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New Member Needs Advice

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    New Member Needs Advice

    So I've been an avid follower of the site for quite some time and have only recently become a member. I mostly grill on my 22.5" Weber and thanks to Meathead, I get a lot of complements. I need some guidance though: I'm doing a whole beef tenderloin for Christmas. There is one article which discusses Prime Rib, tenderloin, etc which uses the Cow Crust as a rub. There is another article discussing the Santa-Maria Tri-tip and tenderloin and basically uses only salt and pepper. So, which is best?

    Hi J.. welcome.

    That is a hard question. Traditionalists would always say use only salt and pepper for those cuts... and really I am sure you would be very happy with the results.

    If you want to live out of the box a little, use that Cow Crust rub... it is very good and you would not be unhappy.

    As you probably already know, Meathead's recipes are awesome and if you follow them as close as possible, you will turn out a great product!


      Thanks for the input. Looking forward to reading and learning from everyone.


        Depends on your taste buds. Being fat free, tenderloin could probably use a little more seasoning than just salt and pepper, which is what I only use on steaks such as ribeyes. I like the Tri-Tip season for this cut. Lots of people like that Cow Crust. Little upscale for me.

        Myself, I would dry brine at a rate of 1/4 teaspoon per pound table salt for at least 24 hours. Fold over any thin ends into itself and tie with butcher's twine, to get a more even loin all across.

        Cooking, two options for me: Only one option on internal temp, 130ish degrees...

        1. Cook low and slow until you are about 10-15 degrees away from your target internal temp, then sear the whole thing until you get to your target temp, or...

        2. Cook low and slow until you are at about 115 degrees internal temp, then slice in medallions of each person's preferred thickness, and grill each one to their preferred doneness. That way you have that good seasoning on the sides, and grilled bark top and bottom on each one. Number 2 is sounding good right now.

        Dang it man, you gonna make me go buy one of them Choice Rib Roasts Wal-Mart has on sale.
        Last edited by Jerod Broussard; December 16, 2014, 04:14 PM.


          They have good cooking instructions above, but like Jerod said, a lot depends on the tastes of your guest. That is an expensive piece of meat you don't wanna screw up by having the wrong rub or sauce, so I personally would get something similar like a top sirloin, cut it in half and and try the Cow Crust and just salt and pepper. The texture won't be quite the same, but it will give you an idea of how it cooks and whether or not you like the taste on beef. You can't judge rubs without cooking them on meat, so that is what I would try.

          You might also try the board sauce here on the site, I haven't tried it yet myself but it sounds amazing and Huskee has a cook in the comments about it.
          A fresh and bright board sauce recipe is a great way to add an additional depth of flavor to grilled steak. A technique that was created by Chef Adam Perry Lang, board dressings feature fresh herbs and olive oil that are painted on the cutting board, allowing the flavors to meld with the meat's juices as it's sliced.


            Hey JW, Welcome to the site. My advice is: You need to go get a few hunks of meat and do some testing. Going blind into a whole tenderloin not knowing what you like is kinda scary. Just sayin. You got time to try a few things out. Find out what you like.

            Everyone gave amazing advice for sure. I say take that and do some testing BEFORE you throw a whole tenderloin on the fire.

            Other hand. Both your rub ideas are awesome so you really can't lose. Right?

            Cant wait for the pics!


              I did the Cow Crust on a round tip roast, which I've been slicing for roast beef sandwiches, but I think I'd go with something much simpler for a tenderloin. You're paying all that money for good beef, so let the beef flavor come through. I'd either go Argentinian style, like Henrik recently did on a hangar - just salt, and more than usual - or a traditional Santa Maria style which is in the ratio of 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic salt


                Ahhh, YES! This is one of the best cuts on a cow, if you ask me. I have done it many a time, on request (it is always nice when someone else pays ). I love it myself. I like The Burn's advice, the key is to keep it simple. Skip fancy rubs, you don't want to mask the meat flavor on this one.

                I grill the whole tenderloin, as is. If there is a thin end, depending on which part of the tenderloin you have gotten, I would trim off a just a little, to make the thickness of the roast as even as possible. The trimmed off part is the Chef's share. Keep the chef happy at all times :-)

                As for the tenderloin: either just do it Argentina style (unload the flaked salt jar on it), or just use black pepper. Most of the time I have done the latter. I smoke it using cherry wood.

                So, to summarize
                1. Dry brine for the very least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
                2. Apply coarsely ground black pepper as a rub (use a thin layer of mustard if you like to get it to stick. You won't taste the mustard later).
                3. Smoke it on indirect heat at 225° F
                4. When the internal temp hits 125° F, crank up the heat and reverse sear it. Target temp is 135° F. And let it rest before serving.

                This should give you a superb tenderloin, with a good smoke ring, while still rare in the middle. Monitor the temp closely, this is a cut you do not want to overcook.

                The good thing is that you're cooking a whole roast, so the error margin is relatively large. The biggest mistake you can do is to run the grill too hot. Keep it in the 225-250° F range and you should be fine.


                  They will both work well, as it's all a matter of taste. We frequently blacken tenderloin at the restaurant, and that is also good. Tenderloin is a bit bland in comparison with other steaks, so any stronger flavors will tend to overpower their delicate flavor. This can be a good thing, however. One of my favorite ways of doing tenderloin is to cook the whole peeled tenderloin, then slice. This method is great when there are people who like different degrees of doneness without having to babysit a bunch of steaks. This method also allows you to use a stronger flavored rub as the rubs will not tend to overpower the flavor of the tenderloin. I've done a variation of Jerrod's method with a whole tenderloin, however when I got close to my target temp, I removed the whole tender, cut into steaks, then seared. It was sublime..
                  Anyway, this old line dog thinks that anything you do over the coals will be great. Don't stress, as we are just making food, not saving lives, right? Good tidings to you and yours from Houston, Alaska.


                    Simple seasoning for high quality meat. I want to taste the meat.
                    Relax and enjoy the cooking process, food can sense fear in a chef and that's when it acts up.....LOL!!



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