What Time & Temperature for Beef Tenderloin? - Ask Jason

I get a lot of great questions from my readers. In order to help out everyone else I'm answering some of the most popular ones here on the blog. Have something you need help with? You can ask me on Facebook, contact me directly, or view all of the Ask Jason questions!

I have a whole whole beef tenderloin from Sam's, what's a recipe for medium-rare on the rare side?

- John Schoeneck

Note: The following article is an edited transcription from the video.

Like other sous vided meats, the doneness you want is all about the temperature it's cooked at. I have some charts on my sous vide Time and Temperatures page that gives you general ranges for rare, medium-rare, medium, etc.

Sous vide filet mignon 201

I like 130°F (54.4°C) for a juicy medium-rare temperature, and it's out of the danger zone so you don't have to worry. I can sous vide a chuck steak at 130°F (54.4°C) for a few days, or I can do a filet at 130°F (54.4°C) for an hour. That temperature works great at both extremes.

But if you're trying to achieve something more on the rare side, I would say you might be happier with 127°F (52.8°C) or 128°F (53.3°C). But for a tenderloin, it's normally going to be 3 to 4 hours if you're at these lower temperatures. You'll only cook it for 2 to 4 hours because you're going to be right on the edge of the danger zone the whole time. So you're going to want to be careful and not be down at that temperature too long.

Note: For more information on the danger zone, you can read my article on Is Sous Vide Safe? Key Safety Guidelines.

Note: A whole tenderloin is going to be cooked by thickness. I have a sous vide timing ruler and Cooking by Thickness information on my website to help.

Sous vide filet blue cheese mousse top

If you're at 130°F (54.4°C) you can let it go a little bit longer. But it is filet, so the meat will be pretty tender before you even start the cook. Whereas to enjoy a prime rib roast, you would need to cook it the whole 10 hours at 130°F (54.4°C).

So, if you're looking for a rarer medium-rare then I would suggest trying 128°F (53.3°C) for 2 to 4 hours depending on the thickness of your whole tenderloin. You should be pretty happy with those results.

If you like this you can get more than 85 inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success. It's all in my best selling book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - Get Your Copy Today!

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All tags for this article: Ask Jason, Sous Vide, Sous Vide Beef , Sous Vide Tenderloin, Sous Vide Tenderloin Steak

Jason logsdon headshot This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
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