7 lb tied and trimmed tenderloin question.

Big money roast. 9 guests. 6 want med rare, 3 med well. should I cut the roast in a 2/3 and a 1/3 piece and do the med well 1st, then lower temp and do the other? Also how long to cook?

Whybuy, is it too late to change your menu to hamburgers?

OK then, here’s what i have done when i find i’m not in a position to tell my guests that i only know three ways to cook beef tenderloin; rare, medium-rare, or badly.
Then i end saying, - “And i don’t do badly.”

I wouldn’t fuss too much on that expensive piece of meat for the 3 medium-wells. Cook the whole piece as you normally would to medium-rare. Depending on its grade, aging, and degree of marbling, about 2 1/2 hours will do. Use your best judgement. Don’t go over 4 hours or you will start to have texture issues with beef tenderloin.

After your SV cook, season and sear, cut off the 3 portions you plan to cook badly and flop them around a hot skillet to get them just up to 145F - 150F internal. That will only take a couple of minutes. So basically what you are doing is serving them “end-cuts” of the roast.
You do have an instant-read thermometer don’t you?

At this point requisition a medium-rare diner to assist you with plating and service because you are going to have a very busy few minutes and during that time we don’t want you to be interrogated about your culinary technique by a medium-well. Inform your helper which guests will be served the medium wells. That way when serving the medium-rares they don’t have to hold an annoying table-side plate auction.

If you are serving a sauce for the meat, serve it beneath the medium-rare portions and serve it over the medium-wells. It helps.

Slice your medium-rare portions and serve on warmed plates with your designated sides. Then take the last three portions, set them on several thicknesses of paper towel, and lightly blot them. (You can blot them heavily to get well-done.) The idea is to remove some of the flavourful meat juices those guests find objectionable and give them that dry and mealy meat texture they so enjoy. The blotting removes most of the red color from the meat and drys it.

I suggest next time you host this group you consider serving pulled pork.

Happy cooking.


I always love reading your posts. The knowledge after so many years in a professional kitchen is amazing. But your turn of phrase and gentle pointedness without descending into outright snark is what I love most. Thank you for providing one of my favourite paragraphs of instruction this morning.


Thanks so much Chatnoir! You are so right. No sense in being politically correct when the issue is Mignon! I will report on my results after the beast is devoured. Now I need to find a vessel that will accomodate this 18" rent payment.



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Hey, Ember, - thanks, i appreciate your feedback.
You guessed right about this not being my first rodeo.

I will always be more than somewhat unapologetically evangelical about the sacredness of our food and how it deserves our deepest respect in selection, preparation, and service. Respect means having a caring attitude, which when combined with skills and knowledge results in superior outcomes.
It’s simple.

As you noticed I am often disappointed in people who won’t do the work to acquire some knowledge and a few basic skills to cook food competently. I regret that the contemporary slavish dependancy on recipes is so widespread when mastering a few techniques, like SV, so much better equips people with the understanding to excel in cooking. It’s as simple as grasping the notion that in SV cooking weight matters not. Yet in almost every post here the only decision criteria offered is weight.

End of rant.

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Realized this roast is to long to sear in a skillet. I have a gas range with a center teflon griddle but was wondering if sear temp is too high for teflon. Other option is my gas grill but I’d rather have a flat surface to sear it all rather than the grid pattern. could I use a regular half sheetpan on the grill? Thanks, Scott. .

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Scott, since a lot of users here are using insulated cooler chests i thought you did too and didn’t have a vessels challenge in addition to your bi-lateral doneness one. Thanks for using the slow reveal method to keep readers interested in these posts.

If you can handle two 9-inch pieces just cut the piece of meat in half crosswise. Bag and seal as you usually do. Nothing else changes in your cooking process.

Well, now you have revealed Mignon is either your meat’s name or its cut. I suspect it’s the latter. The whole piece you have there is known as beef tenderloin and fillets mignon are the steaks cut from about the middle towards the thin end.

I presume either your butcher or you have, or will, peel the silver skin from the meat. That’s the tough membrane on the outside going towards the thick end of the roast. Leave any little knobs of fat you come across. This is what ones does to prepare beef tenderloin for cooking. And while you are messing around with the meat i recommend you tuck the flattish thin end beneath and cinch it with a few loops of twine to obtain a fairly evenly thick piece of meat. Oh-oh, there’s the pesky T-word again that keeps popping up when dealing with SV cooking. Hard to avoid it.

Teflon is a form of plastic that self destructs somewhere above 450F. I wouldn’t have it in my kitchen. It’s ok for pancakes, i suppose, but definitely not searing. Yes, you could use an uncoated sheet pan on your grill. It may be forever after warped if it isn’t accustom to such high direct heat though.

If it’s not too late to amend your Santa List, i suggest you ask for a good old-fashioned 12" cast iron skillet. One day you will learn to love it as it will sear all your SV cooks perfectly and do so much more exceedingly well.

Scott, you are so very correct, you don’t want a grid pattern on your roast. Please remember, at this stage you’re finishing your SV cooking and not grilling a steak from the raw state. You are employing two very different cooking techniques that you shouldn’t mix. Your roast is cooked. If you decide to use the grill you should frequently move the meat around on it so you achieve even browning. Usually 30 to 45-seconds on each side will do.

I know, i know, - but what about using a torch? Their ultra-high temperatures potentially producing carcinogenic mutagens scare me. Good for welding maybe, or killing weeds, but i suspect hard on your food. ( I’m a 2x cancer survivor and that’s twice more than enough for me. ) I like using the cast iron pan where i know its exact temperature.

Well there, i’ve gone and done it again telling you probably far more than you could ever want to know about cooking your roast. I hope some of it will be useful. And don’t forget about pulled pork or burgers for the next time.


chat…as usual thanks for the details. I am cooking this tomorrow in my converted 48 can coleman. the 18" tenderloin fits easily. My prob was searing after its done. my 3 choices appear to be cutting roast in half and using my lodge 12" to sear or cranking the oven up really high to brown or broiling it. I do have a torch but think it would take too long. Of those 3 options do you have a preference? (and I promise in the future you won"t have to use any prognostication skills on me LOL) Merry Christmas to all!

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It’s my pleasure and don’t be too concerned, i’m just naturally cranky and appreciate how you are trying to cheer me up with all this fun.

And thanks for the reveal of your latest crop of useful information. The difficulty with the cranked-up oven finish is that it is too easy for your meat to overcook, besides it’s terribly energy intensive. Broiling has similar challenges and also hard to monitor progress. Good old cast iron requires your constant (nearly) attention for a couple of minutes, but that’s my top choice because of better control.

Make it a great meal, and Christmas.

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Well. the tenderloin came out perfecly! I cooked it at 133 for 3.5 hours. Wish I had taken a pic but I was time constrained doing the well done slices. Everyone raved. Boo-Yah! Thanks for the suggestions all!

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Always love it when a plan comes together. Even if the plan takes a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to formulate.

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