Smoked Beef Tenderloin

5 Min Read

Satiate every craving with this incredible smoked beef tenderloin. Perfect fork-tender beef with a rich medium-rare center and just a hint of heat and smoked flavor. It’s the veritable way to take filet mignon to a whole new level while feeding a crowd. Want even more flavor? Top it with luscious crab imperial for a restaurant-level experience at home. 

Smoked tenderloin is about as decadent a recipe as you can get. And where we love the simplicity of a grilled beef tenderloin, being the most tender cut, it picks up the smoke flavor with a short cook over coals and wood before being topped with a luscious crab imperial. Talk about holiday dinner done right.

This recipe works because it’s an absolute showstopper meal perfect for guests or intimate date nights. The beautiful medium-rare pink all the way through the succulent slices is stunning..

Beef tenderloin has long been the dinner roast of choice, next to prime rib, with considerably less fat and cooking methodology required. And, where prime rib makes for amazing big slices with a lot of flavor from the rendered fat, this, can be cut with a fork. Literally.

Now, imagine that sliced with a smokey crab imperial laced with just a pinch of that southern Creole heat. It’s not a huge kick, but enough that will have guests wondering just what the magic ingredient is.

While your guests are left wondering how many hours you spent in the kitchen, you can choose to tell them it was as easy as 3 ingredients and a bit of smoke, if you want. Or leave them to be mystified at your grilling mastery.

Intrigued? Let’s get to planning that holiday menu!

What you need to smoke a tenderloin:

When smoking roasts, I like to keep my flavors very simple. I want the meat to develop an aromatic smoked flavor and still have its deep umami flavor. For this one, I simply used:

  • Oil
  • Tony Chachere’s BOLD Blend
  • Kiln Dried Hickory Chunks

How to make the best Smoked Beef Tenderloin

Make sure to build your fire for offset heat. We are gently slow cooking the tenderloin, not treating it like a steak for a high and fast cook. Once the embers are holding temperature, be ready to add wood chunks and the meat.

Tying (or trussing as the chefs call it) the tenderloin helps to retain the shape. There is often a thicker end and a thinner end (where you slice the filet mignon from).

Using butcher’s twine and tying the big cut off every inch or so helps to maintain its slender figure for a pretty presentation when serving.

Once you have tied the meat, season it with olive oil and a simple dash of Creole seasoning. The meat already has incredible flavor, so we are just enhancing it with a bit of a kick.

Using a digital thermometer is important for accurate cooking. When smoking, you want to keep the lid closed to keep the smoke in and avoid rising and lowering the heat. If you do a lot of smoking, invest in a probe that can be inserted into the meat while it’s smoking with a reader you can see outside of the smoker.

Only smoke the tenderloin to 120-125. It will continue to cook when it is seared and then while it’s resting.

After the smoke, you sear the meat, a technique known as reverse searing, to get that beautifully browned crust on the outside, double wrap it in foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Resting the meat helps the juices to return to where they need to be and not rush out immediately as it’s sliced. I also like the double wrap to retain any liquid that does accumulate. Hello, easy drippings to pour back atop the meat!

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