Beef Tenderloin: A Guide to Understanding and Cooking

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What is Beef Tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is considered one of the most tender cuts of beef. It’s also known as filet mignon, which is French for “cute fillet” or “dainty fillet.” Beef tenderloin comes from the part of the cow located near the spine, and it’s a muscle that doesn’t get much exercise. Because of its low fat content and tender texture, this cut is highly sought after.

The Different Types of Beef Tenderloin

There are two main types of beef tenderloin: whole and sliced. The whole tenderloin is also known as the PSMO (Peeled, Side Muscle On) tenderloin. This cut comes with the side muscle still attached, which needs to be removed before cooking. On the other hand, sliced beef tenderloin is already trimmed and portioned into individual steaks.

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin is a delicate cut of meat that requires proper cooking techniques to achieve the best results. Here’s a simple method for cooking whole beef tenderloin:

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Season the beef tenderloin with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices.
3. Sear the beef tenderloin in a hot pan until it’s browned on all sides.
4. Place the beef tenderloin in the preheated oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare doneness.
5. Let the beef tenderloin rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.


How do I know if beef tenderloin is cooked?

The best way to check if beef tenderloin is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat, and the internal temperature should read 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare doneness, 135°F (57°C) for medium doneness, and 145°F (63°C) for medium-well doneness.

Can I freeze beef tenderloin?

Yes, you can freeze beef tenderloin. Wrap the beef tenderloin tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 6-8 months.


Beef tenderloin is a delicious and prized cut of meat that is highly sought after by meat lovers. With the right cooking techniques, it’s easy to prepare and makes for a flavorful and impressive meal. Whether you prefer it whole or sliced, seasoned traditionally or with a unique twist, beef tenderloin is a versatile and gourmet cut that’s sure to impress your guests at any dinner party or special occasion.


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