking meat to tender perfection. Cutting into meat to check for doneness, without letting it rest lets all the juices out, and makes the meat tougher and less flavorful.
  • To ensure the perfect crust on a tenderloin:
    • let the beef come to room temperature before roasting.
    • dab dry before oiling and seasoning
    • salt just before cooking
  • Do not overcook.
  • Be sure to rest before cutting.
  • Try making a horseradish sauce to serve with tenderloin—or just enjoy it as is.

Did you make this Roast Beef Tenderloin? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

plated Roast Beef Tenderloin with potatoes and asparagus
5 from 21 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Roast Beef Tenderloin (Reverse Sear)

Tender, juicy, and fork-tender, this beef tenderloin is the king of all cuts of beef!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients  

  • 4 pound beef tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked peppercorns or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions 

  • Remove tenderloin from the fridge 60 minutes before cooking.
  • Preheat oven to 225°F.
  • To prepare roast, cut off fat and any silver skin. Tie the roast.
  • Combine peppercorns, rosemary, thyme leaves, kosher salt, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  • Dab the tenderloin dry with paper towels, rub the outside with olive oil, and sprinkle with the herb mixture.
  • Place tenderloin on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until internal temperature reaches 120°F, about 60-70 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and rest 10-15 minutes. While the roast is resting, turn the oven up to 450°F.
  • Place the roast back into the oven and cook until it reaches 125-130°F, about 25-35 minutes.
  • Rest 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

A meat thermometer is essential for cooking meat to perfection.
Let the beef come to room temperature before roasting.
Dab dry before oiling and seasoning
Salt just before cooking
Do not overcook. 
Be sure to rest before cutting.
  • Rare 120 - 125°F Bight red center
  • Medium Rare 130 - 135°F Dark pink center
  • Medium 140 - 145°F Pink center
  • Medium Well 150 - 155°F Browned center with very little pink
  • Well Done 160°F
5 from 21 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 874 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 1311mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. I never know where to actually put a meat thermometer in a roast when told the center. Is that the center on an end or center looking down from top where I would put it in to halfway through?

    1. Generally the center from the top looking down. You want to insert it into the center of the thickest part of the meat to ensure it is cooked properly. I hope that helps!

  2. Excellent, this was so delicious! This recipe is a keeper. Better than any beef tenderloin that I would get out at a restaurant.5 stars

  3. Yikes, I’ve never cooked a beef tenderloin…and it’s our daughter’s 50th birthday and she has asked for a roast beef dinner, and I can’t any better than beef tenderloin, if I can afford the piece of meat! The price of beef is crazy now, for sure ! I am so eager to use your recipe! Thank you for the step by step instructions. Though I’ve been cooking for over 55 yrs. something new to an old lady ( ;) ) can make one nervous !!! Blessings to you ! Sue

    1. Hi Sue, I hope it turned out delicious for you! Please pass along our birthday wishes for your daughter!

  4. Millie, Should I use a roasting pan with a rack to make this beef tenderloin? I’ve never made a beef tenderloin before. Your recipe sounds delicious
    Thank you,
    Roxie

  5. Hi Holly,
    Love your recipies! I was wondering if I could adjust this recipe so that it’s enough for 2? It will just my husband and I for Christmas so how would you suggest to change the cook times etc?

    1. Hi Millie, if making this with a smaller beef tenderloin I would check the internal temperature halfway through (depending on the size), and adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure it reaches 120°F. Then again about halfway through when cooking it at the higher temperature to ensure it doesn’t overcook.