Chateaubriand: what is it and how do you cook it?

From fyring and roasting to grilling

The chateaubriand is a classic steak that’s on the menu in many restaurants. Mostly served with a wine or béarnaise sauce. It is often stated that this dish is for two people.

But what exactly is chateaubriand steak? And what part of the beef does it come from? In this article we explain what chateaubriand steak is and how to cook it.

Chateaubriand ingesmeerd met een rub
Chateaubriand with dry rub

What is chateaubriand?

The chateaubriand is the thick end of a tenderloin, also known as the head tenderloin. It’s actually a large piece of tenderloin.

It often weighs at least 400 grams. Tenderloin tips are cut from the thin part of the steak and fillet steak is cut from the middle part.


The chateaubriand is very tender. The tenderness is due to its location on the animal and this steak is a non-weight-bearing muscle that gets very little exercise. This steak has very little fat.

This may differ slightly per breed of cattle. Nutrition also plays a role in this. A grain-fed cow has more fat in and on the meat than a grass-fed cow.

How to cook chateaubriand

There has long been a debate whether chateaubriand is a method of cooking or simply a steak. Traditionally, the chateaubriand consisted of several pieces of meat and was tied up. Usually with a thin slice of pork fat around it. Then it was grilled or fried.

The outer edge of the meat was burnt and peeled off. The inner part, the chateaubriand itself, was heated evenly.

But today it’s often cooked as a big piece of meat. Since it’s a big piece, it does need some attention while preparing it. Take the chateaubriand out of the fridge an hour before cooking and let it come to room temperature

Frying and roasting

  1. Take the chateaubriand out of the fridge an hour before cooking.
  2. Put a dash of oil in a pan and heat it until it’s very hot. Meanwhile, heat the oven to a temperature of 100℃.
  3. Season the meat with some salt. Then place the meat in the hot pan and fry both sides briefly. For about 15 seconds each side.
  4. Then put a knob of butter in the pan, along with some finely chopped shallots and garlic, thyme and rosemary. This creates a tasty gravy.
  5. Fry both sides of the meat for 3 minutes.
  6. Place the chateaubriand in a baking dish and place it in the oven. The meat is ready at a core temperature of 48 – 50 ℃.
  7. Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes. This allows the meat juices to distribute well throughout the meat.
  8. Then sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper.

On the bbq

You can also easily grill the chateaubriand on the barbecue. Due to the size of the piece, we do recommend using two heat zones. We will first grill the meat on high heat, then let it cook slowly on a less hot zone.

  1. Take the chateaubriand out of the fridge an hour before cooking. Prepare the barbecue and maintain a temperature of approximately 250 – 275℃.
  2. Grill both sides of the steak for 2 minutes.
  3. Then place the meat on a less hot zone for about 115 – 125℃. The meat is ready at 48 – 50℃.
  4. Remove the steak from the barbecue and let it rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for 5 minutes. This allows the meat juices to distribute well throughout the meat.
  5. Serve the steak with a spoonful of herb butter on top. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe: Grilled chateaubriand with tomato and Mexican tomato salsa

Grilled chateaubriand
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Grilled Chateaubriand with grilled tomato and Mexican tomato salsa

A delicious grilled chateaubriand with a Mexican tomato salsa.
Prep time10 minutes
Cooking time1 hour
Servings: 8 persons
Author: Cultiviz


  • 1 chateaubriand 800-1.000 grams
  • 4 tbsp barbecue rub
  • 8 ripe tomatoes
  • 8 el Mexican tomato salsa bekijk recept
  • splash olive oil
  • black pepper
  • fleur de sel


  • Take the chateaubriand out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking it, pat the meat dry and sprinkle generously with your favorite barbecue rub. Press the rub well into the meat and season with fleur de sel. Check in advance whether your rub does not already contain a lot of salt, otherwise you don’t need to salt the meat before cooking.
  • Preheat the barbecue with a direct zone of approximately 180 degrees and an indirect zone of 120 degrees.
  • Place the chateaubriand on the direct zone and grill firmly. Turn the meat a little at a time so that all sides are grilled evenly. Once the chateaubriand has been nicely grilled on all sides, place it above the indirect zone.
  • Insert a core thermometer into the thickest part of the chateaubriand and set it to 46 degrees for a nice red result. The meat will continue to cook slightly when you remove it from the grill. If you prefer medium-rare, continue cooking to a temperature of 52 degrees.
  • Remove the meat from the grid when it has reached the desired core temperature. Lightly wrap it with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes.
  • While grilling, cut the tops off the tomatoes, drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle it with barbecue rub. Place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and place over the indirect zone of the barbecue. Let them roast for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the chateaubriand from the foil, cut into nice slices and season with freshly ground pepper and fleur de sel.
  • Serve on a large platter and add the grilled tomatoes on top. Add some of the salsa and serve the rest separately.

All recipes

Looking for some inspiration? Take a look at all our chateaubriand recipes below. Or check our beef recipes for even more inspiration.

Grilled chateaubriand with tomato and Mexican tomato salsa

The chateaubriand is the thick middle part of the tenderloin or beef tenderloin. If you [...]


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