Smoked beef tenderloin is a delicious cut of meal, prepared in way that really brings out the flavor of the meat, along with the smoky flavor from the wood and style of cooking. It’s actually so simple to prepare and a great way to break in a new offset smoker!
Why smoke beef tenderloin?
You need just a handful of ingredients- you can make this with just salt, pepper, and olive oil and it’ll still be absolutely delicious, but my spice rub takes it even beyond that.
It’s a beautiful way to honor such a delicious cut of meat, and a really simple hands off process.
If you’re new to smoking meat (like we are!) this is an easy, foolproof method, and the smoking process pairs wonderfully with this tender cut of meat.
Smoked beef tenderloin is completely show stopping, perfect for a special occasion meal.
What ingredients do you need to smoke a beef tenderloin?
You need the tenderloin itself. We used a small one, about 1.5-2 lbs, because we are a smaller family, but you can use a 3-4 pounder with the same method.
The ingredients for the rub:
Mustard (any mustard you like, wholegrain, dijon, yellow are all fine), salt, coarse pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and mixed herbs like oregano, thyme, etc.)
You can keep this as simple as olive oil, salt and crushed pepper. Add any herbs or spices you like, and omit any you don’t.
How to prep tenderloin for smoking:
You don’t need to marinate this in advance. You just need to rub the tenderloin with the mustard all over, then mix together all the spices and sprinkle generously all over. That’s it!
What equipment do you need to smoke beef tenderloin:
An offset smoker, charcoal briquettes, wood pellets or chunks (I used chunks). A meat thermometer or digital read thermometer will also come in hand to check the doneness of the beef.
What type of wood should you use to smoke meat?
I used mesquite wood. You can also use hickory, another strong flavored wood, or oak.
How to smoke beef tenderloin:
- Preheat the smoker by adding coals and setting the coals alight with lighter fluid to accelerate.
- After the coals have been burning for 10-15 minutes, place a log of wood on the coals, along with a handful of fresh coals.
- Once the smoke has changed from white smoke to blue smoke (the good smoke for smoking), close the chimney of the offset smoker. When the temperature of the smoker reads 220 F, place the meat on the grill of the smoker, but over indirect heat, not directly on top of the lit coals.
- Smoke between 1 hour-3 hours, or when the temperature of the meat reads: 135 F for medium rare, 145 F for medium, 155 F for medium well, and 165 F for well done.
How to serve smoked tenderloin:
I think this is so good it doesn’t need a sauce, but you can make a blue cheese sauce, mushroom gravy, or a peppercorn sauce if you like.
What you can also do is make amazing sandwiches with this tenderloin. If you want to do that, I’d recommend refrigerating the smoked tenderloin overnight, then slicing it thinly the next day. Serve with some horseradish or some dijon mustard and you have the perfect beef sandwiches.
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
Smoked Beef Tenderloin
- 1.5-2 lb beef tenderloin (700g) If you have a bigger cut of meat, cooking time remains the same just double the coating ingredients
- 1 heaped tbsp mustard (dijon, yellow, whole grain all work)
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1-1.5 tsp black pepper, coarse
- 1.5 tsp onion powder
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp mixed dried herbs like a mixture of oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.
- Prep the tenderloin by rubbing all over with the mustard, combining all the spices in a small bowl or in a shaker, then generously sprinkling the spice mix all over, top and bottom, rubbing them in.
- Preheat the smoker by placing coal inside the smoker and lighting the coal with lighter fluid and flames. Once the coal has caught fire, after about 10-15 minutes, place a few large chunks of wood on the coals, along with another few pieces of fresh coal.
- Wait for the the smoke to change from white smoke, to blue smoke before closing the chimney (If using an offset smoker). Once the temperature reaches 220 F, you can place the meat on the grill inside the smoker over indirect heat, not directly on top of the lit coals.
- Smoke anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours, until internal temperature reaches 135 F for medium rare, 145 for medium, 155 F for medium well, and 165 F for well done. Remove tenderloin from smoker, tent with foil, and allow to rest 10-20 minutes. I cooked my tenderloin to medium, go with your personal preference!