Beef tenderloin is one of the quintessential meats served at people’s dinner tables every Christmas. This high-end, tender cut of beef is very similar to filet mignon but allows for a much larger crowd. However, with such a large spread at your holiday celebration, leftovers are inevitable. We have key information so that you don’t make a big mis-steak!
If you were wondering if you can freeze beef tenderloin, the short answer is yes. You can freeze individual slices for up to 12 months, but I don’t recommend freezing for more than 2 to 3 if you want to enjoy the best quality. This can be done by vacuum-sealing the meat and then applying a second layer of aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can also tightly wrap it in freezer wrap, followed by aluminum foil, and finally sealed in a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
The Composition Of Beef Tenderloin
Beef tenderloin is the meat that sits just over the spine of the steer. It is situated below the sirloin and beneath the ribs. What this means is that the tenderloin is part of the cow’s body that rarely gets exercise.
This makes it one of the premier cuts of beef due to its tender texture and the low concentration of intramuscular fat.
While this can lead to a more subdued flavor compared to a marbled sirloin, it creates a melt-in-your-mouth meal that is hard to beat.
This detail is also important because it makes beef tenderloin an ideal cut of meat to freeze. Why? The more fat there is on the meat, the more quickly the meat will go rancid due to oxidation.
This will be exacerbated when salt is in the mix. Since many people season their beef products with this staple condiment, the combination can greatly limit the amount of time that your meat will stay fresh in the freezer. Thankfully, this is not an issue for the tenderloin!
How To Properly Freeze Cooked Beef Tenderloin
Step #1: Prepare The Cooked Beef Tenderloin To Freeze
The best way to preserve cooked beef tenderloin is to divide it out into individual portions. This is because once you freeze and then thaw out meat, you cannot safely freeze it again.
By cutting up the remainder of the roast into single portioned fillets, you can cut back on food waste and elongate your storage time.
Thus, cut up your tenderloin and then allow it to fully cool. This is imperative, otherwise, it will not freeze properly.
If you choose to allow it to cool at room temperature, ensure that you transfer it to the fridge before you reach the two-hour mark.
Otherwise, there is a chance that bacteria will grow and cause the meat to spoil.
Step #2: Package The Cooked Beef Tenderloin To Freeze
The optimal way to store any type of meat is through the use of a vacuum packer. This ensures that oxygen and moisture stay at bay.
This will keep the color, texture, and flavor of this rich and savory meat intact and simultaneously prevent freezer burn. Simply put the slices into individual bags and vacuum seal.
Next, apply a second layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. This will prevent any light from getting through, which can also lead to spoilage.
Finally, mark the date on the package and freeze your cooked beef tenderloin for two to six months.
However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends using your cooked beef products within two to three months to achieve the best quality.
This is likely due to the fact that the applied seasonings slowly dehydrate the meat.
Freezer Or Plastic Wrap
Freezer wrap is another fantastic and safe cold storage tool. It should be applied directly to the cooked tenderloin, once it has been allowed time to cool.
Just as detailed above, this step should be followed by a tight layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil over each individual steak.
Finally, slip your double-wrapped meat into a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible, seal the bag and label it with the freeze date.
Step #3: Flash Freeze Your Cooked Beef Tenderloin
Rapid freezing is the most effective way to retain the taste and texture of the meat. This also allows for quicker defrost times and reduces the instance of harmful bacteria.
Achieve this result by freezing your cooked beef tenderloin on empty freezer shelves.
This allows the cold air to efficiently freeze all sides of the slices of tenderloin equally. This should be at a consistent zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the cooked beef tenderloin is frozen, then you can arrange it more efficiently in the freezer.
Finally, remember that experts recommend keeping your freezer at a maximum capacity of anywhere between 70% to 85%.
If your freezer becomes overfilled, it can block the vents, preventing the food from being properly preserved.
How To Reheat Frozen Cooked Beef Tenderloin
When it comes time to eat your deliciously juicy beef tenderloin, there are a few important steps to take in order to ensure that those juices stay intact.
Step #1: Defrost The Frozen Cooked Beef Tenderloin
While you want to rapidly freeze your meats, it is best to bring them out of this frozen state very slowly.
Therefore, take the number of beef tenderloin fillet steaks that you need out of the freezer and place them in the fridge overnight to defrost.
However, if you find yourself in a hurry, a cold water bath is another safe alternative.
Fill a large bowl withhold water and submerge the beef, while it remains in either the sealed freezer bag or vacuum seal bag. Change out the water every 30 minutes until the meat has thawed.
While you can technically reheat frozen beef tenderloin without defrosting, remember that this meat has already been cooked once before.
By skipping the defrost step, you will likely overcook the outside in order to achieve a safe internal temperature. Defrosting by microwave is also not recommended. This is due to the same reasoning.
Step #2: Reheat The Meat Low And Slow
Set your oven for 250 degrees. When it is preheating, remove the beef tenderloins from all of the originally applied packaging and place them on a metal baking sheet. Then, cover the tray with a loose layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Cook the meat for 20 to 30 minutes, checking regularly. Once the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees it should be ready to eat!
Lastly, always cook the meat within 24 hours of defrosting it. Then, consumption needs to occur within three to five days. If it cannot be even in this time frame, then discard it for safety.
Benefits Of Beef Tenderloin
Beef tenderloin is a fantastic protein source that is brimming with iron, phosphorus, zinc, creatine, and selenium.
Vitamins B3 (niacin), B6, and B12 are also quite prevalent in this red meat. Why does all of this matter?
According to nutrition experts at the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “a three-ounce serving of meat provides 51% of the recommended daily protein.
The B-vitamins help the body use energy and regulate many of the chemical reactions for growth and health maintenance.
Selenium acts as an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of certain cancers and protect against heart disease. Phosphorus is important for the formation of bones and teeth and maintenance and repair of cells.”
Moreover, including beef in your regular diet can help to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, build muscle mass and keep anemia at bay.
Furthermore, this red meat also comes with a hefty helping of essential amino acids, which aid in maintaining heart health, improving blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, and helping to achieve weight loss goals.
Best of all, unlike other cuts of beef, it is low in fat! Doctors recommend eating anywhere between 12 to 16 ounces of beef weekly.
The best way to guarantee that your beef tenderloin stays fresh in the freezer is to properly prepare it from the start. First, pick the freshest cut of meat. This is normally at the bottom of the pile or the back of the shelf.
Then, make sure to cook your meat before you reach the expiration date. This will normally fall three to five days following purchase.
Additionally, the average beef tenderloin weighs between four to five pounds. Thus, for a cut this size, cook it at 425 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.
Allow the internal temperature to reach 145 degrees and then pull it out of the oven and allow it to sit for three minutes.
After cooking, put the meat in cold storage before two hours have passed. Then, consume or freeze the beef tenderloin within three to four days.
Finally, always check your meat for spoilage. Conduct this inspection with both rare and cooked products.
Changes in texture, smell, or color can be a sign that the product has gone bad. If you follow these simple guidelines you can avoid butchering your meat and enjoy this fantastic product on another rare occasion!
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Heidi is a wife, mother, Newfie owner, writer and Meteorologist. She was born and raised in Texas and has worked in the broadcast industry for over a decade.