Whether you’re grilling outdoors on the grill or in the roasting oven, there’s nothing quite as flavorful as a grilled pork tenderloin. But if you’re new to cooking this particular cut of pork, you may have a few questions: How long does pork tenderloin roast per pound? What grilling techniques should I know? What will I flavor the pork with? We’ll address each of these questions and provide you with interesting tips to help you make the perfect pork tenderloin dinner for your family.
Cooking time: the short answer
The complete answer to cook time is a bit more complicated than simply telling you a number of times per pound and a temperature to cook this cut of pork and expecting it to be perfectly done when the time is up. However, if you were given a fairly accurate short answer about how long a pork tenderloin should cook, it would be this: about 22 minutes per pound at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Please understand that cooking a pork tenderloin is more than just preheating a grill or oven to a certain temperature, set the timer and expect great results. Allow for an explanation that gives you a little more information before you rush out and put the meat on the grill.
The Complete Grilling Procedure
The first thing to do, whether you’re cooking on the outdoor grill or in the roasting oven, is to sear each side of the pork tenderloin over high heat. Browning it will help lock in moisture so you end up with a very tender and juicy cut of pork. Cook pork tenderloin over direct high heat for about two (2) to three (3) minutes on each side of pork tenderloin. Brown the lean side first, then the fat side. When flipping any meat, do not use a fork as it will pierce the charred surfaces of the meat and allow moisture to easily escape. To preserve moisture, always use a pair of straps to turn meat.
— In the grill:
I am among many Americans who love the taste of food cooked on the outdoor grill. And what better meat to cook on the grill than a pork tenderloin? Most people don’t think of cooking a “pork roast” on the grill, and technically a pork tenderloin is a pork roast. But because of its narrow thickness, it is the ideal “pork roast” for grilling.
When grilling, there are common processes to follow regardless of what type of grill you have.
1. Preheat grill for browning.
2. When cooking on an outdoor grill, turn the meat frequently to simulate a rotisserie. A pork tenderloin should be turned every few minutes so that it cooks evenly and retains its moisture.
3. To preserve moisture, always use strips instead of a fork to turn meat.
4. To brown the meat, it is necessary to expose it to direct high heat for two (2) to three (3) minutes on each side.
5. Pieces of meat, such as pork tenderloin, which are larger than chops or steaks, should be cooked over low, indirect heat to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If your grill has lid vents, cook pork with the vents open.
6. A meat thermometer should be used to make sure the pork tenderloin is between 160 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit at each end and in the middle. For pork, 160 degrees Fahrenheit is average and 170 degrees Fahrenheit is just fine. Below 160 degrees Fahrenheit, you risk food poisoning or worm infection. It’s best to check the temperature 10-15 minutes before the end time so you can make adjustments to the cooking time.
Once the pork has browned on both sides, follow these instructions for various types of grills…
• Charcoal grill: Separate the charcoal into two (2) piles on each side of the grill to allow the pork tenderloin to fit between them.
• Gas Grill – Two Elements: Place a piece of foil in the middle between the two items and place the pork tenderloin on the foil. Cook over low heat.
• Gas Grill – Three or More Elements: Turn off the inner items and allow just the two outer items to simmer. Place the pork halfway between the operating elements.
— In the roasting oven:
In the cold winter weather, you may not want to grill outside. When using an oven for broiling, you should follow procedures similar to those for an outdoor grill. Always use strips instead of a fork to turn meat. And a meat thermometer should be used to make sure the pork tenderloin is between 160 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit on each end and in the middle. For pork, 160 degrees Fahrenheit is average and 170 degrees Fahrenheit is just fine. Below 160 degrees Fahrenheit, you risk food poisoning or worm infection. It’s best to check the temperature 10-15 minutes before the end time so you can make adjustments to the cooking time.
1. Preheat broiler and broiler pan for 15 minutes. If your broiler has multiple heat settings, then set it to high broil.
2. Place pork tenderloin on roasting pan fat side up to brown for three (3) minutes.
3. Turn pork fat side down to brown for an additional three (3) minutes.
4. Turn off the grill and turn on the oven. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the roasting pan, fat side down, for the remainder of the time.
5. Be sure to check the internal temperature with the meat thermometer on both ends and in the middle about 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time to prevent overcooking.
— Rotisserie Oven:
Interestingly, pork tenderloin will come out more tender and juicy when cooked on a rotisserie than on the outdoor grill or broiler oven. A meat thermometer should still be used to make sure the pork tenderloin is between 160 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit on each end and in the middle. For pork, 160 degrees Fahrenheit is average and 170 degrees Fahrenheit is just fine. Below 160 degrees Fahrenheit, you risk food poisoning or worm infection. It’s best to check the temperature 10-15 minutes before the end time so you can make adjustments to the cooking time.
Because the rotisserie cooks meat faster than the outdoor grill or broiler oven, you may need to reduce the cooking time to about 18 to 20 minutes per pound. Using a meat thermometer is still recommended. However, because the rotisserie automatically sears all sides of the meat, it is not necessary to brown the pork.
let it rest
For a juicier and more tender pork tenderloin, when the pork tenderloin has finished cooking let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
A pork tenderloin can be marinated in your favorite flavor marinade in the refrigerator overnight. You are likely to find pickles in any supermarket. If you marinate in the refrigerator overnight, you will need to pierce the meat several times to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat. Follow the directions on the package of marinades.
Many cooks prefer to use a dry seasoning. Seasoning pork tenderloin is as easy as generously coating it with seasonal salt, garlic powder, and pepper, then rubbing the seasoning into the meat. You can also place the seasoned meat in a plastic bag and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
There are also marinade injection methods that do NOT require overnight marinating. In addition to injection marinating, there are also methods of injecting solid objects such as minced garlic, minced onion, or minced pineapple.
If you prefer a sweeter pork, you can inject applesauce or apple butter (or even pineapple puree) into the pork tenderloin meat. Or you can make a slit in the middle of the pork and insert the applesauce or apple butter (or pineapple) and tie the pork with string each (1) or two (2) inches depending on how you will be cutting the pork when it is finished cooking.
In this article we have discussed the answers to questions like: How long does pork tenderloin roast per pound? What grilling techniques should I know? How will I flavor the meat? Grilled correctly, a pork tenderloin with all the trimmings will be a wonderful and delicious meal that your family will love.