Smoked Beef Tenderloin Recipe

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Your special occasion dinner just got an upgrade with this Smoked Beef Tenderloin Recipe. I have perfected this recipe so you will have the most tender, juicy and smoky steak that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on all of your guests! This show stopping main course will wow your guests and they’ll think you’re some kind of master chef. Only, it will be our secret that it’s so easy, anyone can do it with my step by step instructions. If you love to impress, check out my Prime Rib Roast recipe next!

Smoked Beef Tenderloin sliced on platter

Why You’ll Love This Smoked Beef Tenderloin Recipe

Yes, we all know that beef tenderloin is arguably the most tender meat EVER, but it can often lack that great flavor that something like a ribeye steak can give us. When you use my salt brine + smoke + reverse sear method, it’s a great way to get the best of both worlds. If you have a smoker, you should definitely be using it for this cut of meat. I use a pellet smoker – the Traeger Wood Fired Pellet Grill to be exact. Ohmagerd that smoke flavor is unrivaled!! The Big Green Egg or any variation of that will do a great job as well.

Ingredients Needed to Smoke a Whole Beef Tenderloin

  • whole beef tenderloin – of course
  • coarse Kosher salt – optional
  • olive oil
  • dry rub – or seasoning of your choice

How To Smoke a Beef Tenderloin

Smoking a large expensive cut of meat like beef tenderloin can be daunting. I’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation so you don’t need to be intimidated!! It’s so easy when you use my step by step instructions. The great thing about smokers is that the cooking process itself is pretty hands off.

Dry Brine Your Beef Tenderloin

This step is totally optional but if you have the time, I say go for it! A dry brined beef tenderloin is what will give you the most bang for your flavorful meat buck!! Anywhere from 24-36 hours before you want to begin smoking your meat, sprinkle all sides generously with coarse Kosher salt and place in fridge uncovered. Your results will be a juicy, fully seasoned steak.

Prepare Your Beef Tenderloin

  1. Remove (hopefully brined) beef from refrigerator to come to room temperature.
  2. Truss the beef tenderloin by tucking the thin pointy “tail” part of the tenderloin underneath itself and tying with butcher’s twine. You can continue trussing the entire length of the tenderloin to keep its shape if you wish, but I find that’s unnecessary. As long as the beef tenderloin is relatively the same thickness throughout, you should be fine with just adjusting the thin bottom portion instead of tying the whole tenderloin.
  3. Preheat smoker to 225° F according to your smoker’s directions.
  4. Pat beef dry with paper towels, brush with olive oil and season with a salt-free seasoning of choice if you brined it. Most of the time, I just add black pepper (and sometimes a little garlic powder) but feel free to use whatever dry rub or seasoning you love. Just make sure it doesn’t have salt. We are fully seasoned with salt here already! If you did not brine your beef, go ahead and salt generously.
smoked beef tenderloin on smoker with probe inserted

Smoking Process For Beef Tenderloin Roast

  1. Place beef directly on grill grate and insert your smoker’s meat thermometer probe in the thickest part of the beef.
  2. Smoke for approximately 15 minutes per pound or until internal temperature of the meat reaches 120° F for a rare center. Smoke longer for a more done steak.
    • If you are reverse searing your meat (next step), remove when temperature is more around 110-115° so it doesn’t overcook during this step.
    • Most of my family prefer a medium rare to medium filet mignon, so I smoked until the temperature was about 125°. The center of the tenderloin was still a nice medium rare, while the ends were more of a medium which suited everyone well.
  3. OPTIONAL – Remove meat from smoker and reverse sear on high heat using a gas grill, flat top grill, cast iron skillet on stovetop, or in the oven under the broiler. This step is optional, but will create a nice crust.
  4. Wrap the meat in NON-COATED butcher paper or aluminum foil and let meat rest for about 5-10 minutes or until temperature reaches 125° F and juices are all redistributed.
  5. Unwrap meat, place on a cutting board and slice into individual filet mignon steaks.

Pro Tip– To help with the “mathing”, a 7 pound tenderloin should smoke for 1 hour and 45 minutes (15 minutes per pound) to be cooked to RARE. Of course, every smoker runs differently, so just keep an eye on things after that 1 hour mark.

Smoked Beef Tenderloin on cutting board

How Much Beef Tenderloin Per Person Do I Need?

To ensure everyone has enough meat at your dinner table, you’ll want to account for a HALF POUND per person (8 ounces each). I had several people to feed who were all big eaters – and we LIVE for leftovers, so I went ahead and bought a big 7 pound Prime Beef Tenderloin from Sam’s Club. You can find smaller ones in other grocery stores or meat markets if you don’t need that much.

To What Temperature Should I Cook Steak?

This depends on you and your guests. I have given you the method to cook your steak to a RARE temperature, but you can easily adjust this according to your preference by smoking your beef tenderloin longer or reverse searing more. Here’s a breakdown of the target temperature for the different levels of doneness.

  1. Rare: 120° to 125° F
  2. Medium Rare: 130° to 135° F
  3. Medium: 140° to 145° F
  4. Medium Well: 150° to 155° F
  5. Well-Done: 160° to 165° F

Smoked Beef Tenderloin FAQ

How much beef tenderloin per person do I need?

You’ll want to account for a HALF POUND of beef tenderloin per person (8 ounces each).

At what temperature do I smoke a beef tenderloin?

For best results, smoke beef tenderloin at 225° F. If you are in a hurry, you can crank it up to 250° F, but I wouldn’t go any higher than 300° F.

How long to smoke a beef tenderloin?

Smoke beef tenderloin for approximately 15 minutes per pound or until the final temperature of the meat reaches 120° F for a rare center. Pull it sooner if you plan on reverse searing the meat. Keep it on longer for more well done steaks.

sliced smoked beef tenderloin on white platter

What to Serve With Beef Tenderloin

This is a fancy crowd impressing main course, so you’ll want to stay on brand and make the best of your best side dishes to go with beef tenderloin. Here are some of my favorite sides:

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

Smoked Beef Tenderloin sliced on platter
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Smoked Beef Tenderloin

Smoked Beef Tenderloin is MADE for a special occasion! This show stopping main course will wow your guests and they'll think you're some kind of master chef.
servings 12 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 7 lb whole beef tenderloin I always grab PRIME (not Choice) beef
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt coarse
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp seasoning of choice black pepper, garlic powder or salt-free seasoning blend

Equipment

Instructions

for dry brine (optional, but seriously – do it!)

  • Sprinkle all sides of meat generously with coarse Kosher salt and place in fridge uncovered for 24-36 hours.

prepare meat for smoking

  • Remove beef from refrigerator to come to room temperature.
  • Truss the beef tenderloin by tucking the thin pointy "tail" part of the tenderloin underneath itself and tying with butcher's twine.*
  • Preheat smoker to 225° F according to your smoker's directions.
  • Pat beef dry with paper towels, brush with olive oil and season with a salt-free seasoning of choice.**

smoking process

  • Place beef directly on grill grate and insert your smoker's meat thermometer probe in the thickest part of the beef.
  • Smoke for approximately 15 minutes per pound or until internal temperature of the meat reaches 120° F for a rare center.***
  • OPTIONAL – Remove meat from smoker and reverse sear on high heat using a flame grill, flat top grill, cast iron skillet on stovetop, or in the oven under the broiler. This step is optional, but will create a nice crust.
  • Wrap the meat in NON-COATED butcher paper or aluminum foil and let meat rest for about 5-10 minutes or until temperature reaches 125° F and juices are all redistributed.
  • Unwrap meat, place on a cutting board and slice into individual filet mignon steaks.

Video

Notes

*You can continue trussing the entire length of the tenderloin to keep its shape if you wish, but I find that’s unnecessary. As long as the beef tenderloin is relatively the same thickness throughout, you should be fine with just adjusting the thin bottom portion instead of tying the whole tenderloin.
**Most of the time, I just add black pepper (and sometimes a little garlic powder) but feel free to use whatever dry rub or seasoning you love. Just make sure it doesn’t have salt. We are fully seasoned with salt here already!
***If you are reverse searing your meat (next step), remove when temperature is more around 110-115° so it doesn’t overcook during this step. 

Nutrition

Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 4846mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 7mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: smoked beef tenderloin

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