How long does it take to cook pork tenderloin? Pork tenderloin is a great protein because it’s easy to prepare; cooks in under half an hour; and works well with a variety of sauces. Since the cooking time depends on the thickness of your tenderloin, it can be really hard to know when you’re done. But not with this recipe—it’ll work no matter how thick your pork gets. Just follow the steps below and you’ll have perfectly-cooked pork in just about 20 minutes.
How Long Does It Really Take To Cook Pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin takes anywhere between 25 to 30 minutes to cook in an oven preheated to 375 degrees F; after the pork has been brushed with additional marinade. The pork is not fully cooked until the temperature reaches 145 degrees; so the cooking time is dependent on how well-done you like your pork. When you cook at high temperatures, the tenderloin will cook promptly and remain juicy. Because the desert required for roasting pork tenderloin (a flavorful spice mixture made from herbs, vegetables, and seasonings) helps keep all of the moisture within the meat.
How To Cook Pork Tenderloin – what do you need?
- One pork tenderloin, about 1 to 1-1/2 pounds (450g – 680g) – 1 pound is about the size of a brick. It’s one of the most tender cuts of pork and also very lean; so it’s best to cook it medium-rare or medium to retain its juiciness.
- Vegetable oil and salt and pepper for seasoning the meat: You can use canola oil, olive oil, or peanut oil. Do not use butter. Do not use bacon fat or lard either (sorry!). The same goes for avocado oil and coconut oil; sesame oil is fine though! Beef tallow isn’t recommended either—it will give the tenderloin a strong beef flavor that may overpower the pork flavor you’re going for. Duck fat won’t work either; since duck is so rich in its own right, adding extra fat would be counterproductive. You also don’t want to use chicken fat because it’s very high in cholesterol—and we want our meat as lean as possible!
- An instant-read thermometer for measuring internal temperature (If you don’t have a meat thermometer and want to see if your pork is done without one, look for an internal temperature between 145°F (64°C) and 160°F (71°C)).
Steps Involved In Cooking Pork Tenderloin
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Preheat the oven to 375°. If your oven doesn’t go that high, preheat it to the highest temperature possible for your model. You want the oven hot enough to sear the pork and seal in juices, but not so hot that it dries out or chars the meat before you can get it into a pan or on top of coals. If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill (and who doesn’t?), you can also cook this recipe indoors on an unoiled cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until seared.
- Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
Salt and pepper the tenderloin on all sides, rolling it in your hands so the tenderloin is coated with oil and salt and pepper. If your pork tenderloin is already seasoned, you can skip this step. Place a piece of parchment paper over a roasting pan or cookie sheet large enough to hold the meat without overlapping edges, then set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together 5 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch until dissolved; set aside (this will create an extra-crispy crust).
- Cook for 30 minutes per pounds
Cook for approximately 30 minutes per pound (for a 5-pound tenderloin) or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork reads 140°. If your pork tenderloin is thicker than 1½ inches at its thickest, add a few minutes more to the cooking time. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick rounds. Season with salt and pepper before serving immediately.
And that’s it! Now, if you want to get fancy, you can make a sauce out of the drippings in the pan—just keep in mind that this makes it a lot bit complicated.