Coca-Cola Smoked Beef Tenderloin 6.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/Washington Post

Jun 19, 2019

This is a showstopper, as delicate as it is flavorful. So be careful not to overcook it.

You’ll need a thermometer for monitoring the meat.

Soak your oak wood chips for 30 minutes before you use them.

Make Ahead: The meat needs to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • One 2 3/4- to 3-pound beef tenderloin roast
  • 2 cups beef broth, preferably low-sodium
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 12 ounces plain Coca-Cola (do not use Diet Coke or Coke Zero)


Use paper towels to pat the meat dry all over. Stir together the broth, vinegar, brown sugar and Coke in an aluminum/smoker-friendly pan that is deep enough for the meat to be submerged (or you can use a gallon-size resealable zip-top bag). Add the tenderloin and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight. (If your pan does not allow for total submersion, turn the roast every hour.)

When you are ready to cook, prepare your smoker or grill (for indirect heat). Preheat to 275 degrees. (About 10 minutes before you begin to cook on your grill, drain the chips and place them on the coals.)

Discard the marinade, clean the pan and return the meat to it. Place in your grill or smoker and close the lid. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat registers 155 degrees (medium-rare) on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into 1/2-inch slices for serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "BBQ&A With Myron Mixon: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Barbecue," with Kelly Alexander (Abrams, 2019).

Tested by Andy Sikkenga.

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