Cook Time & Temps
2–3 min. per side undisturbed over medium-high heat
Turn and pan-sear sides and edges for another 2–3 min. on medium-high heat
Head Straight to our Favorite Tenderloin Recipes.
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Like itʻs name suggests, youʻve got in your hands the most tender cut of them all (and also one of the leanest). Venison tenderloin is prized and the equivalent of filet mignon! Averaging between a half to a whole pound, it's a smaller size cut, so keep a real close eye while cooking because it can quickly become overcooked.
Serving size: 1 pack serves 2.
Preferred Seasonings: Start by using a method called Dry Salt Brining—which can be done at least 1 hour before cooking or up to 24 hours beforehand. Completely pat dry your meat and lightly coat it with either kosher or sea salt on all sides—about 1/2 tsp per 1lb cut of Tenderloin. Place it on a baking rack over a sheet pan and in the refrigerator uncovered. Air circulation will allow the salt to absorb into the meat—making a flavorful crust when seared! It’s a simple process perfect for all meats. When you’re ready to cook, season with black pepper or other non-salt-based seasonings—It’s important NOT to add any more salt after this step. Then finish with butter bath.
Because the tenderloin is an incredible cut of meat, you’ll want to incorporate minimal seasoning, while keeping exposure to heat controlled and even.
- Pat the tenderloin completely dry and have your favorite herbs, garlic and butter ready. (See delicious example here.)
- Start by pre-heating a large pan, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat for 3–5 minutes.
- Once the pan is hot, add 2-3 tbsp of oil/fat.
- As soon as the oil is smoking hot; sear tenderloin, undisturbed, for about 2–3 minutes per side for an evenly brown crust.
- Turn and continue to sear sides and edges for an another 2–3 minutes—for a total cooking time of about 7–8 minutes.
- Then drop the heat to low and add a 2–3 tablespoons of butter, fresh herbs, and garlic, and using a spoon continuously baste butter over tenderloin for 1–2 minutes.
- Keep in mind it will continue to cook once you remove the meat from the pan.
- Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it.
To check doneness use the finger test method or digital meat thermometer. It is best served on the medium-rare side. Aim to remove from heat at 130°–135° for medium rare doneness.
*Extra Tenderloin Tips
- To help cook the loin evenly and keep its round shape, tuck in the tapered ends (if any) and tie the entire piece with kitchen twine.
- Consider pairing with a compound butter or sauce such as chimichurri, herb garlic butter or a sauce composed of berries or red wine.