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Smoking A Whole Beef Tenderloin
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5 from 4 votes

Smoking A Whole Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin is a great combination of beef tenderness and that nostalgic smoke flavor. This should be easy, considering it only takes about an hour to get this dish done. However, the smoking process can be tricky because you really have to ensure that you maintain the right temperature to achieve that smoky, oh-so-good tenderness of beef tenderloin.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Whole Beef Tenderloin
Servings: 4
Calories: 238kcal


  • A smoker
  • Wood chunks or chips
  • 1 whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • A tie
  • Digital Read Thermometer
  • Aluminum foil


Herb Garlic Mustard Baste

  • 2



  • 1 tsp Olive oil

  • 2 tsp Hot English mustard

  • 1/4


    Chopped herbs, preferably a mix of thyme, rosemary, and parsley

  • 8

    Cloves fresh garlic, minced

  • 2



Pepper Dry Rub

  • 1


    Kosher salt

  • 2


    Cracked Szechuan peppercorns

  • 2 tbsp Cracked white peppercorns

  • 2 tbsp Cracked pink peppercorns

  • 2 tbsp Cracked black peppercorns

Armagnac Butter Injection


  • About 30 minutes before smoking beef tenderloin, starting prepping your smoker.

  • Don’t forget to set out the tenderloin too around the same time to warm it up a bit before getting into the smoker.

  • You may also want to soak the wood chips in hot water at this time.

  • Make sure your smoker has enough charcoal before lighting it.

  • Close the lid to heat it up to the right temperature.

  • Your goal is to get it to 300 degrees F, so make sure to monitor the coal level and air intake in the process of reaching the right heat.

  • A few minutes before smoking the meat cut, ensure that the water tank of your smoker has been filled, add the wood, and pour more charcoal in it before putting the grill grate and closing the lid.

  • Make sure the smoke and steam build up as well before putting the meat on the grill.

  • If the tenderloin isn’t trimmed yet, start doing so while prepping the smoker.

  • To start, get your sharpest knife and take off any excess skin or fat.

  • Only get rid of the hanging fat and avoid trimming more than what’s needed.

  • Be careful not to cut through or remove any of the meat too.

  • You don’t want to waste a few dollars and shave off a part of that meat.

  • You will also want to tie the tenderloin.

  • If you’re not exactly sure how to do this, let a butcher do it for you.

  • Tying the beef tenderloin creates a more uniforms shape along the length of the meat, allowing the meat to be evenly cooked.

  • If you notice that the tail is flopping around in the smoker, remember that part will be cooked first before the centermost part of the tenderloin is done.

  • To make sure heat is evenly circulated, your tenderloin must achieve a cylindrical shape.

  • In tying the tenderloin, keep two inches of space in between. Your goal is to create a uniform thickness along its length.

  • Once the tenderloin is all trimmed and tied up, baste it with the herb garlic mustard base.

  • After it’s thoroughly covered, rub it with the 4-pepper rub.

  • Remember to press firmly so the flavor of pepper seeps through the meet. Before smoking it, inject the meat with Armagnac butter mixture.

  • An alternative to flavoring your beef tenderloin is by seasoning ​it will just kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper.

  • Drizzle the meat with olive oil on all sides, then rub it all over.

  • Use a steak rub or a dry rub of your own.

  • This method is ideal for people who prefer their tenderloin to be a bit more natural-tasting.

  • With the smoker preheated, you can begin with the smoking process.

  • First, lay the tenderloin onto the grates and close the lid.

  • Make sure that the cooking environment is as consistent as possible, which means you’ll have to check the water levels, wood, and charcoal regularly.

  • Check the air intake now and then as well.

  • Depending on the size of the meat, cooking beef tenderloin will take about an hour and forty-five minutes tops.

  • During the smoking process, inject Armagnac butter into the meat.

  • To help regulate the smoker’s heat circulation, turn the meat over about halfway through the smoking process.

  • If you prefer, you can brush on a layer of your favorite barbecue sauce while it smokes.

  • But for this particular recipe, the rub and baste should be enough as flavor enhancements.

  • Another method of cooking ​whole tenderloin is to use the reverse-sear method.

  • Set up your smoker for direct grilling and heat to high after smoking to an internal 110 degrees F temperature.

  • The grill grate must be oiled up.

  • Take the meat to the grill and use tongs to turn it as you need to. 

  • The outside of the meat should be sizzling and brown.

  • Check the internal temperature of the meat to come up with rare meat, which is at 120 to 125 degrees, or medium-rare, which is at 130 degrees.

  • Use the meat thermometer to check the temperature.

  • You’ll know the beef tenderloin is done when the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 135 degrees. 

  • Upon reaching this temp, you may take it off the smoker and tent it loosely using an aluminum foil for about 30 minutes to an hour.

  • This resting process will allow the meat to become more tender and flavorful. 

  • Let the tenderloin reabsorb its juices.

  • This step will also allow the temperature to rise, resulting in a perfect 145-degree smoked beef tenderloin.

  • Remember not to bunch the foil around the meat or the crust will get soggy.

  • You can slice the meat crosswise thinly and admire its smoke ring before serving it.

  • Once the tenderloin has been rested, it’s ready to be devoured.

  • You may serve your perfectly smoked whole beef tenderloin with some relish on the side.


Serving: 113g | Calories: 238kcal