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:
Once crumbled, spread the bacon on a plate or platter:
Now prep your beef tenderloin. Here it is whole and trimmed:
I trimmed off a uniform piece from the middle about 2-2.5 lbs:
Save the rest to cook at another time:
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:
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:
The mayo doesn’t need to be thick. Just a thin coating:
Now place it mayo side down on the platter covered with the bacon crumbles:
Then finish brushing the mayonnaise on the steak:
Then roll the beef in the bacon crumbles to completely coat the outside and the ends:
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:
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?
And here we are about 50 minutes in and the probe is showing 125 degrees:
Sliced bacon encrusted beef tenderloin:
And one more shot of that beauty:
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.
- 1 lb of crunchy bacon, crumbled
- 2.5 lbs beef tenderloin
- your favorite BBQ rub
- ¼ cup of mayonnaise
- Cook and crumble the bacon and place the crumbles on a platter
- Season the beef tenderloin with a light coating of salt, black pepper and your favorite BBQ rub
- Coat the top and the ends of the steak with a light glaze of mayonnaise
- Place the beef mayo side down on the crumbled bacon and then coat the rest of the tenderloin with the mayonnaise
- Coat the entire cut with the crumbled bacon
- Place on a 250 degree smoker and smoke until the bacon encrusted beef tenderloin hits your desired temperature
- Slice and serve