Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite things to cook.  It is tremendously versatile, works great with all kinds of other ingredients, and is one of the leaner healthier meats available.  That said, to fully appreciate it, it needs to be cooked well, and there are some specific do’s and don’ts that will ensure insure a tasty, tender, and moist pork tenderloin.  Below, and in the video, I explain how to cook a pork tenderloin, and I think you may be surprise with how simple and quick it is.  Hope you find this cooking technique helpful, and enjoy you pork tenderloin!

How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin

Before cooking, you should understand a few things about pork tenderloins:

  • The cut itself is the equivalent of the Filet Mignon.  That means the meat is naturally very lean and very tender.  Because it is so lean as it cooks, it will become increasingly dry, and there is no such thing as a well-done, moist pork tenderloin.  If you want it cooked to well done, you’re going to eat it dry
  • Because I the pork is so lean, and you want to eat it cooked to medium, you don’t want to cook it for a long time.  Tenderloin, is not like pork shoulder that you cook for hours.  So plan on 15 – 20 minutes max!
  • Finally the flavor of pork tenderloin is pretty mild.  Which why a good sear on the outside is important.  It will add a ton of flavor, and it’s easy to do.  So start the tenderloin on top of the stove in a good hot pan.


  • If the tenderloin as a sliver skin, remove it
  • Allow the pork tenderloin to come up to room temperature and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper, and bring a large frying up to high temperature on the stove top
  • Coat the pan with olive oil, and lay the tenderloin down in the pan
  • Allow it to sear on that side for 2 – 3 minutes or until browned, without moving or touching the pork
  • Turn the pork 180 degrees to sear on the other side, again until browned and again not touching the meat much
  • Rotate the pork again, to sear the other two sides, following the same techniques
  • Move the whole pork tenderloin into the oven, and allow it to roast until you read an internal temp of 140.  That should take between 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pork from the oven, and place it on a cutting board to rest for 5 – 6 minutes
  • Now you can slice into it, and you’ll find the center, perfectly cooked, just slightly pink, and full of the natural juices.

Wine Recommendation:

Pork tenderloin goes well with many different wines, and it’s tough to go wrong.  My favorite, but a long shot however, it pinot noir.  Depending on what you’re making the pork with, you can vary the type of pinots, but generally you’ll find a good amount of acid, and not too much tannin.  Best of all, pinot generally have light fruit notes, like cherry, that are a natural pair with pork.

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