Smoked Beef Tenderloin on a Pit Boss (5 Simple Steps)

Want to smoke a beef tenderloin?

This can be an expensive cut!

So you want to get it right!

See our tried and tested recipe below!

Follow this and you’ll have pitmaster status at your next cookout!

whole-beef-tenderloin-on-pit-boss-pellet-grill

What Exactly Is a Tenderloin?

The tenderloin is well, tender but we will get to that in a minute!

The cut is taken from the inside of the loin running along with the spine of the animal.

This time we are cooking beef but this cut is available for other animals. Especially popular are the pork loin and venison!

The reason the tenderloin is considered the best is that it contains no fat or connective tissue. 

The muscle is pure protein and not worked at all by the animal.

If the muscle is not weight-bearing or worked then the proteins are soft.

This makes for a texture like melted butter when cooked.

If you’ve never tried a beef tenderloin roast then consider splashing out once and a while.

You will understand the quality beef which can be achieved.

Fun Fact: A standard trimmed beef tenderloin can go for as much as $40 per pound.

With the average whole loin weighing 7 pounds.

smoked-beef-tenderloin-pit-boss

Tenderloin or Fillet Steak?

I always like to point out the contrast of names for cuts of meat within cultures.

The tenderloin is no different. 

Here in the USA, we know it as the beloved tenderloin.

Our French friends call it a filet mignon and in the queen British it’s referred to as a fillet steak. 

Whatever our differences or semantics, the tenderloin should be on top.

Low & Slow or Hard & Fast?

So what is the best way to cook our tenderloin?

Usually, beef cuts go 1 of 2 ways of cooking but with a tenderloin, you don’t have to choose. 

We would cook meat to render the fat or break down any nasties from the working muscle. 

In the loin, there isn’t any fat so we can cook it on a hot grill.

Put the loin on direct heat for a short amount of time than some of the other cuts I’ve spoken about. 

That being said, you should always choose to go for the pellet grills smoking process.

This is low and slow with ambient heat.

This will exacerbate the combination of beef tenderness and an exterior crust.

pit-boss-smoked-beef-tenderloin

Taste or Texture?

Now I’m not going to pull the wool over your eyes as it’s not all champagne and roses.

I preach that fat equals flavor but told you a tenderloin doesn’t have any. 

Through the whispers of a seasoned pit master, it has been said that a tenderloin lacks a beefy flavor.

I would argue that the texture and plenty of kosher salt create a rich flavor we yearn for.

I do concede that if you don’t buy good quality beef and cook it, it can be on the bland side.

Our Pit Boss cooking process does wonders in response.

With an added and milder smoke flavor but we’ll get into that later. 

pit-boss-beef-tenderloin

Why Are We Smoking on Pit Boss Pellet Grills? 

I have been using a Pit Boss Navigator 550 wood pellet grill for around 6 months now.

It is the best.

The best because it utilizes a natural and cheap fuel for 8 different cooking methods.

Or the best because I know when my food is ready via a remote thermometer from the temperature probes.

It makes tasty food simple for a barbecue beginner slow-cooking meat for the first time.

Or even for a seasoned pro to home in their techniques. 

beef-tenderloin-on-pit-boss

Why Are We Smoking on Pit Boss Pellet Grills? 

Why are we recommending smoking the tenderloin on indirect heat?

Usually, we smoke a piece of meat low and slow to ensure it’s tender. 

With the tenderloin’s extreme leanness it is not always necessary.

The main reason we are smoking with wood chips is to penetrate the meat.

Penetrate with a smoky flavor and help create a bark formation.

The bark is a kind of crust created by chemical reactions between protein, fat, and sugars.

In this instance, it’s for the flavor.

This is because the texture is already present although it doesn’t harm to make it softer.

pit-boss-beef-tenderloin-recipe

The Best Seasoning for a Beef Tenderloin? 

I recommend a traditional good ol’ fashioned beef rub with a balance of heat, aromatics, and a little bit of sugar.

The rub will protect, season, and help formate the delicious crust with little prep time.

How to Prepare a Beef Tenderloin

How do we prepare the tenderloin?

I recommend buying one whole from your butcher and asking them to trim it down and tie the thinner end.

This is so it remains a consistent thickness and a constant internal temperature. 

There is usually a coating of silverskin which can be hard to remove.

If you don’t have a filet knife and when done it will cause less wastage.

TIP: Still ask the butcher for the trimmings to be used in other recipes. Here is some yummy things you can do with beef trimmings.

beef-tenderloin-pit-boss

At What Temperature Are We Smoking a Beef Tenderloin?

The ideal temperature to smoke a beef tenderloin at is 230°F to 250°F.

What Internal Temperature Does the Meat Need to Be?

The ideal internal temperature of beef tenderloin in the thickest part is 130°F.

What Is the Average Cooking Time for a Smoked Beef Tenderloin?

The average cooking time for a 7-pound beef tenderloin is 60 minutes. 

What if You Don’t Have a Pit Boss Pellet Grill?

I’m not lucky enough to have a Pit Boss smoker for cooking, so what can I do?

Start saving for one!

Check out Pit Boss Nation for community reviews.

Or a traditional charcoal grill will work but make sure you don’t get distracted and let the beef dry!

 

How Long to Rest the Meat?

You should allow the beef tenderloin to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing it.

You should cover the meat with foil well resting.

beef-tenderloin-on-pit-boss-smoker

Our Method for Smoking a Beef Tenderloin

There is nothing quite the same as taking the first bite into a beef tenderloin. 

When done smoking a whole tenderloin, make sure you rest and cut it into individual steaks.

Pick the largest for yourself!

What Ingredients You Need to Smoke a Beef Tenderloin

  • 1 whole trimmed tenderloin
  • Olive oil or another cooking oil
  • Salt & ground black pepper

Spice Rub (mix to your ratios)

  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Greek oregano
  • Smoked paprika
beef-tenderloin-on-pit-boss-2

What Equipment You Need to Smoke a Beef Tenderloin

  • Pit Boss electric pellet smoker
  • Hardwood chips (we recommend cherry as fruit woods go well with the mild flavor)
  • Filet knife (if trimming yourself)
  • Meat thermometer (a probe comes with the Pit Boss)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels

Making the Spice Mix

Combine the above spices into the ratios you desire. 

If you want to heat it a little more then add some cayenne pepper or milder paprika.

I will say we don’t want more than 2 parts of sugar otherwise it will burn in the high heat we are smoking the tenderloin. 

Salt is your best friend and doesn’t be afraid to be liberal as some will fall through the grill grates on the Pit Boss.

beef-tenderloin-on-pellet-smoker

Cherry Smoked Beef Tenderloin With Paprika

Step 1: Preparing The Spice Mix & Pellet Grill

-Take the trimmed tenderloin out of the refrigerator 2 hours before cooking time.

– Cover with oil.

– Mix the spices and cover the whole piece liberally leaving no part uncovered. 

– Load the pellets, prime, and set the grill to a temperature of 230°F. 

– Wait for the Pit Boss to come to temperature. 

Step 2: Smoke The Seasoned Beef Tenderloin

– Put the meat directly on the grill grate in direct heat.

– Insert the temperature probe and check while cooking.

– Check after 30 minutes for the crust and rotate over to ensure even cooking and grill marks.

TIP: If the crust looks like it’s burning you can spray or add a water pan to provide moisture.

You can also move in away from the direct heat. 

pit-boss-beef-tenderloin-recipe-2

Step 3: Rest & Enjoy

– Remove the loin when the remote thermometer reads 130°F.

– Cover with foil and rest for 20 minutes.

– Cut into steaks and enjoy!

smoked-beef-tenderloin-pit-boss-2

What to Serve With Beef Tenderloin

Here is what to serve with beef tenderloin

Cheesy Potatoes

Smoked Zucchini

Smoked Carrots in Brown Butter

See what else to serve with beef tenderloin here.

Want to Try Grilled Beef Tenderloin?

Do you know what is as good as smoked beef tenderloin? Grilled beef tenderloin!

See the recipe for grilled beef tenderloin here.

Smoked Beef Tenderloin

This tried and tested smoked beef tenderloin is juicy and tender.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time6 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 260kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 23

Equipment

  • Pit Boss electric pellet smoker
  • Hardwood chips (we recommend cherry as fruit woods go well with the mild flavor)
  • Filet knife (if trimming yourself)
  • Meat thermometer (a probe comes with the Pit Boss)
  • Aluminum foil
  • paper towels

Ingredients

  • 1 whole trimmed tenderloin
  • Olive oil or another cooking oil
  • Salt & ground black pepper
  • Spice Rub mix to your ratios
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Greek oregano
  • Smoked paprika

Instructions

Making the Spice Mix

  • Combine the above spices into the ratios you desire.
  • If you want to heat it a little more then add some cayenne pepper or milder paprika.
  • I will say we don’t want more than 2 parts of sugar otherwise it will burn in the high heat we are smoking the tenderloin.
  • Salt is your best friend and doesn’t be afraid to be liberal as some will fall through the grill grates on the Pit Boss.

Cherry Smoked Beef Tenderloin With Paprika

    Step 1: Preparing The Spice Mix & Pellet Grill

    • Take the trimmed tenderloin out of the refrigerator 2 hours before cooking time.
    • Cover with oil.
    • Mix the spices and cover the whole piece liberally leaving no part uncovered.
    • Load the pellets, prime, and set the grill to a temperature of 230°F.
    • Wait for the Pit Boss to come to temperature.

    Step 2: Smoke The Seasoned Beef Tenderloin

    • Put the meat directly on the grill grate in direct heat.
    • Insert the temperature probe and check while cooking.
    • Check after 30 minutes for the crust and rotate over to ensure even cooking and grill marks.
    • TIP: If the crust looks like it’s burning you can spray or add a water pan to provide moisture.
    • You can also move in away from the direct heat.

    Step 3: Rest & Enjoy

    • Remove the loin when the remote thermometer reads 130°F.
    • Cover with foil and rest for 20 minutes.
    • Cut into steaks and enjoy!

    Smoke On!

    Charlie

    Author: Charlie Reeves
    Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

    You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

    You can read more on our About Us page.

    Hungry For More?

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published.

    Recipe Rating