Grill Roasted Beef Tenderloin

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Mrs. Iron Chef and I recently entertained her aunt, uncle and a couple of cousins, who had been on a whirlwind tour of the Pacific Northwest, and I decided that they needed a good, home cooked meal. Since there were 6 of us and the weather was nice, I thought that the meal called for a nice grill-roasted beef tenderloin. It is easy to cook, always a crowd favorite and doesn’t require a ton of prep. The below recipe and technique was taken from Cook’s Illustrated magazine and modified a bit by yours truly.

The Software
1 – 2 ½ lb. beef tenderloin, silver skin removed
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Soaked wood chips for smoking (optional)

The Prep
Remove any silver skin that may be on the roast. Pat dry and sprinkle1 tablespoon of salt on all sides of the roast. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and return to the fridge for at least 4 hours (you can let it sit overnight if you want, it won’t hurt anything). When you are ready to fire up the grill, pull the meat out of the fridge and pat dry with paper towels. Rub with the oil and then sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper to get even distribution. Tie the roast with 5 pieces of butcher’s twine spaced at even intervals to make the roast as uniform as possible. Let rest until you are ready to put on the grill.


A whole beef tenderloin – the two “wings” are called the chain meat. You want to get your roast from that end of the muscle and remove the chain meat before cooking.

The Grill
Gas grill – turn all burners on high for 15 minutes to preheat the grill. Add wood chips to your smoking box at this time. Once grill is heated, clean the grill grates. Turn off all of your burners except for your primary burner. Leave that on – you are looking to maintain about 300-325 degrees in the grill. For my grill it means leaving the primary burner just above medium high.

Charcoal grill – prep 6 quarts of charcoal and heat until covered in ash. Add the charcoal to the far side of the grill, not exposing more than half of the grill grate to direct heat (you are going to cook the meat off of direct heat). Add wood for smoking directly to the charcoal. Heat the grate for 10 minutes with the grill covered.

The Roast
Gas grill – put the meat on the grill about 8” from the edge of the primary burner (you don’t want to put in directly on the heat from the primary burner). Roast for 25 minutes, and then flip the meat over. Continue roasting until the meat reaches 125 degrees on a meat thermometer (that is medium rare). Remove from the heat to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest 15-20 minutes before cutting.

Charcoal Grill – Put the meat over the direct heat of the charcoal for about 2 minutes on each side to get a crust to form. Move the meat to be about 8” from the direct heat and cook on the first side for about 15 – 20 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees. Remove from the heat to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest 15-20 minutes before cutting.

If your fire starts to die down on a charcoal grill, add more charcoal. This recipe is easier on a gas grill (better temperature control), but tastes a ton better on a charcoal grill. I used a simple salt, garlic and pepper rub for this, but you can use any type of spice rub you would like. If you opt for tenderloin, you want to get a roast that is as uniform as possible and ask your butcher to remove the silver skin for you, it will save you 10 minutes of prep time. If you don’t want to use tenderloin, eye round also works in about the same amount of time. You could also easily substitute a boneless leg of lamb roast or a pork loin roast (not the tenderloin, it is too thin) and they will all cook in about the same amount of time. Tying the roast is essential to making it a uniform as possible – it will prevent some pieces from being more cooked than others. Serve with some roasted veggies and a nice chimichurri sauce.

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