Photo of Smoked beef tenderloin with smoked garlic aioli by WW

Smoked beef tenderloin with smoked garlic aioli

Total Time
1 hr 55 min
20 min
40 min
Step up your grilling game and add smoked meat to your repertoire with this wonderful recipe. Garlic rubbed beef tenderloin is center stage with a roasted garlic aioli, both smoked together. Try varieties of wood such as pecan, apple or cherry to get a smooth smoky product. If you prefer a stronger flavor, hickory and mesquite chips will do the trick. Alder wood, though flavorful, is best used with fish and poultry. The smoked garlic aioli is a great addition to the meat and amplifies the flavors. Use this recipe for entertaining or for an upscale cook-out. Asparagus and some whipped potatoes make nice sides or serve this beef over a bed of arugula and spinach with some slivered red onion for a delightful main dish salad option. Leftovers make a great breakfast treat topped with an over easy egg.



3 cup(s)


2 medium clove(s), minced


6 medium clove(s), whole (peeled)

Black pepper

1½ tsp, freshly ground, divided

Kosher salt

1½ tsp, divided

Uncooked lean tenderloin beef

2 pound(s), patted dry with paper towels

Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp

Reduced calorie mayonnaise

6 Tbsp


1 Tbsp

Red-wine vinegar

1 Tbsp


2 Tbsp, fresh, minced

Smoked salt

1 pinch(es), (or to taste; optional)


  1. Place wood chips in a large bowl, cover with water and place a heavy plate on top to keep them submerged; soak 30 minutes.
  2. Mix together 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tsp salt in a small bowl; rub mixture evenly over beef and set aside.
  3. Place whole garlic cloves in center of a piece of aluminum foil; drizzle with oil and wrap cloves in foil. Set beef aside while you prepare your grill.
  4. Make sure your grill grates are super clean, then prepare your gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat. Drain wood chips and place in center of a large piece of aluminum foil; wrap them up to create a neat package (using a second layer of foil if needed). Using a paring knife or skewer, poke a dozen holes in top of packet and place packet over hottest part of grill (either directly on coals of a charcoal grill or on heating element below grate of a gas grill); cover grill until smoke appears, at least 15 minutes.
  5. Place beef and wrapped garlic on cooler side of grill. Cover grill and cook garlic until cloves are softened (check by unwrapping package), about 15 minutes; set garlic aside. Cook beef, uncovering grill to turn beef a few times, until it is just firm to the touch and registers at least 140ºF – 145ºF in center, about 35-45 minutes depending on thickness. Remove beef from grill and sprinkle with smoked salt (optional); let rest 5-10 minutes.
  6. While beef rests, unwrap smoked garlic; place in a food processor with mayonnaise, water, vinegar, remaining 1/2 tsp pepper and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Process until pureed; transfer to a small bowl and stir in chives.
  7. Thinly slice beef against grain; serve warm or at room temperature with smoked garlic aioli.
  8. Serving size: 3 oz beef, 1 Tbsp aioli


A key component to successful smoking is ensuring your chips are soaked through before placing them on the heat. If they are dry, they burn up immediately without imparting their delicious flavor on your meat.