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.
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.
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!
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 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!
- Allow meat to rest at room temperature for 1 hour, preheat oven according to the recipe below.
- 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.
- Pat roast dry and tie at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine.
- Rub the roast with oil and roll in herbs, salt & black pepper.
- 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.
- While the roast rests for 10-15 minutes, preheat oven to a searing temperature of 450°F.
- Place roast back in oven and sear until internal temperature reaches 125-130°F (or desired temperature below).
- Remove promptly and allow to rest again, loosely covered with foil. This allows the juices to redistribute.
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
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!
- The BEST Mashed Potatoes
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Smashed Potatoes
- Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
- 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!
Roast Beef Tenderloin
- 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
- 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.
- 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
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)