Find out the best way to cook a pork tenderloin, and two simple things that make this the best Pork Tenderloin recipe EVER! It’s packed with flavor, always tender, and never comes out dry!
SECRETS FOR THE BEST PORK TENDERLOIN RECIPE
Pork tenderloin is a go-to staple in many American households, and my childhood home was no exception. However, all those childhood memories of Pork Tenderloin were precisely the reason it wasnt served in my home as an adult…until now, that is.
It wasn’t until I discovered two simple things that took Pork Tenderloin from lackluster and semi-dry to the savory delicacy it should have always been, and put it back on the dinnertime rotation, right where it belonged. This, my friends, is the best Pork Tenderloin recipe. Like, ever. And, it’s way easier than you think.
Before we get into how to make the best Pork Tenderloin, let’s talk about what makes it not the best. First of all — dry pork. Nobody wants to chew their meat for extended periods of time, and they certainly don’t want to have to struggle to get it down the pipes.
The problem is, pork is extremely easy to overcook, and it’s the reason why (in the past) I’ve gone with a larger, thicker cut of pork come dinnertime — the pork loin. I had always found Roasted Pork Loin to be a much more forgiving cut and more flavorful than the tenderloin. This is because a smaller cut of meat will overcook quicker than a larger cut. As it turns out, a little brine was all that Pork Tenderloin needed.
THE BRINE IS THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Don’t go running for the hills at the word “brine.” This one is easy — like, beyond easy — and comes together in less than 5 minutes. I experimented with this recipe two ways: once with a marinade and once with a brine. The mustard marinade version was well-received by guests and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy it, but even so, it couldn’t hold a candle to the brined version.
The brined pork tenderloin was the definition of succulent. Not only did the brine keep the tenderloin perfectly juicy, moist, and tender on the inside, it added more flavor.
USE A FLAVORFUL MUSTARD RUB
Mustard and pork perfectly complement one another, and this was the base for our rub. In addition to the mustard, big flavor like rosemary, as well as a few standard spices made for the perfect combination to take your standard Pork Tenderloin recipe from good to the absolute best Pork Tenderloin recipe.
COOKING PORK TENDERLOIN IN THE OVEN
So far, we’ve talked about the best way to add more flavor to pork tenderloin and the best way to keep it from drying out, but that’s only half the battle. Lucky for us, these are all easy wins. The best way to cook pork tenderloin is to simply roast it in the oven.
THE BEST WAY TO COOK PORK TENDERLOIN
Roasting means you’ll be cooking at a high temperature and air has the ability to circulate around the item at hand, which is the purpose of a roasting rack. Allowing hot air to circulate all around a cut of meat promotes even cooking.
If you do not have a roasting rack, there are different kinds of ways to ensure air is still circulating around your pork tenderloin. Use an oven-safe cookie or cooling rack, or make a large ring out of aluminum foil, if you don’t have one.
It’s also important to note here that because most pork tenderloins come two to a pack, we’ll be cooking both at the same time. Make sure you place them far enough apart so that air can circulate between each tenderloin.
COOK TIME AND TEMPATURE FOR PORK TENDERLOIN
You’re pork tenderloin will be perfectly cooked at 400° in just 35-40 minutes. USDA regulations say pork tenderloin is fully cooked at 145° and is safe to eat at this temperature. However, I pull my pork tenderloin from the oven closer to 140° as it will continue to cook a bit as it sits on the counter to cool.
Once you pull these beauties out of the oven, you’ll find the smell alone is to die for, but trust me, the taste is even better.
I served this tenderloin to a crowd and there was unanimous approval all across the board. Little did they know, it only took a few simple steps to get a flavor that’s absolutely out of this world. I think it’s safe to say this Pork tenderloin has earned it’s spot back into the dinnertime rotation. Please, enjoy.
MORE PORK RECIPES TO TRY
- BBQ Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker requires only a simple amount of prep, and incredile flavor. Serve on a bun with coleslaw and pickles for a weeknight dinner, or on top of a Pulled Pork Salad for a healthier dinner option.
- Cripsy Baked Pork Chops with Panko Breading always bake up tender and never dry. They’re a classic dinnertime option the entire the whole family will love!
- For a real weeknight treat, try thick, Smothered Bone-In Pork Chops with Apples, Brie, and Bacon. Yes, juicy pork chops smothered in brie and sweet sautéed apples, only to be finished off with cripsy pan-seared bacon. Food just doesn’t get a whole lot tastier than that.
Pork Tenderloin with a quick and easy mustard rub and a simple brine to ensure perfectly cooked, juicy pork every single time!
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup Kosher salt
- 3 cups hot water
- 6 cups cold water
- 2 1/2 pound pork tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil or avocado oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspooon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons freshly minced rosemary
Add granulated sugar and kosher salt to a very large mixing bowl, large pot. Add hot water and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the cold water, and stir. Once the water is either at room temperature or cold, add the pork tenderloins (do not add pork to warm or hot water). Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400° and have ready a rimmed baking sheet fitted with an oven-safe rack. If you do not have a rack, line baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.
Remove the tenderloins from the brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, canola oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder and rosemary. Rub evenly across each tenderloin.
Place tenderloins on the rack, leaving ample room between for air to circulate. Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.