Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by Melissa Reome
This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks. Rest assured all opinions are my own.
I love meals I can make quickly and easily that my family will love. This pork tenderloin with honey garlic vinaigrette is perfect for lunch or dinner and cooks up in no time. Some tend to shy away from pork because they overcook it and it becomes tough. This cut however is very forgiving and even if slightly overcooked, it will still be delicious. I will show you how to cook both on the grill or in the oven.
For this recipe I’m using pork tenderloin from Omaha Steaks. As its name suggests, the tenderloin is the most tender cut of pork available. Omaha Steaks Pork Tenderloin is premium, U.S.-raised pork that’s trimmed by master butchers into the perfect 9 oz. size.
Pork Tenderloin Versus Pork Loin
Pork loin roast is sometimes confused with tenderloin, but they are not the same. A pork loin roast is typically sold in pieces weighing 2-4 pounds. Pork loin is much wider in size compared to pork tenderloin. It can be sold either boneless or with the bone-in.
Pork tenderloin is a smaller, long cut that usually weighs about a pound. This cut comes from the long muscle that runs along the backbone of the pig. It is often sold as a single tenderloin or in a package of two tenderloins.
Nutrition Of Pork Tenderloin
Per the National Pork Board, Pork is naturally low in sodium and a “good” source of potassium — two nutrients that, together, can help regulate blood pressure.
Pork tenderloin meets the criteria for the American Heart Association Heart Checkmark, which means it contains less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams or less of saturated fat, and 480 milligrams or less of sodium per label serving. Every 3 oz. serving of pork tenderloin provides 22g of protein. Pork is also packed with protein, making it easy to include in a health-forward and balanced diet.
How Long Should You Cook Pork Tenderloin?
The most important thing to remember when cooking pork tenderloin is to not overcook it. The best way to assure this is by checking the temperature of the meat by using an instant read thermometer. How long it takes to cook depends on the method you are using, temperature you are cooking it at and how large the cut of meat is.
In general: If cooking at 450°F in a preheated oven or grill, pork tenderloin takes approximately 20 minutes to reach 145°F. Note: I prefer to remove the meat from the heat at 140°F then cover and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes. After the rest, the meat will be the perfect temperature.
Pork Tenderloin On Grill
Regardless of what type of grill you own, cooking a pork tenderloin is quite easy on the grill. In fact, grilling pork tenderloin gives it an extra level of flavor that is hard to replicate when cooking indoors. Clean your grill grates well and set your grill up for direct heat of 450°F. Rubbing a little oil on the grill grates will help the pork to not stick to the grill grates.
After you place the pork tenderloin on the grill grate, close the lid and allow it to cook. Turn the pork tenderloin occasionally and brown on all sides. Remove from the grill when the meat reaches 140°F when measured with an instant read thermometer. Then, cover the meat loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.
Pork Tenderloin Smoked
If you have a little extra time on your hands, smoked pork tenderloin is delicious! Clean and preheat your smoker for 225°F and place the pork tenderloin directly on the lightly oiled grill grate over indirect heat. It will take approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours to reach approximately 145°F.
Pork Tenderloin On Pellet Grill
Most pellet grills are by nature, cooking via indirect heat. Some newer models can reach searing temperatures which is beneficial when you desire to sear meat. The nice thing about a pellet grill is that you can either use it as “an oven” and cook the meat at 450°F or you can smoke it at 225°F with just the turn of a dial.
The choice is yours here. Cook low and slow at 225°F which will take approximately 2 1/2 – 3 hours to cook or cook at 450°F for approximately 20-25 minutes.
Pork Tenderloin On A Charcoal Grill
Set up your charcoal for indirect heat in order to smoke. For a kettle grill, bank the hot coals to one side of the grill and cook on the opposite side. For a kamado style grill, use a heat deflector or plate setter to create indirect heat.
Best Way To Cook Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin can be cooked a variety of different ways. It can be baked, grilled, smoked, stir-fried, sauteéd or cooked in various other ways in a wide variety of recipes. What is the best way to cook pork tenderloin though? To me, that is subjective.
New York winters aren’t always ideal for grilling outside. In that case, I love baking pork tenderloin in the oven. If it is nice outside, grilling is hands down my favorite way to cook pork tenderloin. The flavor grilling over charcoal gives the meat is simply divine.
Temperature For Cooking Pork Tenderloin
Roasting in an oven: 450°F
Grilling, indirect heat 450°F
How Long To Bake A Pork Tenderloin
It truly doesn’t get any easier than baking a pork tenderloin. Preheat your oven to 450°F and place the roast on a small lightly oiled sheet pan or another oven safe pan. How long you bake a pork tenderloin will vary if you are cooking at an alternate temperature or not. Baking the meat at 450°F yields great results and your meat is ready in usually 20-25 minutes.
Remove the pork from the oven at 140°F, tent loosely with aluminum foil and rest for 5 minutes prior to slicing for perfect pork. For easy clean up, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil prior to baking. Pork should be slightly pink when it is cooked to the appropriate 145°F.
Make Some Side Dishes At The Same Time
I love to toss some small potatoes or broccoli in a bit of olive oil and roast them at the same time as the pork. Just some salt and pepper to taste on the vegetables is perfect. If you love some extra flavor, try topping roasted broccoli with grated parmesan cheese after it is finished cooking. Remove both the broccoli and/or potatoes when fork tender.
Carrots and cauliflower roast up really well at 450°F as well. I love to make a lot of extra meat and vegetables because it is perfect to box up for lunch the next day at work.
The recipe is quite straightforward. Season and roast or grill the meat and make the accompanying vinaigrette. The sweet and savory vinaigrette is such a complement to pork. If you’ve ever had beef with chimichurri, you know how much the acid and flavor in the chimichurri complements the beef. The concept is similar here, but with some added sweetness from the honey.
Pork Tenderloin With Honey Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1 whole pork tenderloin or two 8 oz portions
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp italian seasoning blend
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, fresh ground
- 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt to taste
Honey Garlic Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp garlic paste, fresh
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh
- 4 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch red chili flakes optional
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning if unavailable may substitute dried oregano
- Preheat oven or grill 450°F.
- Defrost pork tenderloin if necessary and trim off any excess fat or silver skin from the meat.
- Lightly coat the entire surface of the meat with olive oil.
- Sprinkle Italian seasoning blend and black pepper evenly over entire surface of meat. If your Italian seasoning blend does not contain salt, season roasts with salt as well.
- If cooking in the oven, place meat on a small sheet pan or oven safe pan and roast until internal temperature is 140-145°F. Remove meat from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes prior to serving. Serve with honey garlic vinaigrette drizzled over the meat.
Make Honey Garlic Vinaigrette
- Mix honey, garlic paste, lemon juice, garlic paste, Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.