Beef tenderloin recipes are ideal for holiday menus or Sunday dinner. But before you even preheat the oven, study up on how to tie a beef tenderloin so the meat cooks evenly.

A beef tenderloin tied on a wooden cutting board.

For Christmas dinner, Easter brunch, or any Sunday dinner you wish to make feel more like a holiday, turn to roast beef tenderloin. No matter how you season or slice it, it’s important to learn how to tie beef tenderloin.

Tying beef tenderloin not only keeps the meat about even from edge to edge, which allows for even cooking time, but also limits the amount the meat spreads while cooking. Translation: Your roast beef will be beautifully uniform in shape as well as succulent and juicy if you follow these steps for how to tie beef tenderloin before roasting.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient and equipment notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Recipe FAQs
  5. How to Tie a Beef Tenderloin Recipe

Ingredient and equipment notes

  • Kitchen twine: My top pick is any butcher’s twine made from cotton. Linen twine is a close runner-up, and if you don’t have access to either of those, unflavored dental floss can work in a pinch.
  • Beef tenderloin: My Roast Beef Tenderloin recipe calls for a 2-pound portion, but feel free to use this method for how to tie beef tenderloin with whatever meat serving matches your crowd size. Look for center-cut beef tenderloin, also known as Châteaubriand, which has a thick layer of fat that needs to be removed before roasting.

Step-by-step instructions

To trim the beef tenderloin:

  1. On one end of the roast, slide the blade of your knife between the meat and the shiny connective tissue.
Fat being trimmed off of a beef tenderloin.
  1. Immediately begin to pull the connective tissue back away from the meat as you continue to cut between the two until you’ve reached the other side of the roast.
Fat being trimmed off of a beef tenderloin.
  1. Work in strips if necessary and repeat as needed.
Fat being trimmed off of a beef tenderloin.

To tie the beef:

  1. Using 12-inch lengths of kitchen twine, tie a loose knot around one end of the meat and pull until snug to make an anchor knot.
A beef tenderloin being tied on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Pull a length of twine away from the anchor to create a large loop.
A beef tenderloin being tied on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Loop it around the tenderloin.
A beef tenderloin being tied on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Space it about 1 ½ inches from the anchor knot and tie a second knot.
A beef tenderloin being tied on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Pull more twine to create a third loop and secure it 1 ½ inches from the second knot.
A beef tenderloin being tied on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Continue tying the roast crosswise at 1 1/2-inch intervals until the toast is evenly tied.
A beef tenderloin tied on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This technique for tying beef tenderloin uses a 2-pound portion of beef which feeds about 6 adults, but the technique can be used for any roast.
Beef tenderloin, broccoli and mashed potatoes in a bowl.
Roast Beef Tenderloin with mashed potatoes and blanched broccoli.

Recipe FAQs

How do you trim beef tenderloin before tying?

Slide tip of a chef’s knife under connective tissue, keeping the knife tip close to surface of the meat. Using your other hand to pull connective tissue tight against the blade, smoothly slide the knife angled away from the meat to slice away the white portion on the top of the beef tenderloin.

What other meats should I tie or truss before cooking?

Keep that kitchen twine handy. Cornish hens, chickens, turkeys, and prime rib all benefit from being tied or trussed.

Roast Beef Tenderloin

This Roast Beef Tenderloin starts low and slow in the oven and ends with a flourish on the stove. It’s a great recipe to pull out for holidays, parties, and Sunday Supper. Everyone needs a…

2 hours 45 minutes
View Recipe

More meat basics

A beef tenderloin tied on a wooden cutting board.

How to Tie a Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin recipes are ideal for holiday menus or Sunday dinner. But before you even preheat the oven, it's important to study up on how to tie a beef tenderloin so the meat cooks evenly.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 6 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 505

Equipment

  • Butcher's twine (see note 1)

Ingredients 

  • 1 (2-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin roast trimmed (see note 2)

Instructions 

To trim the beef tenderloin:

  • On one end of the roast, slide the blade of your knife between the meat and the shiny connective tissue.
  • Immediately begin to pull the connective tissue back away from the meat as you continue to cut between the two until you've reached the other side of the roast. Work in strips if necessary and repeat as needed.

To tie the beef:

  • Using 12-inch lengths of kitchen twine, tie a loose knot around one end of the meat and pull until snug to make an anchor knot.
  • Pull a length of twine away from the anchor to create a large loop, then loop it around the tenderloin, spacing it about 1 ½ inches from the anchor knot.
  • Pull more twine to create another loop and secure it 1 ½ inches from the second loop.
  • Continue tying the roast crosswise at 1 1/2-inch intervals until the toast is evenly tied.

Notes

  1. Kitchen twine: My top pick is any butcher’s twine made from cotton. Linen twine is a close runner-up, and if you don’t have access to either of those, unflavored dental floss can work in a pinch.
  2. Beef tenderloin: My Roast Beef Tenderloin recipe calls for a 2-pound portion, but feel free to use this method for how to tie beef tenderloin with whatever meat serving matches your crowd size. Look for center-cut beef tenderloin, also known as Châteaubriand, which has a thick layer of fat that needs to be removed before roasting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 505kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 28gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 917mgPotassium: 483mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 291IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 4mg
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