3poundbeef tenderloin, trimmed3 to 5-pound center-cut
1 ½tablespoonfreshly cracked black pepper
4tablespoonsunsalted butter(½ stick)
2garlic clovespeeled and smashed / crushed
Herb Brush (Bouquet Garni)
2sprigs fresh thyme
Trim The Tenderloin
The beef tenderloin needs to be trimmed, so if you buy an untrimmed whole beef tenderloin, cut off the excess fat, chain, connective tissue, silver skin, and remove the muscle-on roast.
Prepare the Tenderloin
Since the tail of the tenderloin can be somewhat thinner, a good way to ensure even cooking is to fold it under and secure it with butcher’s twine. This will double up the thickness of the tail and allow it to cook more evenly across the tenderloin.
In a small bowl, whisk together the dry rub ingredients to combine. Sprinkle the rub across the beef tenderloin pressing lightly with clean hands to help it adhere to the meat. Place the rubbed beef tenderloin in the refrigerator for at least two hours prior to lighting the grill. Smoking the beef tenderloin right away is ok, but sitting in the refrigerator for several hours allows the rub to penetrate the meat.
Fire Up the Grill For Smoking
Prepare the grill for indirect heat and preheat the grill to 250 degrees F. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.)
Slow Smoke The Prepared Beef Tenderloin
Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator and place it on the cool side of the grill grate. Throw a chunk of cherry wood onto the bed of coals and slow smoke the tenderloin over indirect heat, with the lid closed. Smoke the tenderloin until an instant-read thermometer reads approximately 135 degrees F; about 45 minute to 1 hour. Then remove the beef tenderloin from the grill to rest.
Make A Herb Brush For Basting (Bouquet Garni)
Meanwhile, make the herb brush. You’ll need two long sprigs of rosemary and two long sprigs of thyme. Remove the last 4 to 5 inches of green needle-like leaves from the rosemary; discard or use for another time. Then gather the sprigs of thyme and rosemary together and tie it into a bundle along the woody stem of the rosemary with butcher’s twine. Set aside until needed.
Prepare the Garlic Butter
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Smash the two cloves of garlic with the side of a chef’s knife, peel off the skin and add them to the melted butter. Simmer for about a minute, stirring the butter with the herb brush, until the butter becomes fragrant. Be careful not to get the butter too hot or it will burn and scorch the garlic. Turn off the heat and set aside until needed.
Reverse Sear The Smoked Tenderloin With Herbs & Garlic Butter
Prepare the grill for direct high heat grilling. Spread out the already hot charcoals and light up fresh hot charcoal.
When the charcoal is ready and the grill is hot, place the tenderloin back onto the hot grate. Have the herb brush and garlic butter warm and ready to go. Grill the beef tenderloin about 3 minutes on each side. Check the tenderloin with an instant-read thermometer often.
When the meat is about 138 degrees F, carefully dip the herb brush into the warm garlic butter and baste each side of the tenderloin. Use caution, as the butter will cause the flames to lick up high on the meat. Have the lid handy to help put out overpowering flames. (Grilling gloves are recommended.)
When the meat temperature is at 140 degrees F, remove from the grill immediately. The carry over heat will bring the meat to the perfect doneness of 145 degrees F.
Place the meat on a carving board and allow it to rest at least 10 minutes. Perfectly smoked beef tenderloin will have a dark red center and be light pink on the outside.
Serve the Beef Tenderloin
To serve, carve the tenderloin into 1-inch-thick medallions. Serve warm or at room temperature. It's amazing any way you slice it!
How to Cut Whole Beef Tenderloin: You can read more about butchering a whole beef tenderloin and get an instructional video HERE.Direct Heat: David mentioned that lighting up the charcoal chimney again would probably speed up the process, rather than throwing the new coals on top of the cooling charcoal bed.Serving Smoked Beef Tenderloin: Serve the beef as is or with a Creamy Horseradish Sauce With Roasted Garlic, Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce, or sauce of your choice.
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