What is the Average Weight of a Whole Beef Tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is considered one of the most tender flavorful cuts of beef. This delicate cut comes from the short loin of the cow, and spans approximately 2 feet in length when left whole. But how much does a full tenderloin weigh on average? Let’s take a closer look at sizing, usage, and recipes to make the most of this incredible ingredient.

Typical Weight Range of Whole Tenderloin

A whole untrimmed beef tenderloin generally weighs between 4 to 6 pounds The average weight falls right around 5 pounds

Of course, weight can vary based on the size and breed of the cow. Here are some more details on typical tenderloin dimensions:

  • Length: 20-28 inches
  • Diameter: 3-5 inches at the widest point
  • Weight: 4-6 pounds untrimmed

Once trimmed of excess fat and chain meat, the tenderloin will lose some weight. Expect the trimmed tenderloin to be around 1 pound lighter.

Determining Portion Size from a Whole Tenderloin

A whole 5 pound tenderloin will feed approximately 8-12 people, depending on the portion size. Here are some serving estimates:

  • For 6 ounce steak portions, a 5 pound tenderloin will serve about 9-10 people
  • For 4 ounce filet portions, it will serve 12-14 guests
  • If serving a large crowd, plan for 3-4 ounces of tenderloin per person

Of course, if you are preparing appetizers like beef tenderloin skewers or sliders, a 5 pound tenderloin can stretch even farther.

Getting Multiple Cuts from One Tenderloin

One of the benefits of purchasing a whole tenderloin is the ability to carve it into multiple cuts like filet mignon and Chateaubriand.

  • The center can be cut into tournedos or filet medallions for quick-cooking individual portions.

  • The tapered end makes an excellent roast like Chateaubriand for carving and serving family-style.

  • The remainder can be cut into filet steaks perfect for grilling or pan searing.

Ask your butcher for recommendations on getting the most value from one whole tenderloin.

How to Cook a Whole Tenderloin

While you can get several meals out of one tenderloin, cooking the full roast makes for an impressive centerpiece.

Roast Whole

Roasting it whole results in a moist, tender roast with a spectacular presentation when sliced. Cook at 400°F for 30-40 minutes for medium rare doneness.

Grill or Pan Sear

Cut into individual steaks or kabobs to grill or pan sear for restaurant-quality results at home. Cook 4-6 minutes per side for medium rare.

Braise or Stew

Cut into chunks to braise or add to stews and curries. The tender meat stands up well to moist cooking methods.

Stuff and Roll

Butterfly the tenderloin then stuff, roll and tie before roasting for a lavish dish. Try bread stuffing or savory fillings like spinach and feta.

Buying and Storing Tenderloin Tips

  • Look for uniform shape without tapering for the most usable meat.

  • Estimate 1/2 to 1 pound loss from trimming fat and chain meat.

  • Store wrapped in butcher paper in the meat drawer for up to 5 days.

  • Freeze extra portions up to 6 months for later use.

  • Thaw frozen tenderloin overnight in the fridge before cooking.

A whole beef tenderloin is truly an impressive ingredient. With proper storage and preparation, you can enjoy multiple gourmet meals from this culinary showstopper.

Frequently Asked Questions About Whole Beef Tenderloin

What is the average cost of a whole tenderloin?

Expect to pay $120-$170 for a 5 pound untrimmed whole beef tenderloin based on quality. Per-pound cost is higher than other cuts but offer great value when portioned.

How long will a whole tenderloin last in the fridge?

Store wrapped in butcher paper in the coldest part of the fridge for 3-5 days maximum for best quality. Cook within 3 days for peak freshness and tenderness.

What’s the best way to thaw a whole frozen tenderloin?

The safest method is thawing in the fridge overnight which takes about 12-24 hours depending on size. Submerge in cold water for quicker thawing in just a couple hours if pressed for time.

Can you cook a whole tenderloin from frozen?

It’s not recommended. Thawing first allows seasonings to penetrate and ensures even cooking. The outside can overcook before the center thaws if cooking frozen.

What roast is equivalent to a whole tenderloin?

The tenderloin is a unique tapered shape without an equivalent roast. Chateaubriand is the thick center portion while beef fillet roast comes from the wider end.

With proper handling, a whole beef tenderloin is a superb ingredient to yield restaurant-quality results at home. Portioning and freezing extras means you can enjoy this indulgent cut for months to come.

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