Roast Beef Tenderloin (Reverse Sear)

Beef tenderloin isn’t complicated to cook— with the right method, it’s absolutely simple.

In this beef tenderloin recipe, beef is perfectly seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. It comes out incredibly juicy and fork-tender with a crisp exterior every time!

In this recipe, I use a reverse sear for tender meat and a more consistent cook throughout. This beef is a delicious meal to enjoy on a special occasion.

sliced Roast Beef Tenderloin

What is Beef Tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is a very lean, tender piece of beef from under the backbone. This area of the cow doesn’t get a lot of use which makes the most tender cut of beef!

When served in single portions, tenderloin is cut into thick slices and known as filet mignon. When it’s cut from the center to form an even roast, it is sometimes called Chateaubriand.

It is possible to purchase a whole beef tenderloin or “filet”, and while this is definitely one of the most expensive cuts of beef, it’s way less expensive to make it at home! Because of the hefty price tag, many home cooks feel intimidated by cooking it; however, there’s no need to worry!

It is easy to roast tenderloin, and with the reverse sear method below (and an instant-read thermometer), it comes out absolutely perfectly every single time. Since this is a very expensive cut of meat, we enjoy it for a special occasion like Christmas dinner.

Kitchen Recommendation

If you cook meat (of any kind!), a thermometer is one of the most important tools in your kitchen.

We all know that meat is expensive, and a thermometer is a minimal investment (mine was under $15) to ensure a perfect cook on everything from steaks to juicy chicken to pork tenderloin. A $15 investment can ensure you cook all of your meats correctly!

Always place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat (away from the bone if your meat has a bone).

Ingredients and Variations

BEEF TENDERLOIN: This recipe calls for a 4-pound beef tenderloin roast. The time and temperature it’s cooked at depends on the weight (and a little bit on the shape).

SEASONINGS: Since tenderloin doesn’t have a lot of marbling, it’s important to season it properly to enhance the flavor (and that it isn’t overcooked!). This beef tenderloin recipe adds a very simple seasoning blend with freshly cracked black pepper, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, and a bit of brown sugar.

Other additions can be added, like a bit of dijon mustard mixed with olive oil or your favorite herbs.

OLIVE OIL: Olive oil helps the seasoning mix to stick to the meat while it is roasting.

What is Reverse Sear?

When meat is seared, it is often cooked at a high temperature to brown the outside and then cooked at a lower temperature to the desired doneness. In a reverse sear, the meat is cooked a lower temperature first and then browned at the end.

The slow cook makes it tender and juicy while the high temperature gives a nice browned crust… the reverse of searing meat.

I love reverse sear as it results in very tender meat and a more consistent cook throughout (I cook to medium-rare).

This technique can be used with steaks, or other thick cuts of meat (like roasted lamb) and the results are almost always perfect.

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

This easy method uses a long and slow cook time to cook the meat until tender. Once it’s tender, the oven is turned up really high to sear the outside. So good.

  1. Allow meat to rest at room temperature for 1 hour, and preheat the oven according to the recipe below.
  2. With a flexible, sharp-tipped knife, lift a 1-inch section of the fat & silver skin, poking the knife all the way through. Gently run the knife under the fat section in 1-inch strips, peeling it off as you go.
  3. Pat roast dry and tie with butcher twine at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine.
  1. Rub the roast with oil and roll in herbs, salt & black pepper.
  2. Insert a thermometer into the center of the roast and place it in the oven. Cook just until it reaches 120°F. Remove from the oven immediately.
  3. While the roast rests for 10-15 minutes, preheat the oven to a searing temperature of 450°F.
  4. Place roast back in oven and sear until internal temperature reaches 125-130°F (or desired temperature below).
  5. Remove promptly and allow to rest again, loosely covered with foil. This allows the juices to redistribute.

Beef Tenderloin Temperatures

  • Rare 120 – 125°F Bight red center
  • Medium Rare 130 – 135°F Dark pink center
  • Medium 140 – 145°F Pink center
  • Medium Well 150 – 155°F Browned center with very little pink
  • Well Done 160°F
slices of roast beef tenderloin cooked medium rare

What to Serve with Beef Tenderloin

Serve beef tenderloin with a vegetable, potatoes, and a side of creamy horseradish sauce for the perfect meal. We love to add a caesar salad and garlic bread. After all, beef tenderloin deserves some special treatment when it comes to side dishes!



Tips for a Tender Beef Roast

  • Invest in a meat thermometer; it’s essential for cooking meat to tender perfection. Cutting into meat to check for doneness without letting it rest lets all the juices out, and makes the meat tougher and less flavorful.
  • To ensure the perfect crust on a tenderloin:
    • let the beef come to room temperature before roasting.
    • dab dry before oiling and seasoning
    • salt just before cooking
  • Do not overcook.
  • Be sure to rest before cutting.

Did you make this Roast Beef Tenderloin? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

sliced Roast Beef Tenderloin

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Roast Beef Tenderloin (Reverse Sear)

Tender, juicy, and fork-tender, this beef tenderloin is the king of all cuts of beef!

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Resting Time 20 minutes

Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

  • Remove tenderloin from the fridge 60 minutes before cooking.

  • Preheat oven to 225°F.

  • To prepare roast, cut off fat and any silver skin. Tie the roast.

  • Combine peppercorns, rosemary, thyme leaves, kosher salt, and brown sugar in a small bowl.

  • Dab the tenderloin dry with paper towels, rub the outside with olive oil, and sprinkle with the herb mixture.

  • Place tenderloin on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until internal temperature reaches 120°F, about 60-70 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and rest 10-15 minutes. While the roast is resting, turn the oven up to 450°F.

  • Place the roast back into the oven and cook until it reaches 125-130°F, about 25-35 minutes.

  • Rest 10 minutes before serving.

A meat thermometer is essential for cooking meat to perfection.
Let the beef come to room temperature before roasting.
Dab dry before oiling and seasoning
Salt just before cooking
Do not overcook. 
Be sure to rest before cutting.

  • Rare 120 – 125°F Bight red center
  • Medium Rare 130 – 135°F Dark pink center
  • Medium 140 – 145°F Pink center
  • Medium Well 150 – 155°F Browned center with very little pink
  • Well Done 160°F

Calories: 874 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 1311mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
sliced Roast Beef Tenderloin and plated with writing
cooked Roast Beef Tenderloin with a title
plated Roast Beef Tenderloin with writing
close up of sliced Roast Beef Tenderloin with a title

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