How Much Tenderloin Per Person

How Much Tenderloin Per Person

When it comes to planning a meal around beef tenderloin, one of the most common questions that arises is, “How much beef tenderloin do I need per person?” This is an important consideration, especially given the higher price tag of this particular cut of beef. Let’s delve into this topic and explore the factors that determine the amount of beef tenderloin required per person.

Estimating the Quantity

As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to estimate 8 ounces (or 1/2 pound) of beef tenderloin per person. This estimation is based on the raw weight and accounts for approximately 2 ounces of shrinkage during trimming and cooking. However, given the relatively lean and expensive nature of beef tenderloin, it is also acceptable to adjust this recommendation to 6 ounces per person, especially when the meal is complemented by substantial side dishes.

For a gathering of four to six guests, a roast weighing between 1 1/2 to 2 pounds is sufficient. This allocation allows each guest to enjoy three to four 1/2-inch slices on their plate, with the possibility of seconds or leftovers.

The Different Cuts

Whole beef tenderloins are typically categorized into three cuts: the head, the center, and the tail. The head, despite its name, is actually derived from the steer’s rear end and is often trimmed into steaks or used for carpaccio. The center-cut, on the other hand, is well-suited for roasting whole, making it ideal for smaller gatherings. Meanwhile, the tail-end tenderloin is more suitable for larger dinner parties, although it may require tying to ensure even cooking.

Trimmed or Untrimmed

Beef tenderloins are commonly available in two forms: trimmed and untrimmed. Supermarkets often offer untrimmed tenderloins at a lower price, with the fat and silverskin still intact. Opting for untrimmed tenderloin allows for greater flexibility, as it can be trimmed at home or by a butcher. Alternatively, trimmed tenderloins, although slightly pricier, offer the convenience of being ready for cooking without the need for additional preparation.

Preparing Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin is a versatile cut that can be prepared in various ways, from classic roasting to more elaborate recipes such as beef Wellington. It is essential to consider the preferred method of preparation and the specific requirements of the occasion when selecting the appropriate cut and quantity of beef tenderloin.


Why is it important to tie the beef tenderloin before cooking?

Tying the beef tenderloin is crucial to ensure uniformity in size and shape, which promotes even cooking. While professional tying techniques are not necessary, securing the tenderloin with cooking twine helps maintain its structure during the cooking process.

What is the best temperature for cooking whole beef tenderloin?

For the center cut of the tenderloin (chateaubriand), a high temperature of 425°F is recommended until it reaches medium-rare. When cooking the whole tenderloin, it is advisable to start at 425°F for approximately 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325°F until the desired level of doneness is achieved.

What seasoning is ideal for cooking beef tenderloin?

Highlighting the natural flavor of beef tenderloin is essential, and therefore, it is best to use minimal seasoning to complement the meat. A simple combination of garlic, salt, and pepper, followed by a finishing touch of butter, is sufficient to enhance the flavor of the tenderloin.

What is the process for cleaning the whole beef tenderloin?

Cleaning a whole beef tenderloin involves removing excess fat and silver skin. While this task can be undertaken at home with a sharp knife and cutting board, many grocery stores with butcher departments offer the service of cleaning and trimming the tenderloin upon request.

What are the different cuts derived from beef tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin yields highly desired steak cuts such as filet mignon, tenderloin steak, chateaubriand, and tournedos. Each cut offers distinct characteristics and is suitable for various culinary applications.

How can leftover beef tenderloin be reheated?

To store leftover beef tenderloin, it should be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to three days. When reheating, preheat the oven to 350°F, wrap each slice in aluminum foil, and reheat for 10-15 minutes until warm. Care should be taken to avoid overcooking the tenderloin during the reheating process.

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