How Much Does Beef Tenderloin Cost?

Written by: Staff

Beef tenderloin is a sub-primal beef cut which spans via two primal cuts: the sirloin and the short loin.

In some regions of the world, it is known as the tenderloin, eye fillet, or fillet.


Grilled Beef Tenderloin by larryjh1234, on Flickr
Grilled Beef Tenderloin” (CC BY 2.0) by larryjh1234

How much does beef tenderloin cost per pound?

The cost of whole beef tenderloin will greatly depend on the market demand, the grade, time of year, if it is peeled or unpeeled, and where you purchase it.  The least expensive option, usually being the U.S.D.A Choice beef weighing five to nine pounds, will often cost around $10 per pound untrimmed, meaning you will still need to trim the meat of its fat and silver skin.  If you want it trimmed by a butcher or it is already trimmed, then the costs, on average, can be about $20 to $30 per pound.  With most whole tenderloins weighing five to nine pounds, the total cost can be anywhere from $50 to $270.

At Sam’s Club, for example, a five to nine pound USDA Choice beef tenderloin will retail for close to $12 per pound.  Costco had similar prices at the time of this publishing as well.

Cooking Light Magazine compared the costs of beef tenderloin at various grocery stores, and according to their research, Whole Foods charged $20 per pound for untrimmed beef tenderloin or $30 for trimmed beef tenderloin.  Walmart charged $15.99 for untrimmed and Publix charged $13.99 per pound.

Beef tenderloin overview

Beef tenderloin, also known as an eye fillet, or fillet, is the cut of beef from the loin. The distinctive shape of tenderloin makes it quite easy to recognize as it is typically no more than 18 to 24 inches long and is almost cylindrical in shape with its one end, known as the tail, tapering to a point, while the other end, known as the butt, features a larger, thicker profile formed by two attached lobes.

Beef tenderloin is extremely tender and has a very fine texture. It is also fairly lean, yet with a very rich flavor, regardless of the somewhat low-fat content, some higher grades do exhibit more marbling.

What are the extra costs?

Even if you find an untrimmed piece at the local grocery store, most stores will trim it for an additional cost.

Tips to know:

The center section of the beef tenderloin is generally used for Chateaubriand and filet mignon. Usually, the tail is not used for steaks owing to its shape. The butt-end is suited for steaks, but they will be thinner when compared to a typical filet mignon and are generally just known as tenderloin steaks. Since it spans two primal cuts, this piece of the tenderloin is, on occasion, included as a fraction of one of these two sections, the short loin. In such a case, the beef tenderloin is then paired with the strip loin and cut as porterhouse steaks. These porterhouse steaks feature a T-shaped bone that separates a portion of tenderloin from a portion of strip loin.

It consists of the psoas major muscle and is located beneath the ribs next to the spine. Beef tenderloin is also known as the tenderest of all cuts of beef. It is, however, not a very large muscle with respect to the total size of a cow. It is for these reasons, besides its fine flavor, that tenderloin is commonly the most expensive cut of beef.

Like other beef cuts, beef tenderloin is graded in accordance with quality, but even the lowest grades are highly desirable. Meats are typically graded according to a number of factors but largely according to the fine fat veins that permeate the meat, known as a marbling. Steaks which exhibit a high degree of marbling are usually given a higher grade due to the more flavor it will produce.

To prevent uneven cooking, recommends tying it up so it is the same thickness all around.

How to cook beef tenderloin

How can I save money?

Cuts at wholesale clubs will often cost less per pound than the local grocery store.

As with any meats, beef tenderloin is no exception when it does go on sale.  Be on the lookout for special promotions or even sales at your local store.

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