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a traeger smoked beef tenderloin sliced

Traeger Smoked Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream

This beef tenderloin is dry brined with salt overnight then rubbed with garlic and coarse black pepper. We then smoke it to perfection on a Traeger pellet grill basting with rosemary infused butter before we turn up the heat and reverse sear it for an amazing exterior crust. Served with a horseradish cream sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Dry Brining Time 8 hrs
Total Time 10 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Christmas, Holiday, Keto, Middle Eastern, New Years, Smoked
Servings 4 servings
Calories 750 kcal


  • Traeger Pellet Grill
  • Pellets for smoking, preferably hickory and oak.
  • Boning or Fillet Knife
  • Butcher's Twine
  • Wire Rack and Baking Tray
  • Dual Probe Thermometer
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Small Saucepan
  • Basting brush
  • Cutting Board
  • Meat Slicing Knife


  • 1 2-4 lb Beef Tenderloin may be 5-8 lbs untrimmed
  • Cup Kosher Salt
  • Cooking Oil High smoke point oil like avocado or grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh minced garlic about 4 cloves fresh
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Rosemary Butter

  • 1 sprig Fresh rosemary
  • 1 stick Salted Butter

Horseradish Cream (optional)

  • ½ cup Sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp Prepared Horseradish drained
  • 2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Stone ground or dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Chives finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste


Trim the Beef Tenderloin (Day Before)

  • Use a good boning or filet knife first remove the silver skin from the top of the beef tenderloin.
    removing the silverskin from the beef tenderloin
  • This will allow you to better see where the chain attaches to the tenderloin.  The tenderloin chain is the fatty piece of meat that runs along the side of the main tenderloin.
    separating the chain from the beef tenderloin
  • Pull the chain away from the tenderloin and then cut it off.  You will need to do this on both sides, although one side is usually a lot bigger than the other.
    slicing the chain off a beef tenderloin
  • Then remove any remaining silverskin and fatty pieces until you have a nice cleaned up beef tenderloin in front of you.
    a trimmed beef tenderloin ready for the smoker

Dry Brine the Beef Tenderloin (Day Before)

  • Place the trimmed beef on the wire rack placed on top of the baking sheet.
    a beef tenderloin on a wire rack
  • Apply the kosher salt, or your favorite beef rub, to the beef tenderloin on all sides.
    putting kosher salt on a beef tenderloin
  • Keep the beef on the wire rack so you have airflow around the tenderloin and then place it in the refrigerator overnight, or at least a minimum of 4-6 hours.

Tuck and Tie (Day of Cook)

  • The next day, take the beef tenderloin out of the refrigerator and keep it on the wire rack so you keep a good amount of air circulating around the meat.
  • Tuck the thin “tail” underneath and tie it with the butcher's twine so that the tenderloin is a more even thickness from end to end and therefore cooks more evenly throughout.
    tying the thin end of a beef tenderloin for the smoker
  • If the rest of the beef tenderloin is more flat than tubular, take some more twine and tie it around every inch or so to help the meat maintain its shape.
    seasoning a beef tenderloin with fresh garlic

Season the Beef Tenderloin

  • Rub the tied beef tenderloin with a thin layer of the cooking oil.
  • Mix the minced garlic and fresh cracked pepper together and rub generously all over the beef tenderloin on all sides.
    seasoning a beef tenderloin with garlic and pepper
  • Leave on the wire rack on the counter for up to 2 hours to rise to room temperature while you start up the Traeger grill.

Start the Traeger Grill

  • Load the hopper of the Traeger with your chosen wood pellets.
    pouring pellets into a traeger pellet grill hopper
  • Turn on the Traeger and move the dial to the "Smoke" setting.
  • Leave the lid open for 5-7 minutes until you start seeing white billowing smoke coming out of the grill. This means the initial pellets are igniting.
    traeger pellet grill making thick white start up smoke
  • Close the lid and turn the temperature dial to 250°F. Allow 10-15 minutes for the grill to come up to temperature.
    traeger pellet grill set to 250 degrees

Smoke the Beef Tenderloin on the Traeger

  • Once the temperature of the Traeger hits 250°F, place the beef in the cooking chamber with the thickest part facing towards the hotter right side. Place a temperature probe into the deepest part of the rib roast.
    a beef tenderloin smoking on a traeger pellet grill
  • Once the beef is on, melt the butter on low in a small saucepan with the rosemary floating in the butter. Keep the heat on low and baste the smoking beef tenderloin on all sides with a basting brush every 15-20 minutes.
  • Cook at this temperature until the internal temperature of the beef reaches about 105-110°F.

Prepare the Horseradish Cream Sauce (optional)

  • While the beef is smoking on the Traeger, you can also prepare the horseradish cream sauce if you wish.
    the ingredients for a horseradish cream
  • Combine all the horseradish cream sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to incorporate. Add extra salt and pepper as needed.
    mixing up horseradish cream for a smoked beef tenderloin
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to serve with the smoked beef tenderloin later.

Reverse Sear the Smoked Beef Tenderloin on the Traeger

  • Once the internal temperature of the smoked beef tenderloin reaches 105-110°F, turn the temperature of the pellet grill as high as it will go, preferably to 500°F.
    traeger ironwood 885 D2 controller set to 500 degrees
  • Watch closely to make sure it does not burn and cook until the internal temperature rises to about 120°F then remove from the Traeger.

Remove, Rest, and Slice the Smoked Beef Tenderloin

  • Let the smoked beef tenderloin rest on a cutting board, uncovered for 30 minutes.
    taking a smoked beef tenderloin off the smoker to rest
  • Cut the ties off the beef.
  • Slice the tenderloin in thick 1 inch slices for each guest starting at the thinnest end and working your way to the center. Only slice what you plan to serve immediately so that the peices do not dry out.
    slicing a traeger smoked beef tenderloin
  • Serve immediately with the horseradish cream sauce on the side.



Recipe inspired by and video courtesy of Swine Life BBQ
Keyword barbecue, bbq, Beef, Butter, Christmas, Dry Brine, Easter, filet mignon, Garlic, Holiday, horseradish cream sauce, New Years, pellet grill, reverse sear, Roast, smoked beef tenderloin, Steak, traeger, Wood pellets