What Are the Best Tips for Grilling Beef Tenderloin?

A.E. Freeman

Grilling beef tenderloin is one way to prepare this entire cut of meat, all at one time, without the need to cut it into smaller pieces. A cook should carefully prepare the meat before grilling beef tenderloin, however. Tenderloin that is too cold won't cook evenly. The meat should also be of even thickness and trimmed before cooking if necessary. During grilling, the meat should be carefully monitored to prevent over-cooking.

Beef tenderloin tends to be lean.
Beef tenderloin tends to be lean.

Some cooks prefer to purchase beef tenderloin that has a side muscle and silver skin still on it. This type of cut is a little less expensive than fully trimmed beef. The cook can save the muscle and skin for later use.

Use a meat thermometer to determine whether the meat has reached the desired internal temperature.
Use a meat thermometer to determine whether the meat has reached the desired internal temperature.

Before grilling beef tenderloin, the cook needs to make sure it is the same thickness along its length. If it is not uniform in size, the cook needs to adjust this. One way to even out the tenderloin is to fold the thinner portion of the meat in half, so that it is as thick as the wider part. The folded portion should be wrapped in butcher's twine to hold it in place during grilling.

Temperature is essential when grilling beef tenderloin. Frozen or even very cool meat should not be placed directly on a hot grill. Instead, the meat should be allowed to rest at room temperature until is has warmed up to the surrounding air. Cold meat does not cook evenly.

Seasoning the beef before grilling is usually a good idea. Since tenderloin is a high-quality cut of meat, however, a cook does not need to add much seasoning. Most people simply sprinkle the meat with a bit of salt while it comes up to room temperature. Black pepper is another popular, simple flavoring.

The temperature of the grill needs should be monitored and controlled as well. Tenderloin is a lean cut of meat, so it does not have fat to protect it from high temperatures. Beef tenderloin thrown on a hot grill will overcook quickly, turning into a tough, unpleasant meal. The best way to grill the meat is indirectly. In other words, a fire is built on one side of the grill and the meat is placed on the other side. The heat from the fire cooks the meat but doesn't burn it.

When grilling beef tenderloin, a cook should strive for medium or medium-rare doneness. A meat thermometer helps a cook accurately gauge the condition of the beef. Medium-rare beef will be 130° Fahrenheit (54° C). It may take between 20 minutes and one hour for the meat to reach the right temperature. Time should not be the sole measure of whether or not the meat is cooked, though, so cooks must be vigilant to ensure proper preparation.

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