Season 17, Episode 24 Recap: How to Make the Best Grill-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Plus, Lisa reviews spoonulas, Adam talks gas grills, and Erin makes our Pear-Walnut Upside-Down Cake.

Published June 19, 2017.

This episode of America’s Test Kitchen opens with Dan Souza showing host Julia Collin Davison how to make grill-roasted beef tenderloin. Later, Lisa McManus reviews flat whisks and spoonulas, and Adam Ried explains what makes for a great gas grill. Finally, Erin McMurrer shows host Bridget Lancaster how to make a killer pear-walnut upside-down cake.

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On this episode of ATK, Dan shows Julia how to make beef tenderloin on the grill, and Erin shows Bridget how to make pear-walnut upside-down cake.  
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Five Takeaways from the Episode

1. When Buying Beef Tenderloin, Let the Butcher Do the Work: You could save yourself a few bucks and buy an untrimmed beef tenderloin, but then you’ve got a lot of extra work to do removing the extra fat and silver skin. We recommend you opt for a chateaubriand. It’s a bit more expensive, but all the dirty work has been done for you in advance. It’s well worth the higher price tag.

2. The Key to a Flavorful No-Cook Sauce? Let It Sit: Because there’s no heat involved, no-cook sauces—like the chermoula we make for our grill-roasted beef tenderloin—need time to develop flavor. Also, when making a no-cook sauce, make sure not to add the olive oil while you’re processing the other ingredients. The violent spinning of the food processor’s blade can corrupt the oil, leaving you with a bitter sauce.

3. What To Look For When Buying a Gas Grill: A good gas grill should be many things: it should evenly distribute heat inside the cookbox; its grates should be heavy-duty; it should have a large grease tray to make cleanup easier; its lid should be angled to keep smoke out of your face; and you should be able to move it without struggle. If it doesn’t check these boxes, it’s not worth your money.

4. The Best Pear to Use in Upside-Down Cake: We tried a number of different pears when developing our recipe for pear-walnut upside-down cake—Anjou, Bartlett, Comice—but found that Bosc were our favorite. Even when underripe, these pears are nice and sweet. And when they’re ripe, they’re perfect.

5. You Might Not Think You Need a Flat Whisk or a Spoonula, But…: It turns out you might! With their shoe horn shape, flat whisks make it easy to get into the corners of pans when scraping and stirring a sauce or gravy. And with a good spoonula, you’ll be able to not on scrape the fond off the bottom of pan while making a sauce, you’ll also be able to use it to scoop that sauce onto your plate.

Quote of the Week: “In the world of upside-down cakes, pineapples reign supreme. But lately, all kinds of other fruit—like apples, plums, and peaches—are getting in on the action. But one fruit that has yet to make it to the party is the poor little pear. But Erin has figured it all out for us.” —Bridget Lancaster on upside-down fruit cakes

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