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Jul 11, 2010 09:54 AM

How do I grill this beef tenderloin

Hi folks

I bought a 3 lb beef tenderloin with the idea of cutting it into steaks and grilling them.

But now I'm wondering if I shouldn't just bbq it whole. Because it's only 3 lbs I'm nervous about overcooking it - medium rare is as done as I want it to be.

Any ideas on how to do it, or if I should cut it into steaks.

I have a rotisserie from an old unit that might work if that's recommended.

Anyone have a foolproof method?


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  1. dear Casey: I think your original instinct is correct, cut it into individual steaks. That way, you will get more char on the meat since there will be more sides exposed to the heat. You need this charring process with a tenderloin, more so than if you were working with a strip or a ribeye. Since a tenderloin has a mild taste, the char will give you another layer of flavor, more complexity . I would cut your 3 lb piece into 6 steaks of 8 onces. Wrap each steak with a strip of bacon, secured by a toothpick. Again, another element of flavor added; plus, it's fun in a retro way. You could marinate it in soy, olive oil, garlic, and onion if you wish. Grill the steaks, should take about 3 to 4 minutes per side. You should have fun, and wind up with some good tasting, very tender meat. I did this recently, and everyone was very happy with the beef. Good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pinotho

      We had some fillet's last night wrapped in bacon. The only seasoning was pepper. The meat speaks for itself. Grilled on high 5 minutes per side. Perfect. The bacon added that extra flavor. I can say I highly recommend these. For a full beef tenderloin, try this link:

    2. I think that depends on if you plan on eating it all at once or if you want to freeze some for later.
      To cook it all at once (or divide in half) just sear the well seasoned outside on the stove top or on the grill then finish it off in the oven using a probe thermometer to 125 degrees. It should be great. This is pretty much fool-proof.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Dluehr

        I did a 4 pound beef tenderloin on the grill last weekend and it was great. I rubbed it with a thick coating of seasoned olive oil and let it come to room temp. I put it on a med high grill and watched it like it was my job, turning it four times to grill all sides, about 10 minutes total. Let it rest for a good 10 minutes and slice it thick.

        1. re: greenstate

          Did you check internal temp? I consider that indispensable.

      2. I grilled a 3lb tenderloin a couple wks ago for a small dinner party using a technique I saw on America's Test Kitchen on PBS. Turned out a perfect rare / medium rare with GREAT flavor. Secret was searing AFTER grilling. That way the meat cooks evenly thru - without drying out or overcooking the outer section.


        -- tie up the filet with twine every 1.5" to get a consistent shape. coat with a light sprinkle of coarse Kosher salt and cracked pepper. Let rest at room temp lightly covered with plastic for 1 hr. Meanwhile, preheat gas grill to 300/325 and allow a quarter stick of unsalted butter to soften at room temp.

        -- coat filet with softened butter and place filet on a cooking rack on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet on grill and roast at 300 +/- for about 20 mins, then turn filet over on cooking rack and continue roasting till internal temp is 125, about another 20 mins. Forget the clock here, instead, use the thermometer to tell you when to take it off the grill. 125 is your target! Using this indirect process, the outside of the filet doesn't overcook. Simply keep an eye on your grill temp and the cover closed to ensure an even process.

        -- while filet is roasting on the grill, soften up about a qtr stick of unsalted butter, add half a shallot minced and a quarter cup of finely chopped italian parsley - to make a simple herb butter.

        -- when the filet reaches 125, remove from grill and sear each side 1-2 minutes in a medium hot 12" skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil till you get a nice even char. For best results, make sure oil is hot, almost smoking, prior to searing filet.

        -- after searing, coat with herb butter, cover with foil and allow to rest for a good 30+ mins. The long rest is essential (enjoy a drink and apps with your company) and even tho the tenderloin cools, the results were superb.

        -- after resting, untie filet and cut into 1" sections for plating.

        -- plate with a salsa verde, some garlic mashed red potatoes and a small side of your favorite greens.

        Filet was full of flavor, absolutely fork tender and melt in your mouth good and the salsa verde was a great compliment!

        salsa verde recipe:

        4 Replies
          1. re: Foody4life

            Since you're using your grill essentially as an oven, why not use the oven where you have more control? Also removing at 125 would result in beef that was MUCH more done than we like. We usually stop cooking at 117-118. But we like rare beef.

            1. re: c oliver

              Our oven ignitor broke 2hrs before our dinner party. Had to go to plan B - the backyard and the weber! Also it was 100+ degrees here and keeping extra heat out of the kitchen was a definite help with the A/C. : )

              I measured the 125 temp at the thinnest part of the tenderloin so the majority was closer to 120ish. Result was a nice red rare center, just hitting medium rare toward the edges.

              One addition to the herb butter (left out above) was a small clove of garlic minced or pressed along with some cracked pepper.

            2. re: Foody4life

              You can always count on those folks at America's Test Kitchen. Thier recipes are so well thought out and tested they rarely if ever fail me!

            3. I wish I'd read Foody4life before I cooked it - it sounds amazing!

              I put it on the grill for about 20 minutes as per a recipe in a grilling cookbook. It was MUCH too rare in the middle - sort of a bullseye blood red with a pink circle around it. I didn't want to put it on for much longer or the outside would be overdone. I did leave it on for another 5 minutes, still really, really rare, then let it sit for 10 minutes, still really rare, but the taste was wonderful and so tender.

              I'm doing another one in a couple of weeks, and I'll try the America's Test Kitchen recipe for sure.

              Thanks to all

              1. For foolproof you may want to have a good instant read thermometer handy. You will have less of a chance to over cook if you cook it whole. Here's how I'd do it. Season well and place whole 3lb terderloin in a baking dish and pop into a low 225-250 oven. Pull when it's internal temp is around 95*-100* F. Have a really hot grill on standby and finish on the grill to an internal of 125*. Let rest no less than 15 min.