Perfect Beef Tenderloin

This simple step-by-step recipe will ensure you have a perfectly tender beef tenderloin every time.

Perfect Beef Tenderloin
Photo: Iain Bagwell
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
12 to 14 appetizer servings

Roasted beef tenderloin is a show-stopper that transforms any dinner into a special occasion. A whole tenderloin is also expensive, so we need a recipe that will guide us to perfection. This recipe is surprisingly straightforward and easy, especially when you ask the butcher to trim and tie the roast before you bring it home, which ensures it will cook evenly. Trust an instant-read thermometer to gauge when it's cooked to your liking, and let it rest before slicing. The target temperature range for medium-rare (which is how most people prefer beef tenderloin) is 130° to 135°F, but remove it from the oven when it reaches 125° to 130°F because it will climb another 5 to 7 degrees while it rests.


  • 1 (5- to 7-lb.) beef tenderloin, trimmed

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 5 to 7 tsp. kosher salt

  • ¾ teaspoon cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place beef on a wire rack in a jelly-roll pan. Rub butter over beef, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  2. Bake at 425° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 135° (medium rare). Cover loosely with aluminum foil; let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

  3. Note: We tested with Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.

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