Learning how to cook pork tenderloin is a skill. As a wider cut of meat, you'll find that learning how to cook pork tenderloin opens your dinner options. You can have pork tenderloin by itself, season it with different spices, or enjoy it with other tasty dishes.
Pork tenderloin first originated in Indiana and exploded as a household dinner. One of the reasons it's such a popular meal throughout the years, especially today, is that it's affordable. The pork tenderloin cut from a pig is much cheaper than a filet mignon cut from a cow. Additionally, the diet given to pigs is much less expensive than those given to cows.
This guide explores everything you need to know about pork tenderloin. We walk you through how to find the perfect cut of pork tenderloin at the grocery store and butcher shop. We also walk you through the common mistakes people make when cooking this meat.
How to Find the Perfect Pork Tenderloin
There's never a shortage of pork tenderloin at grocery stores or butcher shops. However, just because there's abundance doesn't mean you should buy the first one you see. You need to know what to look for before you buy a pork tenderloin.
Here are a few ways to spot the perfect pork tenderloin before purchasing one:
- Marbling on the meat.
- Look for fat.
- Avoid pork tenderloin with slime (signs that it could be spoiled).
Seasoning The Pork Tenderloin
Seasoning your pork tenderloin is what gives your meat the flavor it needs. You also want to ensure it sits at room temperature for one hour before cooking. You can season it and then let it sit at room temperature for one hour.
Here's one of the best seasoning rubs to use for pork tenderloin:
- 3 teaspoons of chili powder
- 4 teaspoons of brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ½ tablespoon of dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
While this is just one seasoning recipe, you can choose from others that you may find sweeter or more savory. You may also like your pork tenderloin without any seasoning or sauce. Experimenting with different herbs can also give you more idea of what you want.
Two Different Ways: Oven and Grill
The first step when cooking pork tenderloin is to sear it in a pan, preferably in a skillet, until golden brown.
After this is complete, you'll want to put the pork tenderloin in a dish and add a cup of beef stock over the pork tenderloin. You should also add some apple cider vinegar to give it more flavor.
Before putting it in the oven, ensure it is preheated to 400 degrees. When the oven is ready, bake for 20 to 25 minutes. If you're using the grill, you can also have it set at 400 degrees and cook it for 15-20 minutes because it may cook faster.
You'll know when your pork tenderloin is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. This is when you pull it out and let it rest.
The Resting Period and Basting
After your pork tenderloin is ready, rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. While letting it rest, you should baste it with different sauces.
You can create your basting sauce or pour apple cider vinegar over the pork. The baste gives it a sweet glaze that helps tenderize the meat.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
One of the most common mistakes when cooking pork tenderloin is letting it dry out. This could be for a few reasons. One of them is that you cooked it too long in the oven, exceeding the internal temperature of 145 degrees. To prevent this, you should consider pulling out the meat at 140 degrees or 142 degrees because it will continue to cook for a few minutes longer after it's out of the oven.
Another common mistake is overseasoning your pork tenderloin. You want to avoid oversalting your pork tenderloin because it could make it too much to eat.
How to Cook Pork Tenderloin: The Steps to Take
Learning how to cook pork tenderloin gives you new dinner options. The best part is that you can choose different seasonings and sauces to give your pork tenderloin a different flavor.
While cooking a pork tenderloin may seem complicated, this guide shows you practical steps to make it perfectly. Whether you cook it in the oven or on the grill, you'll better know the best pork tenderloin for your next dinner.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com.