HICKORY-SMOKED BEEF TENDERLOIN

This could very well go into the Incredibly Simple files, but since it requires an electric smoker, I guess it would not be quite appropriate. When we think about smoking stuff (not talking cigarettes of any kind here), the mind gravitates towards pork ribs, briskets, perhaps salmon. But Phil wondered if cuts such as a T-bone steak or a tenderloin could also work. There are some recipes out there, for the most part they call for rubs or marinades that in my opinion don’t do anything for the meat. So we browsed around discussion forums and found what we were looking for: meat lovers raving about their smoked ribeyes, tenderloins, T-bones. And what’s even better, they were prepared like a Brazilian would: salt, pepper, and love.

HICKORY-SMOKED BEEF TENDERLOIN
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

2 beef tenderloin filets, 8 ounces each
(you can do the same for a 12 ounce T-bone steak)
salt
pepper
a few chunks of hickory smoking chips

Set your smoker to 175 F.

Season the meat with salt and pepper.  When the smoker reaches the proper temperature, place the steaks inside and smoke for 50 minutes.

Heat your grill or a cast iron pan to the holy-smokes-this-is-blazing-hot stage.

When the meat is done smoking, sear it on the grill or cast iron pan (if using cast iron coat it very slightly with olive oil). Just a couple of minutes per side will do.

Rest the meat for 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy it. You definitely will.

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: We smoked one tenderloin filet and two T-bone steaks using exactly the same timing and temperature. The texture of the meat was quite similar to sous-vide, which pleasantly surprised us. Definitely the lower temperature does wonders for texture, and the smoked flavor turns it into something special. It is much more subtle than adding a sauce to your steak (which Brazilians find borderline heretic). Next time we will use either orange or apple wood to see how the flavor compares. Hickory is pretty assertive.

If you are a bit insecure about cooking the meat without checking the temperature, you can always insert a probe thermometer and take it to 135 F for medium-rare. The Man was in charge of the smoker, and he is pretty good at judging doneness by pressing the surface of the meat with his finger. It always turns out perfect for us.

After inhaling the whole T-bone steak (ok, he did leave the bone behind after chewing on it like Bogey QT would), Phil said it was one of the best he’s ever had. That man knows about steak, trust me, so that is a huge endorsement.  I could not finish my tenderloin, but in part it was because I always have that possibility of a perfect leftover lunch waving at me. But if it wasn’t for that, I would have matched my beloved’s performance. Except for the chewing of the bone. Or the corn on the cob. Because… braces (sigh).

We’ve had the smoker since December last year, and I can tell you we are very happy with the acquisition. I cannot imagine salmon prepared any other way, and it’s quite likely that T-bone steaks and maybe even beef tenderloin will be following the same route…

ONE YEAR AGO: Spaghetti Squash, Revisited

TWO YEARS AGO: Stir-fried Chicken and Cabbage in Spicy Almond Sauce

THREE YEARS AGO: Fifteen Years!

FOUR YEARS AGO: Light Brioche Burger Buns

FIVE YEARS AGO: Sourdough Blues

SIX  YEARS AGO: Headed to Hawaii

SEVEN YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

EIGHT YEARS AGO:  Hidden Treasure

NINE YEARS AGO: Avocado Three Ways

5 thoughts on “HICKORY-SMOKED BEEF TENDERLOIN

  1. Oh boy, now you’re talkin’! I can’t even look at those macarons because that’s never going to happen in this kitchen. But the steaks, oh yes. The slow cook to preferred doneness then sear after method is the bomb isn’t it? I have used it for prime rib roast twice following J. Kenji’s instructions in The Food Lab book. Always did it in the reverse before but never again. Oh, and The Man is doing those steaks just the way we like them.

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