How to Sous Vide a Beef Tenderloin

The first meat I ever cooked sous vide was steak, and it was incredible – juicy, tender and so full of flavor. I did not think that there was another cut of meat that could top a sous vide strip loin steak. Well, beef tenderloin has now become my favorite meat to prepare in the sous vide. This should not be a surprise because the beef tenderloin is already extremely tender from being a muscle that is not worked very hard. Preparing the tenderloin in the sous vide is very easy and the results are insanely good. On top of that, sous vide cooking is as close to ‘fool proof’ as you can get, which is important when cooking expensive cuts of meat like the beef tenderloin – you do not want to mess it up. So, using the sous vide is a great choice to ensure that the beef tenderloin is cooked to perfection.

For even more detailed information about this simple process for cooking beef in the Sous Vide Supreme, check out this link here : How to Cook Sous Vide Meat in 6 Easy Steps.

Here are reviews of some of the various sous vide machines on the market:

PolyScience Sous Vide Creative Series Immersion Circulator

Sous Vide Supreme Water Bath

Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator

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Normally, meat is not seared before it is placed in the sous vide water bath. But, with beef tenderloin, searing it briefly before it is cooked in the sous vide and then again quickly after, creates a delicious browned outer portion on the meat. Heat a skillet on high heat, with a couple tablespoons of oil. Brown each side of the tenderloin for a minute or two and turn.

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Before the tenderloin is sealed in the bag, it needs to be chilled. Place the beef in the bag and put it in a canister with water and plenty of ice cubes. Chill the roast for about 15 minutes or until the meat is fully chilled.

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Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the bag with the tenderloin. Vacuum seal the meat in the bag.

Sous Vide Chicken-2

Fill up the water bath and heat the water to the temperature for your desired doneness of beef. I cooked it at 137F.

Rare – 130F

Medium rare – 137F

Medium – 140F

Well – 147F

When you hear it beep, you know that it has reached the set temperature and is ready for the meat to be submerged.

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Place the tenderloin in the water bath and cook for 2 hours.

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Remove the bag from the water bath and cut it open. Use tongs to gently lift the meat out of the bag and lay it on a plate or cutting board. The beef tenderloin needs to be seared quickly again, but first pat dry both sides of the meat with a paper towel. This allows the beef to get a far better sear when the meat hits the hot skillet.

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Heat the skillet on high and sear with 1 couple tablespoons of butter.

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Spoon the tenderloin with the melted butter, while you are searing the meat. Sear for only a minute or so per side.

How to Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin

Season the meat with salt and pepper. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.


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  • Tried this recipe for our family gathering, and was thrilled. The method was so easy, allowed me to concentrate on the rest of the meal. Instead or the butter I did use a home made sauce: scallion, soy sauce, dijon mustard and sherry sauce in the bag, reserving 1/2 to serve at table. Recipe from the Jr League Palo Alto.
    The temperature I used was a lower temp, 125 or 128 for rare, and it was perfect.
    I was a bit afraid the searing would overcook the beef, but it was not an issue, the brown portion only about 1/8″ thick.

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  • 130 degrees F is closer to medium-rare than rare, but guess that’s a matter of opinion. Good recipe nonetheless.

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  • I have cooked like this for years and my food in my establishment is awesome. I thoroughly recommend this piece of equipment and no one where I am cooks or understands the concept of this type of cooking.

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  • How important is the vacuum seal? Is a regular ZipLoc bag OK?

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    • You need to make sure that any bag you use is food safe and can be brought to the temperatures for the period of time of cooking.

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  • I love that you browned the meat and then browned it again after cooking… great way to build on the flavor. 🙂

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