What’s the best way to reheat beef tenderloin?
Beef tenderloin can be one of the most delicious delicacies one can imagine; the cut is essentially several filet mignons stacked together in one succulent, tender slab of meat. However, for that very reason, it is also one of the most difficult pieces of meat to reheat.
Steak in general is tricky, but the specifics of beef tenderloin can make it all but impossible. However, with the proper technique, anyone can reheat beef tenderloin.
Understanding Beef Tenderloin
Beef tenderloin is cut from a muscle on the cow that does very little actual work. That means you will not find the deep flavor that you would get from a sirloin or strip. That flavor comes from fat and connective tissue.
However, because it does so little work, a beef tenderloin has very little in the way of either. Instead, what a beef tenderloin offers a diner or cook is nothing but exceptionally tender meat. Even the muscle fibers themselves run in such a way that makes the meat tender.
For reheating, this means that there is very little in the way of fat or connective tissue to absorb any overheating, just as with cooking the meat in the first place. Therefore, whatever method is used will have to be exceptionally cognizant of this fact.
Typically, a steak has two textures, a charred exterior and a moist interior. If we were reheating another type of steak, this would certainly be a consideration, as the exterior holds a lot of the steaky flavor.
With a tenderloin, we don’t have to worry so much about it. Of course, we will want to preserve some of that flavor, but at the same time, most of the flavor of a tenderloin is coming from the meat itself, not a crust that was put on it while cooking. Because of this, our methods will focus on warming the outside gently.
Gently is the key term. If we apply too much heat, or for too long, the steak will overcook. Remember that the reactions that turn a steak from medium rare to well down happen within a few degrees of each other.
What to Avoid When You Reheat Beef Tenderloin
Two techniques worth avoiding immediately present themselves.
First of all, try to avoid reheating a tenderloin in the microwave. Because it cooks the meat by creating pockets of steam, we lose some of the juiciness of the steak. Also, because steam is 212 degrees, it overheats certain parts of the cut of meat.
Also, resist the urge to reheat the meat in a frying pan. While it would preserve the crust, it would likely result in reheating the middle of the meat beyond what we want.
Instead, there are two excellent ways to reheat a beef tenderloin. Be warned, both take some amount of time.
The most sure-fire method is to use a sous vide cooker. By setting the temperature to the desired doneness, we can be sure that the beef does not go a degree beyond that.
As such, we might lose a bit of the crispness of the charred crust, but we’ll get as good of an interior as a chef would provide. After all, many chefs use sous vide machines to cook their meat, only browning it at the end very quickly.
Alternatively, a low oven may do the trick, but it will require time. If you have a convection oven that can be set below 225, this is its time to shine. You’ll likely overcook the meat to some extent, but you’ll be sure that it is better than through a microwave.