Beef is one of the main types of meat used in Australian, European, and American cuisine. It is also very important in cuisines in Africa, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. “Beef” or “red meat” comes in 82% from cows, 9% from males neutered and fattened with grass and slaughtered between 30 and 40 months, and the rest (white or pink meat) comes from cattle that are slaughtered between the ages of 3 and 5 months.
Beef can be cut into pieces of loin, larger pieces to be prepared in the oven, or small pieces of chopped ribs.
It is the sub-primal beef cut that spans via the primal cuts of the short loin and sirloin. It is also known under the name of fillet or eye fillet.
How Much Does Beef Tenderloin Cost?
The weight of most choice tenderloin items is anywhere between five and nine pounds, and the total cost will be $65 to $290. Beef product that weighs anywhere between five and nine pounds usually costs around $13 per pound untrimmed.
This means that you have to trim the meat off its fat before cooking it. In case you don’t want to bother yourself with trimming the product, then you can purchase beef tenderloin which is already trimmed by a butcher for the price of $23 to $35 per pound.
The price of whole beef tenderloin is influenced by a few factors including the place where you purchase it from, the market demand, whether it is unpeeled or unpeeled, the amount, the time of the year, and the grade. The most affordable option would be the USDA.
The cost of beef tenderloin can be influenced by the breed of cattle from which it comes. Different cattle breeds are known for producing beef with varying characteristics, including flavor, tenderness, and marbling (the distribution of fat within the meat). Some breeds are more renowned for their superior beef and are therefore associated with higher prices like Angus, Hereford, Wagyu, Holstein, and Crossbreeds.
For example, Sam’s Club sells five to nine pounds of USDA choice beef tenderloin for around $15 per pound. Also, Costco has pretty much similar prices.
The Cooking Light Magazine conducted a study to compare the prices of beef tenderloin at different grocery stores. According to them, the cost at Walmart is around $17 for untrimmed beef tenderloin, while Publix charges around $15 per pound. On the other hand, Whole Foods charges around $23 per pound for untrimmed beef tenderloin and almost $34 for trimmed beef tenderloin.
Online specialty meat purveyors will offer beef tenderloin for roughly the same per-pound cost as grocers but with additional shipping charges. For example, online retailer Snake River Farms charges around $32/lb. for the whole tenderloin, plus $29 overnight shipping for a 5lb box. So 5lbs of meat would cost $199 including delivery.
Another popular option is ButcherBox – they sell beef tenderloin for around $25/lb. with free shipping on orders over $149. A 6lb box would be around $150 delivered.
Tenderloin bought online typically varies from $20-30/lb. for the meat itself, with shipping adding $15-30 depending on the provider, which you can pay with a credit card. Many also offer first-time customer discounts.
Beef tenderloin description
The beef tenderloin on the back stretches on both sides of the spine and is usually harvested as two long snake-shaped pieces. The tenderloin is easy to recognize thanks to its cylindrical shape and length which is anywhere between 18 and 24 inches.
Beff tenderloin is known for its tender, delicate, and juicy cut. Its texture is fine and greasy and this makes it the best quality steak with a delicious taste, giving you the feeling that it melts in your mouth.
It is a muscle trained very little in the usual movements of the animal.
This large, fat-rich piece, with an intense beef taste, can be cooked on a pan or grilled. It is the muscle traditionally used in the recipe by Beef Wellington.
The piece that is cut from the smaller end of the beef muscle is called a thread or filet mignon, appreciated for its soft and fine consistency, as butter – also known as tournedos. The fillet is considered the tenderest part of the beef, and one of the most expensive. Despite the peppery price, filet mignon is intensely ordered and enjoyed in premium restaurants.
What are the extra costs?
Most of the stores will trim the tenderloin for an extra cost even though they have it for sale as untrimmed.
Important things to consider
It is a tender meat that must be cooked at high temperatures for a short time so that the meat remains juicy. The tenderloin is usually covered by a strong membrane that should not be removed, as the meat will tighten too much during cooking. It can be prepared in a frying pan or on the grill, one of the popular and great dishes being Beef Wellington.
The cooking rules for beef tenderloin are the same in all cases. In general, it is preferable to be served medium-rare, seasoned just with black pepper and salt, but it depends on the taste of each individual.
If you want to boil the beef tenderloin, it is recommended to use a pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time and to make sure that it cooks evenly and does not harden.
Take the meat out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking so that it reaches room temperature.
Left intact, the back muscle is known as the “fillet” or “Chateaubriand”. It can be into pieces, for various kinds of steaks. The ones at the back end, cut into one to two inches thick pieces, are known as fillets. In some cases, filet mignon refers to a dish made with a beef tenderloin and not the piece itself. Other parts of the cow’s muscle on the back area, cut into pieces, are known as roast beef and not fillet.
The United States, Brazil, Japan, and China rank first in the top beef consumption, including Angus beef. The largest exporters of high-quality beef are Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and Canada.
Average cost of beef tenderloin over the last 5 years
Here are some more specific average beef tenderloin prices from 2018-2023:
How will inflation affect the cost of beef tenderloin in 2023?
From 2018 to 2023, conventional tenderloin prices rose by about 68%, while organic/grass-fed tenderloin increased by 58% over that period.
Here are some key factors that likely influenced beef tenderloin price inflation over the past 5 years:
- Rising feed, fuel, and labor costs for cattle ranchers increased tenderloin production expenses.
- As a perishable meat, increased refrigerated shipping rates added to tenderloin costs.
- Pandemic disruptions in meat processing and distribution constrained tenderloin supply at times.
- Droughts and diseases limiting cattle inventory kept tenderloin supply tight.
- Demand for premium cuts like tenderloin remained strong, enabling price hikes.
- Broad economic inflation from 2020-2022 drove up costs throughout the beef supply chain.
- Strong overseas demand for American beef put upward pressure on domestic prices.
- Harsh winters increased feed costs for cattle ranchers, reducing profit margins.
So inflation, constrained cattle supplies, strong demand, and various input cost increases over the past 5 years contributed to rising tenderloin prices both at retail and restaurants.
How can I save money when shopping for whole beef tenderloin?
Usually, the cuts sold at the wholesale clubs are cheaper than the ones you can find at the local grocery stores. Getting a whole beef tenderloin and doing the butchering yourself can definitely make you a deal.
Check for available coupons or discounts that can be applied to the purchase of whole beef tenderloin. Keep an eye on your local grocery store’s sales flyers or online promotions. Beef tenderloin may go on sale during special occasions or holidays, ready for pickup.
Some grocery stores sell frozen beef tenderloin, which can be more affordable than fresh cuts. Frozen meat can still be of high quality if properly stored and cooked.