Grilled Pork Tenderloin is a simple, delicious, and economical summer meal. It's tender, juicy and flavourful with just the right amount of char, and I love that this meal comes together in about 20 minutes.
About Pork Tenderloin
The pork tenderloin is a very tender and mild flavoured cut of meat. Like chicken, this lean cut of pork is a great vessel for all kinds of flavours, from sauces to rubs. Grilled pork tenderloin is an economical way to feed a crowd, too, because it usually comes in packages of two. You can always freeze one of them for later if you don't want to cook them both.
What's the Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin?
Pork loin and pork tenderloin are very different pieces of meat. Both are fairly lean, although a pork loin will have a cap of fat. A pork loin is a large cut of meat. You can cut a pork loin into steaks, or have a Sunday roast. It's delicious slow-roasted for pulled pork recipes and a great cut for the oven.
Pork Tenderloin, on the other hand, is a long, skinny cut of meat. Because of its shape, pork tenderloin cooks quickly, so it's ideal for grilling. And, in spite of its leanness, this cut of meat is very tender, as its name implies.
Grilling Pork Tenderloin
Besides being delicious, probably the best part about grilling a pork tenderloin is just how quick and easy this recipe is. I love the sweet and smoky crust from the marinade rub, and how juicy and tender the meat is.
After grilling, you can slice it into medallions, and serve as is. But It's also a perfect cut of meat for tacos or stir-fries.
Tenderloin Cooking Tips
Let the roast sit outside of the fridge for 15-20 minutes before cooking to ensure quicker and more evenly cooked meat.
In 2011, the US Department of Agriculture revised the recommended cooking temperature for pork. The recommended internal temperature is 145° with a three minute resting time. This means the meat may have a little pink, which is perfectly safe and much tastier than overcooked, dried out pork. Read about it here: A Little Pink is OK
Resting time is important for allowing the juices to distribute. If you slice it right off the grill, you will lose all the juices and the meat will be dry. Also, the meat completes its cooking time for those few minutes of rest.
What to Serve With Grilled Pork
We really like to toss together some coleslaw, like this Fennel Cabbage Slaw to serve with grilled pork. And one of my favourite sides for this tenderloin is Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad With Apples. If you're looking for a heartier side dish, try Potatoes Au Gratin or Miso Baked Sweet Potatoes. Also, try drizzling this grilled pork tenderloin, or any, grilled meats with this delicious and super simple Chimichurri Sauce. If you have some parsley in your garden, this sauce is a great use for it. But if you don't, it's worth buying some fresh parsley to make it.
And of course, you can never go wrong with that classic pork pairing, applesauce. I always have Easy Homemade Applesauce on hand, which is perfect for this roast.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp kosher or coarse salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 ½ lb pork tenderloin
- Heat grill to high and spray with cooking oil
- In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, red pepper, and olive oil to form a paste
- Rub spice and oil paste all over the tenderloin to coat.
- Grill tenderloin, turning with tongs until all sides are charred. About 2 minutes
- Reduce heat to medium, close the lid on the grill, and cook a further 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
- When a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin reads 145°, remove pork from grill and allow to rest 3 minutes
- Slice the tenderloin into medallions, and serve with chimichurri sauce or sauce of your choice.