I’ve gathered up all the best pork tenderloin recipes and tips for you to have juicy, flavorful pork every time.
If you’ve ever struggled to cook a pork tenderloin that wasn’t dry, or if you tried to cook a pork loin with a tenderloin recipe, you’re in the right place. I’m going to share all the basics you need to know and guide you to all my fabulous pork tenderloin recipes. Let’s get started!
What Is Pork Tenderloin?
First of all, let’s make sure we’re talking about the same cut of meat. Pork tenderloin comes from the muscle that runs along the backbone of the pig. It is a lean cut that is occasionally labelled as a pork filet or pork tender. This is a boneless cut that is usually around one pound.
Pork tenderloin is a very different cut than pork loin which is a bigger cut that tends to be between 3 and 5 pounds. They cannot be substituted for each other in recipes.
However you choose to cook your tenderloin, you will first want to prepare it by cutting off the silver skin which can become tough with cooking. I also recommend brining your tenderloin for the best results. Get all the tips you need to prepare your pork tenderloin.
What’s The Safe Internal Temperature For Pork?
The old guidelines were to cook pork to an internal temperature of 160°F, but current food safety guidelines are to cook to 145°F and let rest at least 3 minutes. This gives you pork that is slightly pink in the middle, and very tender and juicy.
Some people prefer not to see any pink however and in that case, you can continue cooking until an instant read thermometer reads 160°F at the thickest point.
Note that for ground pork, safety guidelines are still to cook until 160°F.
How To Bake Pork Tenderloin
Let’s start with the basics. A juicy pork tenderloin that gets a quick brine and gets baked in the oven. You can brine for up to an hour, but even just 15 minutes will make a difference.
Then it bakes uncovered at 350°F for 20-27 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Let it rest 5 minutes, slice, and serve.
This is a classic and fairly basic way to cook tenderloin, but there are so many more options that it will never get boring. Master the basics and then experiment with different seasonings and sauces!
How to Grill Pork Tenderloin
Want to grill your tenderloin without it drying out? You’ll want to brine first for at least half an hour.
Grill the tenderloin over direct medium-high heat, flipping and moving around every few minutes to get good grill marks. Keep the grill lid closed in between. Check the temperature after 12-15 minutes and let it rest before slicing.
Using The Air Fryer Or Instant Pot
These small kitchen appliances have taken over kitchens the last few years, and I use mine all the time! They are handy for so many meals.
With the air fryer, pork tenderloin needs around 20 minutes at 400°F. The Instant Pot requires at least a cup of liquid, so we’ll use chicken broth which can be turned into flavorful pan sauce at the end.
With the Instant Pot, most of the cook time is actually coming to pressure and releasing. Your pork will still be cooked in under half an hour with this method.
Flavorful Pork Tenderloin Recipes
Now that we’re gone through all the basic cooking methods, let’s take a look at pork recipes that really bring the flavor. From getting covered in butter and herbs, to recipes with BBQ sauce or an Asian glaze. There’s something for everything!