During the grilling season, a lot of things end up on the grill, especially sausage and meat. Fillet of beef is a real premium meat, because no other cut of beef is as tender as the loin. However, many people shy away from the preparation, after all, the perfect cooking point is extremely important when grilling a beef fillet. A few minutes more or less on the grill will decide whether there’s reason to rejoice when it’s cut – or you’ll have to settle for a tough shoe sole.
It is not that difficult to grill a beef fillet in one piece or in the form of medallions. With our tips and tricks, you are guaranteed to get the perfect beef tenderloin on the grill!
Meat quality: This is what you should look out for when buying beef
Nice and juicy and tender: A good piece of meat should ideally melt in your mouth. Thanks to its fine structure, beef tenderloin fulfills almost all the prerequisites for this. It is the noblest part of the beef. This is a muscle strand in the loin area. Since this is not heavily used, it is fine-fibrous, has hardly any fat and a beautiful marbling. This ensures the extreme juiciness.
Provided the quality is right. For this, it is definitely worth spending a few euros more and go to the butcher of your choice or to the weekly market. Ideally, pay attention to organic quality.
Tip from the food editors: You can also order excellent organic meat online, for example at Grutto. In keeping with the barbecue season, there are even BBQ specials, such as the “Organic Beef Gourmet Package” with 10 delicious cuts. The special: Only after the beef is completely “sold”, it is slaughtered, so the whole beef (chicken or pork) can be processed completely.
You can recognize a high quality beef fillet by its dark red color. It gets this color when it has hung for about three to four weeks after slaughtering, so the muscle fibers become nice and tender.
Should I buy beef fillet whole or as a medallion??
Not all beef is the same, so tenderloin also varies in size, thickness and length. Size, however, generally says nothing about quality. The fillet does not have to be processed whole, of course: Individual beef fillet steaks (for example the tender filet mignon) are cut from the middle of the fillet and can also be prepared well on the grill.
For medallions, the thicker the better. Have your butcher cut nice, thick slices from the fillet strand that are around 5 to 8 centimeters thick. Sounds quite a lot at first, but the meat loses liquid and thus mass during cooking. In addition, you get a nice crust and at the same time a pink core. If the steaks are too thin, you usually have to do without one of the two. And that would be more than a pity considering the quality of the meat.
Do I have to marinate beef fillet?
Real grill masters usually do without an elaborate marinade for beef fillet, as they do not want to mask the meat’s own flavor with other aromas. Alternatively, we recommend a light marinade of olive oil and fresh herbs (as in our recipe in the step-by-step instructions), which brings out the meat flavor perfectly.
Charcoal or gas grill: on which grill fillet succeeds perfectly?
Opinions differ on the question of the right grill: some advocate the good old charcoal grill, others a gas grill. The fact is: To ensure that the fillet of beef is crispy on the outside and beautifully tender on the inside, the grill must have real power and be able to heat up the meat properly. It should easily manage 200 degrees and 250 degrees should also not be a problem. An electric grill is usually not up to the task and is therefore not recommended for grilling beef fillet.
A good gas grill (for example this one from LANDMANN) has the advantage that you can control the temperature much better and reduce it quickly (or more quickly) for reheating. With charcoal it’s not quite so easy. It can take 30 to 40 minutes to reach the desired heat. To get different temperature ranges for direct and indirect grilling, you have to change the amount or the place of the charcoal, for example by using an appropriate tray. You can also reduce the heat by adjusting the height of the grate. Grilling with a charcoal grill is therefore a little more time-consuming.
Our tool tip for grilling professionals: There are also excellent combination grills, as you can see the Char-Broil Gas2Coal. This so-called “hybrid grill” can be converted from charcoal to gas grill in just 60 seconds.
What cooking point does the loin need?
Bloody, medium or well-done: Tastes differ widely when it comes to the cooking point of meat. It’s all the more difficult to get the fillet of beef exactly the way you want it.
A meat thermometer, which measures the core temperature, can help here. The temperature inside the meat tells you at a glance how cooked it is. It’s easy to use: simply insert the thermometer into the middle of the beef fillet, preferably at the thickest part, and you can read the temperature. There are different models and price ranges, but basically all work on the same principle.
Especially cool: A Bluetooth barbecue thermometer, like this bestseller from Inkbird, which also shows you the core temperature via an app on your cell phone.
At what core temperature is which cooking stage reached?
Step by step: grilling the perfect beef fillet in one piece – this is how it’s done
Enough talk, now let’s get to the grill. We explain step by step how to grill the fillet of beef whole to perfection. And it’s not that difficult – we promise!
- Take the meat out of the refrigerator at least half an hour before you put it on the grill. A whole fillet of beef must also be parried before grilling, as it is called in technical jargon. For this, tendons and the silver skin are removed. But this can also be done by the butcher.
- In the next step, tie the beef fillet compactly (not too tightly) with string. The tip of the tenderloin should be folded over so that it does not become too dry and the beef tenderloin has approximately the same thickness and shape all over. And that’s important, because the more even the height of the meat, the easier it is to reach the desired cooking point everywhere. However, it is not a must. Tip: Soak the string in water beforehand so that it does not burn.
- Season the meat with sea salt and pepper. Optionally, you can rub the meat with olive oil beforehand and add fresh herbs such as tarragon, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme, as well as garlic, and spread these on the prepared beef fillet strand as well. A marinade is generally not a must.
- If necessary, clean the grill grate again with a grill brush and preheat the grill to 200 degrees.
- Place the fillet of beef on the grill over direct heat and grill all four sides for 7 minutes each. Close the lid of the grill in between. It is best to turn and rotate as little as possible. With this time it should be nice and pink when cut open. To be on the safe side, you can measure the core temperature with a thermometer.
Alternative method: indirectly grill beef fillet as a whole
You can of course also grill the beef fillet indirectly. However, this takes more time, as the meat cooks much more slowly. It also works in combination: Heat the grill to around 250 degrees and sear the beef tenderloin for two minutes on each of the four sides over direct heat. Then open the lid, reduce the heat (100 to 150 degrees) and insert a barbecue thermometer into the center of the beef tenderloin.
Allow the tenderloin to continue cooking until the desired core temperature (56 degrees for medium) is reached, turning once in between. This takes about another 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest for about 5 minutes. During this time, the meat juices are distributed evenly throughout the beef fillet, making it even more tender.
Grilling beef fillet medallions to perfection
If you do not want to grill a whole fillet of beef in one piece, you can of course also prepare individual fillet steaks on the grill. For this you need a temperature of about 250 degrees before it comes on the grill. Brush the medallion from above and below with oil (for example with such a heat-resistant BBQ brush) and put some salt on it.
Important info in advance: A medallion should only be turned once (!) be turned. So put the meat on the hot grill and sear it for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Unless you want to create a perfect grill pattern on your steak: For this you have to turn the fillet steaks after about 1.5 minutes by 90 degrees and grill there for another 1.5 minutes.
Which side dishes go well with grilled fillet of beef??
For example, a spicy baked potato (or grilled potato), grilled vegetables (like these corn on the cob) or salad. For the sake of your six-pack, it should not be a heavy salad with mayo, but rather green salads with a light vinegar-oil dressing and lots of vegetables. Or how about an avocado tomato salad or a garlic bread? You can find the recipes here.
Vegetables of all kinds (for example eggplant, zucchini, asparagus) can also be grilled well. Brush them with oil and season with salt and pepper. Good grilled vegetables do not need more.
Grilling beef fillet as a whole is not difficult at all and tastes especially good. With a little salt and pepper, as well as the right core temperatures, you can conjure up a beef fillet that will melt in your mouth.
- 1 Meat quality: This is what you should look out for when buying beef
- 2 Should I buy beef fillet whole or as a medallion??
- 3 Do I have to marinate beef fillet?
- 4 Charcoal or gas grill: on which grill fillet succeeds perfectly?
- 5 What cooking point does the loin need?
- 6 At what core temperature is which cooking stage reached?
- 7 Step by step: grilling the perfect beef fillet in one piece – this is how it’s done
- 8 Alternative method: indirectly grill beef fillet as a whole
- 9 Grilling beef fillet medallions to perfection
- 10 Which side dishes go well with grilled fillet of beef??