Grilled Texas Tenderloin

Elizabeth Karmel

Hill Country Barbecue Market Restaurant and Hill Country Chicken NYC

Oak wood chips lend this succulent tenderloin a powerful smoky flavor. Other than that, all this meat needs is some salt, pepper, and cayenne.


  • 3 cups oak wood chips
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt, preferably Morton
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black Tellicherry peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 whole beef tenderloin, about 5 pounds, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Soak the wood chips in water for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

Prepare your smoker or grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, remove the left-hand grate and place a pan filled with the damp chips on the burners; replace the grate. Preheat on high for about 10 minutes, then turn the middle burner off and place a drip pan in the center of the grill. Set the temperature to 300ºF.

Make the spice rub: in a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper until well combined. Set aside.

Roll the tenderloin in paper towels and pat it dry. Discard the paper towels and brush the meat with a thin coat of olive oil. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the rub mixture evenly over the meat.

Place the meat in the smoker or grill for about 45 minutes until medium rare, or when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest spot reads 130ºF. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Just before serving, place the tenderloin directly on the grill’s cooking grate and sear for 2 minutes on each side over high heat, with all burners on. Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before carving.


8 to 10 servings