How to Cook Pork Tenderloin Perfectly
When pork tenderloin is cooked just right, it’s so juicy, tender and full of flavor. Yet if you’re anything like I was (until I learned a few tricks), for one reason or another you can never get it to come out right. It’s so frustrating! It’s either too dry, too bland, too this or, too that. Well, the search for perfection is over! Time to let you in the on the secrets…
Secret #1— Don’t overcook it! The temptation arises when we see the faintest amount of pink on pork to continue cooking it. But remember, the tenderloin will continue to cook as it rests. Trust me on this.
Secret #2— Bring the tenderloin to room temperature before you cook it. This will help it to cook evenly and faster. If it is cold, you may have to cook it longer.
Secret #3— Don’t move it constantly when it’s on the grill. Most of grilling is not about us, it’s all about letting the grill do the work. Forgo the temptation to play with your pork. This way, you can even create beautiful grill marks on your tenderloin if you’d like… the hallmark of a true grill expert!
Secret #4— Let it rest. Once you remove your tenderloin from the grill, let it rest for at least 5 minutes and ideally up to 10 minutes. This allows the muscle fibers to reabsorb the juices and the protein fibers to relax, resulting in a more tender, tastier tenderloin.
…Now for the recipe!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Sage
This is a very basic recipe from which you can expand your pork tenderloin repertoire. Try substituting fresh rosemary in this recipe one day, and thyme another. Crushed garlic is also delicious. Eventually you might get really daring and graduate up to pork tenderloin stuffed with prosciutto and dried fruit with port wine! Wowza!
Total Time: 40 minutes
2 (2½-pound) pork tenderloins
2 tablespoons olive oil
Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
- Remove the pork tenderloins from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat (about 450°F).
- Season the tenderloins on all sides with salt, pepper and sage. Place the tenderloins on the grates and cover the grill.
- Grill the meat, turning every 4 to 5 minutes until tenderloins are cooked to your liking. Cook tenderloins for 20 minutes for a perfect medium, which leaves the center of the loins slightly pink at the center. If you’d like, you may also insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloins (it should register 140°F). The temperature will rise another 5°-10°F while the meat is resting.
- Transfer the tenderloins to a carving board and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice across the grain and at an angle to the cutting board. Serve.