How to Cook Tenderloin Steak

A tenderloin steak is a cut from the cow’s loin and is one of the most popular options on a beef menu. Since it’s considered such a high-quality meal, cooking one can be quite daunting and intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be a difficult task if you have the right method.

Today, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about choosing and cooking a tenderloin steak.

What Is Tenderloin Steak?

The tenderloin can either come from the cow’s short loin or another area of the animal known as the psoas major. The muscle isn’t responsible for bearing any of the cow’s weight, so it’s far more tender than other cuts. Other famous steaks from this part of the cow include filet mignon and tournedos.

However, the tenderloin isn’t as rich in flavor as a tomahawk or ribeye.

Tenderloin steaks naturally contain little fat due to the lack of connective tissue. Tenderloin also has a whopping 25 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. Tenderloin steaks are called eye fillet in Australia, or a filet in France.

Where to Buy Tenderloin Steak

Shopping for beef can be just as intimidating as cooking it. Tenderloin beef also tends to be a bit pricey compared to other cuts, so it’s important to choose the right one. Fortunately, we’ll tell you exactly how to buy the perfect tenderloin steak, so you don’t have to worry when you stop by the supermarket. It doesn’t matter if you shop at Costco or a fancy butcher shop – these principles apply everywhere.

You can typically find tenderloin steaks at your local supermarket in two forms: trimmed or untrimmed. Untrimmed tenderloin is cheaper because it still comes with the lining of fat around the cut. You can avoid the hassle of trimming the meat yourself by paying a few extra bucks per pound.

When buying steak, try to find cuts that have no brown spots. While steaks with brown spots are still safe to eat, they aren’t as fresh. If you’re unsure which cut is the best, you can always ask the butcher for recommendations.

How to Cook Tenderloin Steak

Cooking a tenderloin steak is easier said than done, but it can be a breeze with the right steps. There are numerous methods to cook your steak. You can slow roast it in the oven, throw it on the grill, or pan-fry it on your stove. For this article, we’ll be sticking with the classic way to cook steak at home, which is pan-fried.

Before you get to cooking, you’ll need to know a little about preparation. Make sure you have all of your tools in reach, since getting the right internal temperature is time-sensitive.

cooked Filet Mignon Steak on wooden board

Pan-Fried Tenderloin Steak Recipe


  • 2 trimmed beef tenderloin cuts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • Unsalted butter
  • Fresh herbs
  • Sauce of choice


The way you season your steak will make or break its flavor. Grab your kosher salt and rub it on the steak’s entire surface. Do the same with the freshly ground pepper until there’s a thin layer of seasoning covering the whole steak. Be sure to use kosher salt because it helps your steak retain its flavor.

After slathering your steak in salt and pepper, let it rest for a few minutes. Then hit it with another small layer of flaky salt if you have it. The flaky salt gets into all of the crevices and ensures your steak will be mouth-watering.

You can also add some other herbs and spices if you want to experiment. However, if you’re new to cooking tenderloin, we recommend sticking to the basics until you master the art of pan-frying your beef.


  1. Heat a cast-iron pan over medium heat for 2 minutes and add your canola oil.
  2. Place your steak in the pan carefully and let each side cook for 1-2 minutes before flipping. Repeat this step for about 15 minutes (depending on how well-done you want your meat).
  3. Remove your steaks and place them on a warm plate covered with foil.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium-low. In the same pan, melt the butter until it starts to foam.
  5. Mix all of the other herbs into the butter and spoon the mixture over the steaks.
  6. Let your steaks rest for about 10 minutes before serving.


Mastering the beef tenderloin isn’t easy, but it’s a fun challenge, to say the least. After experimenting with different flavors, you’ll find the perfect taste that will wow anyone who comes over for dinner.

We hope this article was helpful and you’re now armed with all the info you need before heading to the store and picking up a delicious tenderloin.

About the author

Adam can tell you the difference between a flank steak and skirt steak and any other cut of meat. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.