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Grilling beef fillet: This is how your steak becomes perfect

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  • Buying beef fillet: This is what you should pay attention to
  • Should I buy beef fillet whole or as a medallion?
  • Do I have to marinate beef tenderloin?
  • Charcoal or gas grill: Which grill is perfect for filets?
  • What cooking point does the loin need?
  • At what core temperature is which cooking level reached?
  • Grill the perfect beef fillet in one piece – here's how
  • Alternative method: Grill the whole beef fillet indirectly
  • Grill the beef fillet medallions to perfection
  • Which side dishes go well with grilled beef fillet?

During the grilling season, a lot of things end up on the grill, especially sausage and meat. Beef fillet is considered real premium meat because no other cut of beef is as tender as the loin. However, many people shy away from preparing it because, after all, the perfect cooking point is extremely important when grilling a beef fillet. A few minutes more or less on the grill decides whether there is reason to be happy about cutting it – or whether you have to make do with tough shoe soles.

It's not that difficult to grill a beef fillet in one piece or in the form of medallions. With our tips and tricks you are guaranteed to get the perfect sirloin of beef on the grill.

Buying beef fillet: This is what you should pay attention to

Nice and juicy and tender: a good piece of meat should ideally melt in your mouth. Thanks to its fine structure, beef fillet meets almost all the requirements. It is the noblest part of the beef. This is a muscle strand in the lumbar region. Since it is not heavily used, it is finely fibrous, has hardly any fat and a beautiful marbling. This ensures the extreme juiciness.

Provided the quality is right. It's definitely worth spending a few extra euros and going to your trusted butcher or the weekly market. Ideally, pay attention to organic quality.

Tip from the food editors: You can also order excellent organic meat online, for example from “Kauf 'ne Kuh”. What's special: Only after the beef has been completely “sold” is it slaughtered, so the entire beef can be completely processed. How about the Black Angus grill and pan package?

You can recognize a high-quality beef fillet by its dark red color. It gets this when it has hung around three to four weeks after slaughter, which causes the muscle fibers to become very crumbly.

Should I buy beef fillet whole or as a medallion?

Not all beef is the same, so the fillet varies in size, thickness and length. However, the size generally says nothing about the quality. Of course, the fillet does not have to be processed whole: individual beef fillet steaks (for example the tender filet mignon) are cut from the middle of the fillet and can also be prepared well on the grill.

When it comes to medallions, the thicker the better. Have your butcher cut nice, thick slices from the fillet strand that are around 5 to 8 centimeters thick. It sounds like a lot at first, but the meat loses liquid and therefore mass during cooking. You also get a nice crust and a pink center at the same time. If the steaks are too thin, you usually have to forego one of the two. And given the quality of the meat, that would be more than a shame.

Do I have to marinate beef tenderloin?

Nope. You should avoid using a complex marinade for beef fillet, as it masks the meat's own taste with other flavors. Alternatively, we recommend a light marinade made from olive oil and fresh herbs (like in our recipe in the step-by-step instructions), which brings out the meat flavor perfectly.

Charcoal or gas grill: Which grill is perfect for filets?

Opinions differ when it comes to the question of the right grill: some advocate the good old charcoal grill, others prefer a gas grill.

The important thing is: In order for the beef fillet to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the grill must have the right power and be able to heat up the meat properly.

It should easily handle 200 degrees and 250 degrees shouldn't be a problem either. An electric grill is usually not up to the task and is therefore not recommended for grilling beef fillet.

A good gas grill has the advantage that you can control the temperature much better and turn it down quickly for further cooking. It's not that easy with charcoal. It takes 30 to 40 minutes to reach the desired heat.

In order to get different temperature ranges for direct and indirect grilling, you then have to change the quantities or location of the coal, for example using a corresponding tray. You can also reduce the heat by adjusting the height of the rack. Grilling with a charcoal grill is a little more complicated.

Tipp: If you can't decide between a gas and charcoal grill, simply use a “hybrid grill” like the Char-Broil Gas2Coal. It can be converted from charcoal to gas grill in just 60 seconds.

What cooking point does the loin need?

Rare, medium or well-done: the tastes vary widely when it comes to the cooking point of meat. This makes it all the more difficult to get the beef fillet exactly the way you would like it. With these smart tools you will become a grill god.

A meat thermometer that measures the core temperature can help here. The temperature inside the meat tells you at a glance how cooked it is. It's easy to use: Simply insert the thermometer into the middle, preferably in the thickest part of the beef fillet, and you can read the temperature. There are different models and price ranges, but basically they all work on the same principle.

Particularly cool: A Bluetooth grill thermometer, like this one from Inkbird, which also shows you the core temperature via an app on your cell phone.

At what core temperature is which cooking level reached?

Garpunkt

Description

Core temperature

Rare

still bloody inside

49-52 Grad

Medium Rare

pink, but still a little bloody

52-55 Grad

Medium

rosa

55-59 Grad

Well-done

well done

60-62 Grad

Grill the perfect beef fillet in one piece – here's how

Enough talking, now it's time to get to the grill. We explain step by step how to grill the entire beef fillet to perfection. And it’s not that difficult – I promise!

1. Take the meat out of the fridge at least half an hour before it goes on the grill. A whole fillet of beef must also be trimmed before grilling, as the technical term goes. To do this, tendons and the silver skin are removed. But the butcher can also do this.

2. In the next step, tie the beef fillet together compactly (not too tightly) with twine. The tip of the fillet should be folded over so that it does not become too dry and the beef loin has approximately the same thickness and shape everywhere. And that's important because the more uniform the height of the meat, the easier it is to achieve the desired cooking point everywhere. However, it is not a must. Tip: Soak the twine in water beforehand so that it doesn't burn.

3. Season the meat with sea salt and pepper. Optionally, you can rub the meat with olive oil beforehand and add fresh herbs such as tarragon, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme as well as garlic, and also distribute these on the prepared beef fillet strand. However, a marinade is generally not a must.

4. If necessary, clean the grill grate again with a grill brush and preheat the grill to 200 degrees.

5. Place the beef fillet on the grill over direct heat and grill all four sides for 7 minutes each. Close the grill lid occasionally. It's best to twist and turn as little as possible. With this time, it should be nice and pink when you cut it open. To be sure, you can measure the core temperature with a thermometer.

Alternative method: Grill the whole beef fillet indirectly

Of course, you can also grill the beef fillet indirectly. However, this takes more time because the meat cooks much slower. It also works in combination: Heat the grill to around 250 degrees and sear the beef loin for two minutes on all four sides over direct heat. Then open the lid, reduce the heat (100 to 150 degrees) and insert a grill thermometer into the center of the beef loin.

4 PM production / Shutterstock.com

Your fillet will definitely turn out well on a gas grill and with the help of a meat thermometer

Let the fillet simmer until the desired core temperature (56 degrees for medium), turning once in between. This takes about another 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest for about 5 minutes. During this time, the meat juice is distributed evenly throughout the entire beef fillet and makes it even more tender.

Grill the beef fillet medallions to perfection

If you don't want to grill a whole beef fillet in one piece, you can of course also prepare individual fillet steaks on the grill. For this you need a temperature of around 250 degrees before it goes on the grill. Brush the medallion from above and below with oil (for example with a heat-resistant BBQ brush) and add some salt to it.

Important information in advance: A medallion should only be turned once (!). So put the meat on the hot grill and fry for around 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Unless you want to conjure up a perfect grill pattern on your steak: To do this, you have to turn the fillet steaks 90 degrees after about 1.5 minutes and grill them there for another 1.5 minutes.

Which side dishes go well with grilled beef fillet?

For example, a spicy baked potato (or grilled potato), grilled vegetables (like these corn on the cob) or a mixed salad. For the sake of your six-pack, however, it shouldn't be heavy salads with mayo, but rather green salads with a light vinegar-oil dressing and lots of vegetables.

All kinds of vegetables (e.g. eggplant, zucchini, asparagus) can also be grilled well. It's best to brush it with oil beforehand and season it with salt and pepper. Good grilled vegetables don't need anything more.

Grilling beef fillet whole is not difficult at all and, above all, tastes really good. With a little salt and pepper and the right core temperatures, you can conjure up a beef fillet that will melt in your mouth.

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