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How to: pellet grill beef tenderloin

A few simple steps is all you need to cook up this luxurious filet.

  • 1 center-cut beef tenderloin, about 3–4 pounds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Prep time: 24 ½ hours
  • Cook time: 1 ½ hours
  • Servings: 6

Cooking prime rib on a pellet grill may be slightly intimidating because of the size and cost of the meat but it’s not hard to do.

Sit down at any steakhouse and you’re certain to find beef tenderloin featured on the menu. You can call it Chateaubriand, filet mignon, filet of tenderloin, tenderloin steak, loin of beef, or just plain filet. What you can’t call it is ordinary.

You don’t have to tell your dinner guests that this recipe is easy to make. You don’t have to tell them it practically cooks itself. And you don’t have to tell them that the all-natural hardwood smoke makes it even more delicious than cooking in any oven. But when you make this smoked prime rib recipe, what you are telling them is that you care for them enough to serve them the undisputed champion of beef roasts!

If opulence is your objective, cooking a beef tenderloin on a wood pellet grill should be on your culinary bucket list.

Pellet Grill Beef Tenderloin Instructions:

  1. 1

    Prep the beef roast.

  2. Inspect the beef tenderloin and remove any fat or silver skin. Using butchers twine, tie the roast in sections about an inch apart to make the meat uniform in shape, which will allow it to cook evenly. Salt the roast with 1–2 teaspoons of kosher salt and allow it to sit on a rack uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. Be sure to place a pan under the roast to catch any perspiration.
  3. 2

    Preheat the grill.

    Preheat your pellet grill to 200°F. Place a digital probe thermometer in the center of the meat.
  4. 3

    Start at a low temperature.

  5. Using the same baking rack and pan, place the beef tenderloin in your smoker and smoke for 45 minutes.
  6. 4

    Now kick up the heat.

  7. Remove the roast and increase the temperature on your pellet grill to 450°F. Use a barbecue brush to paint the olive oil on all sides of the roast. This helps with browning and allows the seasoning to adhere to the roast. Add an additional sprinkle of salt and a generous coating of black pepper.
  8. When the pellet grill has reached 450°F, place the tenderloin back on the heat and cook to an internal temperature of 123°F.
  9. 5

    Wrap, rest and serve.

  10. Remove from the heat and cover with foil while allowing the meat to rest until it comes to your desired temperature. 130°F is a wonderful doneness for this dish. Slice, serve and enjoy.

What is beef tenderloin?

The beef tenderloin is a muscle located in the loin alongside some of the most popular and sought-after cuts of the animal. It is a long, svelte, cylindrical muscle. When trimmed, it’s about the size of a rolled-up hand towel and equally as soft, or in this case, tender.

Unlike other muscles like the brisket, chuck or sirloin, the tenderloin is on full scholarship, doing almost no work and getting a free ride. It’s virtually fat free and as tender as beef gets.

This tenderness comes at a price though. There are only two per animal, making up about 8% of the cow. It’s far more expensive than the other 92% of the animal and people are more than willing to pay for the indulgence.

Can you smoke a beef tenderloin?

Absolutely. A beef tenderloin is practically begging to be smoked.

How to smoke a beef tenderloin?

People love beef for the uniquely robust flavor. But because the beef tenderloin does basically zero work, it doesn’t get out much and lacks a little flavor compared to other cuts. Smoking beef tenderloin on a pellet grill brings flavor to the meat that is otherwise unavailable. Once smoked, the already tender bite now has a taste that’s been enriched with smoke and truly represents the best of both worlds.

What are the best wood pellets for beef tenderloin?

When choosing the best pellets for beef tenderloin, hickory wood is the building block of delicious flavor. Kingsford® Hickory Pellets make the beef tenderloin taste hearty with a clean and enjoyable aroma. If you prefer to hit a variety of nuances, the Kingsford® Classic pellet blend includes hickory wood along with oak and cherrywood. The gradation of these all-natural woods works in harmony for a robust seasoning you can’t shake from a jar.

How long to smoke a beef tenderloin?

Due to the size and shape of a beef tenderloin, it cooks up pretty quickly on the pellet grill. If you plan on budgeting 10–15 minutes per pound when smoking a beef tenderloin you can’t really go wrong. A digital-probe thermometer is the best way to accurately monitor doneness as every roast cooks a bit differently and this is one you won’t want to overcook.

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