One of my family’s favorite grilled holiday meals is beef tenderloin. After a long afternoon of holiday fun and appetizers, we love to celebrate the season with one of the single greatest cuts of beef. If done correctly, the tenderness and flavor is out of this world.
I have learned some things over the years that have made all my grilled beef tenderloins legendary. Like clockwork, our neighbors know when to head over to the backyard for a grilled holiday gift. I now grill two tenderloins to feed the "extended family"!
Here are my tips for tenderloin perfection:
Take the tenderloin out of the fridge 45 minute to 1 hour before putting it on the grill. This will allow the meat to come up to temperature and stay more relaxed while cooking. You do not want the beef going from cold to hot because this will cause moisture to be pushed out.
I like to add flavor to the tenderloin from salt, pepper, and bacon. To achieve this combination, I sauté the bacon until it is crisp. I then take the crisp bacon and turn that into bacon bits. I allow the bacon fat inside the sauté pan to cool and then coat the outside of the tenderloin in it. This provides some tremendous flavor along with an addictive barbecue smell that comes off the grill. Once the tenderloin in coated, I add salt and pepper. This is done with a two parts pepper, one part salt mixture. You will save the bacon bits for step six.
I add a couple pieces of apple wood to my grill to impart a nice sweet and smoky flavor to the tenderloin.
I make sure my grill is set up for indirect heat around 275-300 degrees before placing the tenderloin in the center of my charcoal grill. I roast it until it is about 85 percent done then I reverse sear, which is tip number five.
On larger cuts of meat it is better to sear at the end rather than the beginning. If you sear first, the muscle fibers will contract and push moisture out making your cut of beef dry and tough. The reverse sear is done for about 3-4 minutes per side during the last 8-10 minutes of the cook. Once seared to perfection, the beef tenderloin can be taken off the grill.
Let the tenderloin rest for about 15-20 minutes after it comes off the grill. Now, before I slice the tenderloin I roll it in the bacon bits. This brings the tenderloin to another level. It’s the perfect flavor combination of smoky, savory, salty, and crispy. It truly is a grilled slice of perfection.
I always look forward to grilling for family and friends during the holiday season because it is the most honest and genuine gift I can give them. It truly comes from the heart and is always guaranteed to be the best gift of the year.