What is Beef Butt Tenderloin? A Guide to This Tasty Cut

Butt tenderloin is one of the most delicious cuts of beef. With its tender texture and rich beefy flavor this prized cut deserves a spot in every meat-lover’s kitchen. But what exactly is a beef butt tenderloin? Where does it come from and how is it best cooked?

In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about beef butt tenderloin to help you select, prepare, and cook it to perfection. Let’s get started!

What is Beef Butt Tenderloin?

Beef butt tenderloin is a cut of meat taken from the thickest portion of the cow’s tenderloin It comes from the “butt” or rear end of the full tenderloin muscle.

Also known as:

  • Butt tenderloin
  • Tenderloin butt
  • Boneless top sirloin butt

The tenderloin refers to a long, narrow muscle that runs along the spine inside the loin primal. This muscle doesn’t get much use, so it stays very tender.

The butt tenderloin is the thicker, fattier half from the back of the tenderloin near the sirloin. It offers rich beef flavor and tender texture.

Where Does Beef Butt Tenderloin Come From?

To understand where butt tenderloin comes from, it helps to visualize the cow’s anatomy.

The tenderloin muscle spans from the hip through the lower back inside the loin primal. It lies beneath the backbone and ribs.

When the tenderloin is removed, it’s often divided into the butt end (rear) and the tip end (front).

The butt tenderloin is the back half closest to the sirloin. It’s less uniform in shape but has more fat and flavor.

Key Characteristics of Butt Tenderloin

  • Comes from the back half of the full tenderloin

  • Left whole or cut into steaks

  • Richer beef flavor than tenderloin tip or filet mignon

  • Tender but has some fat marbling

  • Versatile for grilling, pan searing, roasting

  • A good value for a tender cut

How is Butt Tenderloin Different than Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon also comes from the tenderloin, but from the narrow tip instead of the butt. Here are some key differences:

  • Filet has almost no fat; butt tenderloin has light marbling

  • Filet is cylindrical in shape; butt is irregular

  • Filet is extremely tender; butt is still tender but has more chew

  • Butt has bolder beef flavor while filet is very mild

  • Butt offers much better value compared to the high price of filet

So while filet is the gold standard for tenderness, butt tenderloin has great texture and flavor at a more reasonable cost.

How to Cook Beef Butt Tenderloin

Butt tenderloin’s rich flavor and tenderness make it suitable for almost any cooking method. Here are some tips:

  • Grill over high heat for 4-8 minutes per side depending on thickness. Shoot for medium rare doneness.

  • Pan sear in a hot skillet then roast in the oven at 400°F until it reaches your desired doneness.

  • Marinate overnight to boost flavor before grilling or broiling.

  • Slice thinly across the grain for stir fries. Cook quickly on high heat.

  • Braise low and slow in flavorful liquid until fall-apart tender.

Always let butt tenderloin rest 5+ minutes before slicing to retain juices. Use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking.

Recipes to Try with Butt Tenderloin

Butt tenderloin adapts beautifully to endless recipes:

  • Butter-basted grilled tenderloin – Grilled with herbs and butter basting

  • Coffee-crusted tenderloin – Coated in a coffee rub before searing

  • Tenderloin medallions – Quickly pan seared then served with pan sauce

  • Stuffed tenderloin – Stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, or other fillings

  • Sous vide tenderloin – Cooked gently in a water bath

However you prepare it, butt tenderloin delivers melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and satisfying beefiness. It’s ideal for dinner parties or special occasion meals.

Buying and Storing Butt Tenderloin

When purchasing butt tenderloin, choose cuts with bright red color and abundant marbling. White fat streaks ensure flavor and moisture.

Store tenderloin loosely wrapped in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. For longer storage, tightly wrap cuts and place in the freezer for 4-6 months.

Thaw frozen tenderloin gradually in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Cook within a few days for best quality.

Common Questions about Butt Tenderloin

Is butt tenderloin better than filet mignon?

While filet mignon is more tender, many prefer butt tenderloin for its bolder beef flavor and juiciness from fat marbling. Butt also costs significantly less than filet.

Should you remove the fat cap on butt tenderloin?

The outer fat cap can be left on or removed according to personal preference. Leaving it provides extra moisture during cooking.

What’s the best way to cook thick tenderloin steaks?

For 1-2 inch steaks, sear the exterior then finish in a 400°F oven until the center reaches your desired doneness, around 130°F for medium rare.

Can you grill a whole tenderloin roast?

Yes, whole butt tenderloin roasts grill beautifully over indirect heat. Cook to an internal temperature of 135°F for medium rare doneness.

Is butt tenderloin steak expensive?

Compared to premium cuts like filet mignon or ribeye, butt tenderloin provides great value. It’s cost is moderate for a tender, flavorful cut.

Enjoy Delicious Butt Tenderloin

With its supreme tenderness, rich beefy flavor, and relative affordability, butt tenderloin is a go-to cut worth getting to know. Sear, grill, or roast this tasty meat to medium rare perfection. Incorporate butt tenderloin into your steak, stir-fry, or holiday dinner rotations. Handled right, this prized cut delivers major beefiness and satisfaction to any meal.

Cutting a Beef Butt Tenderloin


What is the end of a beef tenderloin called?

The tenderloin sits beneath the ribs, next to the backbone. It has two ends: the butt and the “tail”. The smaller, pointed end—the “tail”—starts a little past the ribs, growing in thickness until it ends in the “sirloin” primal cut, which is closer to the butt of the cow.

What are the different types of beef tenderloins?

The three main cuts of the tenderloin are the butt, the center-cut, and the tail. The filet mignon is cut from the large end of the tenderloin from a steer or heifer. In the U.S., both the central and large end of the tenderloin is often sold as filet mignon in supermarkets and restaurants.

Which cooking method is best for beef tenderloin?

The food web and a great many cookbooks (very many of them highly reputable) recommend blasting a tenderloin in a hot oven, 450–500°F (232–260°C), for a relatively short time to cook it, followed by a counter rest.

What is boneless Butt Tenderloin?

A thick slice of boneless butt tenderloin on a board. Boneless butt tenderloin is the thickest end of the tenderloin, which is a long fillet cut from a loin of beef. It is so-named because the meat is very tender, making it suitable as cuts of beef roast or steak.

Where does beef Butt Tenderloin come from?

Beef butt tenderloin comes from the hind section of the cow, specifically from the tenderloin which is a long fillet cut from the loin of beef. The tenderloin sits inside the short loin and extends from the pelvic girdle along the spinal column. The beef butt tenderloin is taken from the posterior end of the tenderloin at the sirloin end.

What is a tenderloin steak?

Tenderloin cuts are known for being lean, long, narrow, and incredibly tender. It is carved out from the loin and also serves as a component for T-bone and Porterhouse steaks. Tenderloin is another cut that benefits from hot and fast cooking, making it a favorite for the BBQ.

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