How Many Minutes Per Pound to Cook Beef Tenderloin Roast: The Ultimate Guide

Beef tenderloin roast, also known as filet mignon roast, is one of the most tender, delicate, and delicious cuts of beef you can cook. But to get perfectly cooked beef tenderloin roast with a crispy outside and tender, juicy meat inside, you need to know exactly how long to cook it.

Cooking time can vary a lot depending on the size and thickness of your roast. So the best way to determine doneness is by calculating minutes per pound. Follow this complete guide to learn exactly how many minutes per pound you need to roast beef tenderloin to juicy melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

What is Beef Tenderloin Roast?

Beef tenderloin roast refers to a whole untrimmed beef tenderloin, which is the entire muscle that runs along the back of a steer. This cylindrical cut of meat tapers at one end and is around 16-24 inches long when untrimmed.

Tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts of beef because these muscles don’t get much exercise on the animal. It’s very low in fat and connective tissue, which means it cooks up exceptionally tender and juicy. But it also means it can dry out easily if overcooked.

When trimmed into individual filet mignon steaks, the narrow end is called the tail. The middle section is the most desirable as it’s the thickest part. And the tapered end opposite the tail is called the chateaubriand.

Why Cook Time Per Pound Matters

Cooking time is crucial for beef tenderloin roast because it’s such a lean, delicate cut that dries out quickly and easily when overcooked. The total size and thickness of your roast determines how long it takes for the center to reach perfect doneness.

That’s why minutes per pound is the most accurate way to determine doneness. A 2 pound roast will obviously take half the time of a 4 pound roast. Calculating exactly how many minutes per pound you need for your specific tenderloin ensures it turns out juicy, tender, and cooked to your preferred level of doneness.

Follow my guide below to learn exactly how many minutes per pound you’ll need based on your desired doneness and roast size.

Preparing Your Beef Tenderloin Roast

Before roasting, prep your tenderloin roast for even cooking:

  • Trim – Trim off any excess fat and silverskin. This prevents burning and uneven cooking.

  • Season – Generously season all over with salt and pepper or your favorite herbs and spices.

  • Tie – Use butcher’s twine to tie the roast at 1-2 inch intervals. This maintains the shape, ensures even cooking, and makes slicing easier.

  • Sear – Sear the tenderloin on all sides in a hot pan with oil until browned. This seals in juices and gives great flavor.

  • Let Sit – Let roast sit at room temperature 30-60 minutes before roasting so it cooks more evenly.

How Many Minutes Per Pound for Medium Rare?

For a beautiful medium rare roast with a warm red center, follow these guidelines:

  • 2 pounds: Cook for 20-25 minutes total
  • 3 pounds: Cook for 22-28 minutes per pound
  • 4 pounds: Cook for 24-30 minutes per pound
  • 5 pounds: Cook for 25-32 minutes per pound

So for a 3 pound roast, cook for 66-84 minutes. Check temperature early and roast longer if needed.

Remove from oven when internal temp reaches 135°F. The temperature will rise another 5-10°F as it rests.

How Long Per Pound for Medium?

For a more well-done roast at medium doneness with a warm pink center, use these time ranges:

  • 2 pounds: Cook for 25-30 minutes total
  • 3 pounds: Cook for 27-33 minutes per pound
  • 4 pounds: Cook for 29-36 minutes per pound
  • 5 pounds: Cook for 31-39 minutes per pound

A 4 pound roast should roast for 116-144 minutes. Remove from oven at 140°F and temperature will rise to 145°F.

Vital Tips for Perfect Results

Follow these tips for the most tender, juicy beef tenderloin roast:

  • Always use a meat thermometer for accuracy. Oven temps and cook times vary.

  • Let roast rest at least 10-15 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.

  • Choose a heavy roasting pan that retains and conducts heat well for even cooking.

  • Add aromatics like garlic, herbs, or onions to the pan for extra flavor.

  • Baste roast occasionally with pan juices or butter to prevent drying out.

  • Tent roast loosely with foil if browning too quickly.

Side Dishes for Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin deserves some special side dishes. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Roasted potatoes – Crispy, garlicky roasted potatoes are a perfect match.

  • Creamed spinach – Rich and velvety spinach balances the tender meat.

  • Sauteed mushrooms – Earthy mushrooms complement the flavor.

  • Yorkshire puddings – Fluffy, eggy puddings are ideal for soaking up juices.

  • Asparagus – Fresh, tasty asparagus rounds out the meal.

Serving Suggestions

When serving beef tenderloin roast, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Carve into 1/2 inch slices across the grain for tenderness.

  • Arrange slices neatly overlapping on a platter.

  • Serve with sauce options like béarnaise, chimichurri, or au jus.

  • Offer horseradish cream, compound butter, or mustard on the side.

  • Present on a stunning tablescape for special occasions like holidays.

  • Prioritize eco-friendly options like reusable serveware.

Perfect Recipes to Try

Test out these foolproof beef tenderloin recipes:

Simple Roasted Beef Tenderloin

  • Coat a 3-4 pound tenderloin with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Roast at 450°F for 27-33 minutes per pound until internal temp reaches 135°F.
  • Rest, then slice and serve with a red wine reduction sauce.

Bacon-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin

  • Wrap tenderloin in bacon and secure with toothpicks.
  • Roast at 425°F, allowing 25-30 minutes per pound.
  • Rest, remove twine and toothpicks, then slice.

Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

  • Blend fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, and lemon zest.
  • Coat tenderloin evenly with herb mixture.
  • Roast at 400°F for 24-30 minutes per pound.

Get Perfectly Cooked Beef Tenderloin Every Time

Cooking beef tenderloin roast to tender, juicy perfection is easy when you know exactly how many minutes per pound to roast it.

Refer to this handy guide to determine the right cooking time range based on size and your preferred doneness. And you’ll get perfect results every time with tender, rosy meat ready to wow any guests.

How to Cook a Beef Tenderloin Roast


What is the cooking time chart for beef tenderloin?

For roasts that are 2 to 3 pounds, roast at 425°F for 35 to 40 minutes for medium rare (135°F) and 45 to 50 minutes for medium (150°F) doneness. For roasts weighing 4 to 5 pounds, roast at 425°F for 50 to 60 minutes for medium rare (135°F) and 60 to 70 minutes for medium (150°F).

Is it better to roast a beef tenderloin at a high or low temperature?

Low-Temperature Roasting Low-heat roasting— 225°F to 300°F, or 200°F to 275°F in a convection oven—will produce a roast with rosy interior that’s evenly cooked all the way through, but you won’t get much in the way of a well-seared crust.

How many does a 2 pound beef tenderloin feed?

Since beef tenderloin is a relatively lean, boneless cut of beef and tends to be quite expensive, you can easily cut down that recommendation to 6 ounces of beef per person, especially if your dinner menu includes a few hearty sides. For feeding four to six guests, you’ll want a roast between 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.

How long to cook filet mignon in the oven at 350 degrees?

Oven 350°
Rare1 3/4 inches 2 1/2 inches
9-11 mins 12-14 mins
Medium-Rare1 3/4 inches 2 1/2 inches
11-12 mins 13-14 mins
Medium1 3/4 inches 2 1/2 inches
12-13 mins 14-16 mins
Medium-Well1 3/4 inches 2 1/2 inches
13-14 mins 16-18 mins

How long do you cook a 4-pound beef tenderloin?

For a 4-pound beef tenderloin, roast in the oven for 25-35 minutes after searing on the stovetop. For a different size beef tenderloin, a good rule of thumb is 5-8 minutes per pound for rare, 6-9 minutes per pound for medium-rare, 7-10 minutes per pound for medium, or 8-11 minutes per pound for medium well.

How long to cook beef tenderloin in oven?

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roast the beef tenderloin for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F for medium-rare. Let the beef tenderloin rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

How to cook a roasted beef tenderloin?

To cook a roasted beef tenderloin, set out the tenderloin at room temperature 45 minutes prior to roasting. Preheat the oven to 425°F and have ready a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Add freshly ground pepper to a small bowl, stir in the salt, and set aside.

How long does it take to cook a pound of beef?

If you want your roast rare, it will take between 20 to 25 minutes per pound. For medium-rare, it should take between 30 to 35 minutes per pound. Remove the beef from the fridge about an hour before cooking. Allowing the meat to come up to room temperature ensures more even cooking. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

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