Bacon Encrusted Beef Tenderloin? I know what you’re thinking. Bacon wrapped filets are nothing new. You’re right, they aren’t. But I didn’t wrap a slice of bacon around a filet. I encrusted a nice size chunk of beef tenderloin with crumbled cooked bacon and then smoked it! Oh yes, it is exactly as glorious as it sounds. I got the idea from a grill blogger in Europe known as Pitmaster X. Check out some cutting edge recipes from Pitmaster X and his YouTube Channel. The guy is doing some amazing things on the grill! Now back to my version of his recipe.

Bacon Encrusted Beef Tenderloin Ingredients:

1 lb of crunchy bacon, crumbled
2.5 lbs beef tenderloin
your favorite BBQ rub
1/4 cup of mayonnaise

First, cook the pound of bacon, drain off the grease and allow to cool prior to crumbling:

Mmmmmm bacon!

Once crumbled, spread the bacon on a plate or platter:

A resealable plastic bag and a meat mallet are your friend here

Now prep your beef tenderloin. Here it is whole and trimmed:

Beef for days!

I trimmed off a uniform piece from the middle about 2-2.5 lbs:

The prime piece

Save the rest to cook at another time:

Steaks for later

That slender, tapered piece is hard to cook evenly unless you do this ingenious, yet simple, trick for cooking tenderloin tails. 

Now hit that main chunk of beef tenderloin with a light coat of salt, black pepper and your favorite BBQ rub and be sure to season each end:

Go easy on the salt because the bacon is salty enough

Now it’s time to hit with the mayonnaise. I know some of you are thinking, “The what?” You read that right, mayonnaise. Don’t get the heebie jeebies here. The mayo is just a binder to keep the maximum amount of bacon crumbles stuck to the beef tenderloin. It has an added benefit too. As this bad boy smokes, the mayonnaise will melt away, basting the meat as it does while leaving that crunchy exterior of bacon crumbles. Trust me here.

***Pro Tip ~ only brush the mayo on the top of the tenderloin at first then lift it up, place it mayo side down on the crumbled bacon and brush the other side***

Brush the top first:

Paint on that mayo

The mayo doesn’t need to be thick. Just a thin coating:

Just coat the top and the ends at first

Now place it mayo side down on the platter covered with the bacon crumbles:

Onto the bacon, mayo side down

Then finish brushing the mayonnaise on the steak:

Now paint the other side with mayonnaise
Mayonnaise paint job

Then roll the beef in the bacon crumbles to completely coat the outside and the ends:

I see it as a sign that the sun shined down just as I finished rolling this monster in the bacon

Now set up the grill for two zone grilling with coals/smoke wood on one side and the meat on the other. Or in this case, I fired up a pellet smoker to 250 with some oak wood pellets and placed the bacon encrusted beef tenderloin on the bottom rack with a probe thermometer imbedded in the middle:

Time for that smoke!

While I’m a HUGE fan of the reverse sear process (smoking to about 10-15 degrees below the target temp then searing over high heat to finish up the cook), this recipe does not lend itself to the reverse sear. If I were to sear this at the end, I will burn whatever bacon doesn’t fall off. This process, just like a pellet smoker, is a set it and forget it.

Here we are about 30 minutes in. See any mayo?

The mayo has melted away

And here we are about 50 minutes in and the probe is showing 125 degrees:

Browned up nicely

Sliced bacon encrusted beef tenderloin:

Yes, I like it rare!

And one more shot of that beauty:

Mmmmm, bacon and steak!

But how did it taste? Any mayo flavor? No, there was no mayonnaise taste at all. It’s the perfect combination of uber tender beef tenderloin, the salty crunch of bacon, the sumptuous smoke from the Traeger and the spices from the BBQ rub. Obviously this is not something one would eat on a regular basis, but it is a much better way to enhance the somewhat bland flavor of beef tenderloin than wrapping in a slice of raw bacon. Tenderloin may be super tender (hence the name), but it just doesn’t have much fat so it isn’t quite as flavorful as a rib eye or a NY strip, which is the reason for the slice of bacon. I have to say that I prefer this to a typical bacon wrapped filet by a long shot. In order to make that slice of bacon something other than a rubbery mess, the filet almost has to be overcooked for my tastes. But this method? Absolutely amazing. And there’s something quite wonderful about the tenderness of the beef and crunch of the bacon in one bite.

This was so good that for Christmas Eve dinner this year we will be doing two beef tenderloins. One will be a standard tenderloin and the other will be encrusted in bacon.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or send me an email.

Bacon Encrusted Beef Tenderloin
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Beef tenderloin glazed in mayonnaise then rolled in crumbled bacon and smoked on the grill.
  • 1 lb of crunchy bacon, crumbled
  • 2.5 lbs beef tenderloin
  • salt
  • pepper
  • your favorite BBQ rub
  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise
  1. Cook and crumble the bacon and place the crumbles on a platter
  2. Season the beef tenderloin with a light coating of salt, black pepper and your favorite BBQ rub
  3. Coat the top and the ends of the steak with a light glaze of mayonnaise
  4. Place the beef mayo side down on the crumbled bacon and then coat the rest of the tenderloin with the mayonnaise
  5. Coat the entire cut with the crumbled bacon
  6. Place on a 250 degree smoker and smoke until the bacon encrusted beef tenderloin hits your desired temperature
  7. Slice and serve

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool - #GrillPorn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
Oh my wow! There is so much perfection right there! 😲✔️👍😎 . Video shot by the insanely talented @carlaocarvalho77 …… - 2 years ago
Scott Thomas

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Nice to see you in print again my friend.
That Tenderloin looks perfect.


It’s been a while. VERY busy. This we just did a couple weeks ago, but the next to recipes that I will post here soon are from the summer that I forgot about. Actually three more.

This would go great with Chris Lilly’s bacon crusted salmon….because bacon crusted surf and turf just sounds perfect!


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