The Best Beef Tenderloin

The Best Beef Tenderloin |

Dinner was delayed the other night because of Facebook.  Not because we were surfing and forgot to make it.  We’re blaming it on the Tasty videos that a few “helpful” friends re-post all the time. The ones that make you drool and change dinner plans from having plain ol’ sandwiches to “forcing” your husband to run out to the grocery store at 4:30pm to buy a beef tenderloin roast!

The Best Beef Tenderloin |

The technique used here is salt-encrusting, which is exactly what it sounds like.  You create a crust of salt around the beef and bake it.  We had heard of this technique before but had never tried it. Of course, the video makes it look easy (and delicious) – and it was!

It was so close to dinner time when Papa got back from the store and this takes over an hour to prep and bake, that I didn’t get an in-progress photo of us pan-searing or working to coat the roast with salt.  But this is what the salt looks like after you have used it.

salt after baking |

Yes, it is a lot of salt.  3 whole pounds of kosher salt.  That would seem like such a waste to just use it once.  So here’s what we did: after dinner we put the salt back into the oven for a while to make sure it was completely dry and the meat juices were cooked; let it cool, broke up the salt chunks and put in into a bag so it could be stored in the freezer until the next time we wanted to make this.

Oh-ho-ho, you better believe there will be a next time!  This was that good.  So juicy and perfectly cooked, even for a medium-well type person for myself (we cooked ours to the medium stage).

salt-encrusted tenderloin |

I saw a couple of comments on our friend’s Facebook post wondering if it was too salty.  The salt flavor doesn’t absorb into the meat.  The salt taste you get all depends on how much you scrape off before serving.  The amount we left on the roast was just perfect – a bit of saltiness but not too much.  If you want to err on the side of caution, remove all the salt you can see; you can always add some back!

How does this taste as leftovers?  We wouldn’t know.  I’ll confess: we ate the whole tenderloin that night!  (*ours wasn’t a 2-lb roast, it was just a little over a pound)   It was sooooo good.  We knew that most good meats like steak and tenderloin don’t reheat well, because then they are over-cooked.

That was our excuse, and we’re sticking to it!

The Best Beef Tenderloin


  • 2 lbs of beef tenderloin
  • Pepper
  • 3 lbs of kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup of water


  • Pepper the beef tenderloin on all sides. Brown all sides of the beef tenderloin in a frying pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt, rosemary and water. You want the consistency of wet sand.
  • Spread a thin layer of the salt on your baking sheet. Place the beef tenderloin on top and cover the with remaining salt, packing the salt around the roast. Make sure the beef is completely covered by salt.
  • Bake at 250°F/120°C for 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 120°F for medium rare / 130°F for medium.
  • Remove from oven and let the tenderloin rest in the salt crust for 15 minutes.
  • Crack the salt crust and remove. Brush away any excess salt and remove the beef tenderloin. Let rest on a cutting board for 5 min.
  • Slice into 1″ thick pieces and serve immediately.

One Reply to “The Best Beef Tenderloin”

  1. I’ve read about that method but never tried it – now maybe I will! I loved your comment about leftovers, too 🙂

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