What Is Grilled Pork Tenderloin?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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Grilled pork tenderloin is a cut of pork cooked over a grill or barbecue. The meat comes from the central portion of the pig, on the top half of the animal, above the belly. Most chefs add seasonings to grilled pork tenderloin before cooking the meat, commonly using salt, pepper and garlic powder. The tenderloin can also be marinated prior to cooking to infuse flavor into the meat and to make the resulting dish juicier. Cooking times vary depending on the size of the cut, but the tenderloin usually needs to be cooked for between 15 and 45 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 Celsius).

The tenderloin cut of the pig is used to make grilled pork tenderloin. This cut comes from the middle portion of the pig, between the front and back legs, towards the top of the animal. The central cut from a pig contains the ribs, the rib eye cut and the tenderloin muscle. Tenderloins from pork are found opposite the rib eye muscles, separated by a T-shaped bone. Most chefs decide to roast the tenderloin, as opposed to grilling it.


To make grilled pork tenderloin, chefs place the tenderloin cut over a grill and cook it for between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on the size of the cut. The meat is placed on top of a metallic grill, which uses indirect heat for cooking. The internal temperature of grilled pork tenderloin should be around 140 degrees Fahrenheit when it is ready to serve. Chefs can use a meat thermometer to take a precise reading from the center of the meat.

Most chefs add seasoning to the uncooked tenderloin when making grilled pork tenderloin. Common seasonings include salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Some chefs use additional seasonings or sauces to further enhance the flavor. Barbecue sauce, for example, is sometimes added while the tenderloin is cooking to create a glaze on the outside of the meat.

Marinades are another method of infusing flavor into grilled pork tenderloin. The meat is left in a sauce for between 6 and 24 hours before cooking, and during that time it soaks up the flavor of the sauce. Acidic ingredients are often included in marinades because they break down muscle fiber and make the meat tender. Common ingredients in a marinade for pork tenderloin include lime juice, lime zest, honey, and garlic powder.


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