For a tender and juicy beef tenderloin that's perfect every time, try sous vide. Sous vide is the French technique of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags at precisely controlled temperatures for extended periods of time. The result is a moist, evenly cooked meat with no risk of overcooking or drying out.
Pair a perfectly cooked beef tenderloin with a blackberry pan sauce and it will send your taste buds straight to Valhalla.
It's easy, convenient, and incredibly delicious - what could be better?
In this recipe, we will walk you through everything you need to know to make the best beef tenderloin of your life. From how long to sous vide beef tenderloin, to different searing methods, this recipe has it all.
What is the Beef Tenderloin?
The beef tenderloin is known by many names - the chateaubriand, filet mignon roast or tenderloin roast. It is the long, narrow and lean cut from the loin of a cow. Known for being the most tender cut of beef available, it is an instant crowd-pleaser at dinner parties.
Removing the Silver Skin
To make the tenderloin tender and easy to eat, it is important to remove all of its silver skin. The silver skin is the white sheen of connective tissue that covers the piece of beef. It will not break down during cooking process so you have get rid of this layer to make it as tender as possible.
You can remove the silver skin by carefully trimming it, or asking your butcher to remove it for you.
Trussing the Tenderloin
To ensure the tenderloin is aesthetically pleasing, you want to truss it with butchers twine. Not only will trussing help maintaining a nice round shape as the roast cooks, it will also help the beef cook evenly.
To truss the roast, start by cutting about 12 inches (or more for larger roasts) of butchers twine. Next, at about two inches in from the edge, wrap the string around the roast. Tie a knot at the top and cut the string. Keep trussing the roast every two-inches until the entire roast is tied.
An essential part of the sous vide process is putting ingredients in an air-tight bag or container. The two most common techniques to package your ingredients are vacuum sealing and using the water displacement method.
A vacuum sealer removes all the air and seals the contents in a plastic bag through a vacuum. This process ensures the food is airtight and properly sealed, and prevents the bag from floating which can result in uneven cooking. If you are in the market for a vacuum sealer, I'd recommend the Anova sealer.
The displacement method is a technique where you first place your food and marinades in a sous vide bag, submerge the bag in a container of water, and allow the pressure to force all the air out of the bag.
Either method works for steak. Note that if you are adding a marinade in the bag, please make sure your vacuum sealer is capable of sealing liquids. If not, please use the displacement method.
Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin Time and Temp Chart
The time and temperature guide below is the product of years of extensive testing, and will take the guesswork out of cooking sous vide. Simply select a temperature based on your desired doneness, then determine the length of the cook based on the thickness of the protein.
Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin Temperature
|126 – 135F / 52 – 57C
|131F / 55C
|136 – 145F / 57.5C – 62.5C
|140F / 60C
|146 – 155F / 63 – 68C
|149F / 65C
Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin Cooking Time
|1 inch or less
|1 to 2 hours
|1 ½ hours
|1 inch to 2 inches
|2 to 3 hours
|2 inches or more
|2 to 4 hours
Our personal favorite is cooking a 2" beef tenderloin at 55C/131F for 2 hours. Cooking the meat for this duration makes the tenderloin fork tender. Also, cooking them at a temperature of 131F is the sweet spot for that beautiful edge-to-edge medium rare.
Although this is our favorite time and temperature, we recommend you explore different combinations to find your personal favorite. Our cooking guide can always help you find your perfect time and temperature.
Can You Sous Vide Frozen Beef Tenderloin?
The quick answer is, absolutely! Cooking frozen foods sous vide is an ultra convenient, safe way to prepare your protein. Just take the food directly from the fridge, repackage it (unless you know the bag is sous vide safe) and let the sous vide work its magic.
The only thing you'll need to adjust is the cook time. If you are cooking frozen tenderloin sous vide we recommend adding an additional hour to the cook time, so three hours total should do the trick.
Best Way to Sear Beef Tenderloin After Sous Vide
Searing is by far the most important step in cooking sous vide. If want your food to look like it is Michelin star quality, you are going to have to get a rich sear. Failing to do so will make your dinner guests wonder why they let you cook again.
If you want an amazing sear, you’ve got to:
1. Pat the meat completely dry with a paper towel
2. Season generously with salt or seasoning of your choice
3. Sear at extremely high temperatures.
At this point you want to determine the best searing method. For beef tenderoin, we suggest pan searing, grilling or using a searing torch. The trick is getting the pan, grill or torch extremely hot, then searing for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. This results in a quick, high-quality sear without overcooking the steak.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Next Level Sous Vide –Looking to take your sous vide skills to the next level? The Next Level Sous Vide eCookbook will push your culinary boundaries with 65 delicious recipes that are equally approachable and tasty. With pro tips and a detailed explanation of the sous vide process, you will be on your way to maximize your sous vide skills.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin with Blackberry Pan Sauce
- 2 lb beef tenderloin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon butter
Blackberry Pan Sauce
- 6 oz fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoon blackberry jelly
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red wine
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ½ tablespoon salted butter
Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin
Set sous vide machine to 55C/131F.
Season beef tenderloin lightly with salt and pepper. Place meat in sous vide bag and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for two hours.
Remove bag from bath. Take tenderloin out of the bag, pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat up large skillet on high and add butter. Sear tenderloin for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, and place on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Once rested, serve and enjoy! Alternatively sear the beef on a grill or using a searing torch.
Blackberry Pan Sauce
Place fresh blackberries and blackberry jelly into a small sauce pan over low heat. Sprinkle white sugar on top, do not stir. Bring to a simmer until sauce begins to form, approximately 10 minutes.
Turn heat to medium and add balsamic vinegar, beef broth, red wine, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and strain into a mesh sieve into a container. Pour sauce in container back in sauce pan on medium heat and simmer until thickened to your preference. Turn off heat and add ½ tablespoon of butter. Gently fold in to sauce until well combined.