How to Cook Pork Tenderloin
How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin/FiletBefore cooking, you should understand what a pork tenderloin is and it charateristics:
- 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!
- 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.
- Most pork tenderloins you buy will have what’s called the sliver skin attached to it. The skin is a piece of tendon, or some other un-desirable connective tissue. It doesn’t break down when cooked, and it’s best to slice it over before cooking.
- To Brine or not to brine. I love brining pork chops and pork loin, but when it comes to tenderloins, I don’t think it’s worth the effort. The tenderloin is already so tender…I mean it’s in the name; all you need to do it make sure you don’t over cook it, and you’ll end up with a great piece of meat.
- But what you do need to do, regardless of how you’re going to cook the pork tenderloin is season it. Simple salt and pepper liberally spread on all sides works great - and if you want to keep it that easy, go for it. You call also add all kinds of rubs and spices - just be careful so some may burn, depending on your cooking methods.
THE MOST COMMON WAYS TO COOK PORK TENDERLOINThere’s more than one way to skin a cat, and there more than one way to cook a pork tenderloin. In this video, I show you how to pan roast the whole tenderloin, as that is one my favorite methods, it tastes great, and you don’t need any special equipment. However, you should give some of the other cooking methods that I list below a try, as you may find you prefer another way.
PORK TENDERLOIN - PAN ROASTED IN THE OVEN - THE MOST COMMON METHOD
- 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.
Once you've got a handle on pork tenderloin, make sure to give pork chops a try. And start right here, with my 10 Steps for the Perfect Pork Chop!