Who doesn’t love a succulent, flavorful, and perfectly smoked beef tenderloin? Picture a fork-tender cut with a rich medium-rare center, infused with just the right amount of smoky heat. It’s like taking your favorite filet mignon to a whole new level, ready to impress both guests and loved ones alike. And for an extra touch of heaven, top it with a luscious crab imperial sauce for a restaurant-level dining experience right at home.
When it comes to smoking tenderloin, simplicity is key. While grilled tenderloin is delightful, the smokey flavor it acquires during a short cook over coals and wood takes it to the next level. And when you add that delectable crab imperial on top, you’ve got a holiday dinner masterpiece.
But what makes this recipe truly shine is its ease of preparation. You can tell your guests that it took hours of effort and skill in the kitchen, or you can share the secret: it’s as simple as using three ingredients and a bit of smoke. Let their imaginations run wild as they wonder what the magic ingredient could be.
So, let’s dive into planning that holiday menu and discover how to create the perfect smoked beef tenderloin.
What You Need to Smoke a Tenderloin:
When smoking roasts, it’s best to keep the flavors simple. The goal is to develop an aromatic smoky taste while preserving the deep umami flavor of the meat. For this particular recipe, we only need three ingredients:
- Tony Chachere’s BOLD Blend
- Kiln Dried Hickory Chunks
How to Make the Best Smoked Beef Tenderloin:
To achieve the perfect smoked beef tenderloin, it’s essential to build your fire for offset heat. This slow-cooking method ensures tender, flavorful results. Once the embers are ready, add the wood chunks and the meat to begin the smoking process.
Trussing the tenderloin, or tying it with butcher’s twine, helps it maintain its shape. This is particularly useful since the meat has a thicker end and a thinner end, where the filet mignon is traditionally sliced from. Tying it every inch or so ensures an elegant presentation when serving.
Once the meat is tied, season it with olive oil and a dash of Creole seasoning. The tenderloin already boasts incredible flavor, and we’re simply enhancing it with a hint of heat.
To ensure accurate cooking, it’s crucial to use a digital thermometer. Keeping the lid closed during the smoking process retains the smoke and maintains a consistent temperature. Smoking the tenderloin until it reaches 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit is the key. Remember, it will continue to cook during the searing process and rest time.
After smoking, it’s time for the reverse sear technique. This involves searing the meat on a hot cast iron griddle or grill grates to create a beautifully browned crust on the outside. Then, double wrap the meat in foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute evenly, preserving its succulence.
Now imagine slicing that perfectly smoked beef tenderloin, adorned with a skillet of smokey crab imperial, oozing with flavor. It’s an exquisite combination that will have your guests marveling at your culinary prowess.
Why is tenderloin so tender?
The tenderloin comes from the loin section of the cow, situated between the ribs and sirloin. Due to its location and minimal use, it’s an underused muscle, lacking connective tissue and heavy fat caps. This results in the unparalleled tenderness that we associate with this cut. Filet mignon steaks are sourced from the tenderloin, making them renowned for their exquisite texture. Although it may not boast the bold flavors of fattier cuts like ribeye or prime rib, properly cooked tenderloin is a lean, elegant option that pairs harmoniously with classic toppings.
How to buy a whole tenderloin?
Purchasing a whole tenderloin can be challenging if it’s not the holiday season. However, during Christmas and New Year’s, local markets often offer whole tenderloins at great prices. Alternatively, calling your butcher in advance and specifying the size you need is a reliable option. They may provide a choice between prime and choice grades, with prime being the highest quality. While choice-grade tenderloin is perfectly acceptable, it’s crucial to trust your butcher or know the source of the meat.
What is a reverse sear and when do I use it?
The reverse sear technique involves slow-cooking the meat to a specific internal temperature before applying high heat to create a savory crust. This method differs from browning a roast before cooking, as seen in dishes like beef Wellington. Reverse searing allows the meat to absorb the rich smoke flavor before sealing in all the goodness with a final sear. It’s particularly useful for large cuts of meat cooked over live fire or in the oven, ensuring even doneness from top to bottom.
What wood to use for smoking beef tenderloin:
For quick smokes like the beef tenderloin recipe, bold and flavorful woods such as hickory, oak, or mesquite are ideal choices. These woods infuse the meat with strong aromas in a short amount of time. Using good-quality chunks instead of chips intensifies the flavor and ensures optimal results.
Smoking beef tenderloin is an art that elevates your grilling game to new heights. The delicate balance of flavors, achieved through the marriage of smoke and heat, creates a culinary experience like no other. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the grill, and prepare to wow your guests with this showstopping dish.
If you’re ready to explore more tantalizing recipes, head over to Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ for an unforgettable dining experience.