Thread Tools
Old 11-09-2013, 08:57 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,211
Secret for getting a tender juicy pork tenderloin?

I'm flummoxed when it comes to pork tenderloin, evidently. I'm mastered seafood and fish, chicken and beef. I think the secret to a great protein is juuuuuuust cooking it enough, and it's a fine line.

But boy am I good at making a perfectly decent pork tenderloin tough and stringy.

Should I brown it first? I've gone the "broil" it route to give it color, then bake. I'm baking uncovered, and in a convection oven. Should I just bake regular, sans convection? Is that drying it out?

I've done this at least half a dozen times. I wouldn't say the meal is inedible but the poor boy makes this face that reads "I don't understand how you can make a perfectly medium rare ribeye, pulled pork to die for and roast chicken that makes me swoon....yet this tastes so average".

HALP.

Last edited by lindsaybluth; 11-09-2013 at 08:58 AM. Reason: swwon to swoon
Old 11-09-2013, 09:09 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,099
It's a tricky cut of meat - very lean, very small.

I suspect you're simply cooking it too long - it cooks amazingly fast. Do you have a meat thermometer? That'll help.

Here's more or less what I do, for a simple pork tenderloin. Spice it up as you see fit:

1 - If it's oddly-shaped, cut off the tips and/or truss it so it's more or less even all the way down. Put salt and pepper and whatever other spices/herbs you want on it.

2 - Dry it off well, brown it on all sides in a skillet with a little oil.

3 - Put it on a rack in a baking dish, roast at 375 for maybe 15-20 minutes. You're looking for about 140 degrees in the thickest part. I do convection for this step. Actually, I do convection for everything. It doesn't dry anything out.

4 - take it out, let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Probably the easiest way to make yummy pork, however, is to ditch the tenderloins and just roast a nice pork shoulder. WAY better IMO.

Last edited by Athena; 11-09-2013 at 09:09 AM.
Old 11-09-2013, 09:09 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Surefall Glade, Antonica
Posts: 18,792
I grill em, or pan fry them coasted in bread crumbs. Easy peasy.

Oops....on re-reading, looks like you may be talking about the long, uncut chunk of meat. I usually cook that after it has been cut into chops.

Last edited by Oakminster; 11-09-2013 at 09:11 AM.
Old 11-09-2013, 09:40 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 42,049
I definitely agree with the meat thermometer for both pork tenderloin and pork loin. I like it in the same general ballpark as Athena, maybe 5 degrees higher. But if you get into the 160s, you're asking for trouble in terms of texture.

Otherwise, I just brown and cook it uncovered in the oven, although I do it with a bit lower heat (like 325), and let it come to my target of about 145.

However, there's still a lot of people I know who can't stand pink in their pork. For those people, I brine the sucker and cook it "well done."
Old 11-09-2013, 09:44 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 21,390
I mix Caribbean Jerk seasoning in with vegetable oil and marinade the tenderloin. I grill it (them; usually 2 in the pkgs i buy) on indirect heat (turn off the middle burner, basically) and rotate it every couple of minutes for 10-12 min, until is done on the outside but still quite rare in the middle. Take off and rest, covered, for ~10 min. Always gotten very positive reviews.

Couldn't be easier - heck, I make it for the family on school nights. A package of Goya Cuban black beans and rice, some wilted spinach - 30 min from start to finish.
Old 11-09-2013, 11:36 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,902
Brine and cook to internal temp of ~140.
Old 11-09-2013, 11:39 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
Slathering it in brown mustard and wrapping it in bacon doesn't hurt.
Old 11-09-2013, 12:16 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Away for a while
Posts: 6,166
I usually bring the meat to RT first, start it in an oven pre-heated to 500 for one minute, and then put a pan of water in the oven when I turn the heat down.

By coincidence, I'm making one this afternoon. I'll try pan-searing it as described below and let you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
It's a tricky cut of meat - very lean, very small.

I suspect you're simply cooking it too long - it cooks amazingly fast. Do you have a meat thermometer? That'll help.

Here's more or less what I do, for a simple pork tenderloin. Spice it up as you see fit:

1 - If it's oddly-shaped, cut off the tips and/or truss it so it's more or less even all the way down. Put salt and pepper and whatever other spices/herbs you want on it.

2 - Dry it off well, brown it on all sides in a skillet with a little oil.

3 - Put it on a rack in a baking dish, roast at 375 for maybe 15-20 minutes. You're looking for about 140 degrees in the thickest part. I do convection for this step. Actually, I do convection for everything. It doesn't dry anything out.

4 - take it out, let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Probably the easiest way to make yummy pork, however, is to ditch the tenderloins and just roast a nice pork shoulder. WAY better IMO.
Old 11-09-2013, 01:20 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 10,364
I like the grill method myself.
Turn the grill up to high, but not super high. Once it's nice and hot, with the grill open the whole time, put it on for 3 minutes, then turn to the opposite side for three more. Then 90 degrees for 3 more, and the remaining side for 3. If the center isn't to temp, turn off one grill burner and turn the other down to medium.
Move the meat to the unlit side, close the lid until the center comes to temp(if things have worked should be only a couple more minutes max).

If it looks like a smaller tenderloin, change to 2.5 per side.
Old 11-09-2013, 01:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: On the Fence
Posts: 5,253
Internal temp is the key as stated above. Overcooking = dry. I like to pull at around 140 degrees and let the carryover take it to around 145-150 degrees. Pork doesn't have to be well done anymore. A little tiny hint of pink is fantastic.
Old 11-09-2013, 01:45 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Keystone State
Posts: 1,707
The above posters are correct that you simply must not overcook. The problems are that pork today is very lean, and the tenderloin and loin are both very lean cuts. People want - or think they want - lean meat, but it's very hard to cook it through and have it juicy.

For people who want no trace of pink in their pork - and my wife is one of them, no matter how many times we've watched cooking shows where the chefs explain that you no longer have to cook pork until well done - it's just about impossible to cook pork loin. Tenderloin is a tad easier, but still difficult.
Old 11-09-2013, 01:51 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Boston Metro
Posts: 4,288
When grilling we always use the 7-6-5 method. Described here.


When cooking indoors, I brown the meat on all sides, then add a little white wine to the pan and pop it in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. Remove and rest for 5 minutes.

In both cases I let the meat come to room temp before cooking.

All else is flexible - brine vs rub vs saucing after.
Old 11-09-2013, 02:28 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 7,130
I've recently found that my meat tends to come out a lot better with the reverse sear technique. Roast the tenderloin over low heat (~200 - 250F oven) until it hits about 130 or so, take it out to rest for 10 minutes and then either sear in a skillet or back in a 500F oven for 5 minutes.

Searing raw meat takes a long time because you first have to evaporate all the water before you can start browning. Searing already cooked meat goes a lot faster and you get more even browning. Because you sear faster, you only get a tiny band of overcooked meat and the rest of the meat is wonderfully even due to the low heat cooking.
Old 11-09-2013, 03:22 PM
Suspended
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 18,476
Irradiate with Cobalt 60 (use about 100 K rads). that'll kill all the bugs-you can eat pork sushi!
Old 11-09-2013, 07:24 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 42,049
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
Irradiate with Cobalt 60 (use about 100 K rads). that'll kill all the bugs-you can eat pork sushi!
You're actually most likely fine eating pork raw, if you like it that way. Trichonosis is pretty much unknown in the US these days, and I've eaten raw pork several times myself, either in the form of mett (basically, a pork version of beefsteak tartare) or just tasting the spice mix while making sausage.

I haven't gotten brave enough with poultry, though, and, from my reading, it's probably best I don't get too comfortable with raw meat to extend it to poultry. At least not here.
Old 11-09-2013, 07:25 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 42,049
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
I've recently found that my meat tends to come out a lot better with the reverse sear technique. Roast the tenderloin over low heat (~200 - 250F oven) until it hits about 130 or so, take it out to rest for 10 minutes and then either sear in a skillet or back in a 500F oven for 5 minutes.

Searing raw meat takes a long time because you first have to evaporate all the water before you can start browning. Searing already cooked meat goes a lot faster and you get more even browning. Because you sear faster, you only get a tiny band of overcooked meat and the rest of the meat is wonderfully even due to the low heat cooking.
You know, I'm a big fan of the reverse sear, but for some reason, it didn't occur to me to do it with pork. Of course, that would work perfectly.
Old 11-09-2013, 10:36 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,322
We cut them into strips and boil them into a soup for breakfast.
Old 11-09-2013, 11:37 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Hattusas
Posts: 689
The only time I've ever tried cooking pork tenderloin, it was a tender, juicy, flavorful victory! The two things that likely contributed to its success were (1) I stuffed it with a combination of sauteed onions and peppers and chorizo, which would have helped counteract the tenderloin's natural leanness, and (2) I wrapped it tightly in several layers of foil before baking, which helped prevent moisture loss.

If you want the recipe, it's in this cookbook.

Good luck!
Old 11-10-2013, 08:17 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Probably the easiest way to make yummy pork, however, is to ditch the tenderloins and just roast a nice pork shoulder. WAY better IMO.
I do love me some pork shoulder I have made pulled pork about ten different ways in the last year but the best and most flavorful ends up being with a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a can of Whole Foods 365 Dr. Pepper and some brown sugar. I believe I got it from the Pioneer Woman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
However, there's still a lot of people I know who can't stand pink in their pork. For those people, I brine the sucker and cook it "well done."
*timidly raises hand* I've always liked a medium rare steak and as I age, I like it closer to the rare end. But pink pork does not make my mouth happy.

What would I do to brine it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by j666 View Post
I usually bring the meat to RT first
Also another glaring error of mine. I ALWAYS bring a (beef) steak to room temperature. Why it never occurred to me to do so with pork is unclear.
Old 11-11-2013, 04:14 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 42,049
Sorry. I never got to this. Assuming you're just getting an unbrined pork tenderloin (some commercial products already "juice up" their meat with an "up to X% solution," which is essentially a brine), there's a bunch of different ways to do it. Basically, it's just salt and water and then maybe sugar and spices. There's a decent recipe here.

His ratio works out to 2 TB of salt per cup of water. You can add an equal amount of brown sugar if you wish, plus any spices you feel like. At this salinity, I recommend brining no longer than 4 hours, as mentioned in the recipe. I find for something as small and thin as a tenderloin, even just 2 hours works fine. If I wanted to do it overnight, I'd halve the amount of salt.
Old 11-20-2013, 10:31 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,211
So I 1) trussed and cut off ends 2) let it sit at room temperature for half an hour and 3) taken it out early and let it sit in foil to continue cooking a bit longer.

It was markedly better but still not "good". I don't think I like the cut to begin with Thanks all for helping. Back to shoulder for me!
Old 11-20-2013, 11:10 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,099
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsaybluth View Post
It was markedly better but still not "good". I don't think I like the cut to begin with Thanks all for helping. Back to shoulder for me!
That's pretty much what I think of pork tenderloins, unless they're either stuffed with something amazingly yummy, or pounded flat, breaded, and served on a bun. And even then, they're still shown up by a good pork shoulder.
Old 11-20-2013, 11:26 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 42,049
It is kind of a white meat vs dark meat kind of thing. I generally prefer pork shoulder, but I enjoy loin when it is jerked, and there's a pork roast with a salt, cracked pepper, and cracked fennel crust that is great when served with a tart gravy. (This is the recipe, although I add peppercorns to the crust.) You do have to like fennel, though. If you don't, a simple pepper crusted pork is pretty darned good, too. Or you could go all French-like and do mustard, thyme, and herbes de provence.

My favorite use for pork loin, though, is in cold cuts. (Although I use loin, not tenderloin, for that.)

ETA: Oh, duh, and of course, as Athena says, a pork tenderloin sandwich. Those are awesome when done well.

Last edited by pulykamell; 11-20-2013 at 11:28 AM.
Old 11-20-2013, 11:35 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 15,126
Get a leave-in probe thermometer (like one of these), put the probe into the deepest part of the loin, and do what you'd normally do in the oven.

When it hits about 138-140, take it out, and let it rest. It should coast up past 145 (the USDA revised minimum for pork), and remain juicy and tender.
Old 11-20-2013, 11:37 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,562
Pork muscle begins to denature around 150-160 degrees if I recall. When it denatures the proteins shrink and squeeze out the water resulting in dry, tough meat. There's not much you can add to the meat to keep it from drying out if it reaches that temperature so the trick is to try and cook it thoroughly to 140-150 degrees without letting it get over 160.

Low-and-slow is the best way to do this. Cook the pork in a crock pot on low with a favorite sauce for a few hours until the internal temperature reaches the desired point (e.g. 150).

If you like to cook a lot consider getting into sous vide. It is a (generally) fool-proof method for cooking meat to the desired temperature without overcooking it. I've cooked pork tenderloin using sous vide and it came out great. I've had friends say they didn't like pork tenderloin until they had mine.

Sous vide machines can run $500-600 but if you're handy you can make one for as little as $50.

Last edited by Deeg; 11-20-2013 at 11:39 AM.
Old 11-20-2013, 02:27 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,867
I'll eat pork with a little pink in it, but I'm probably never going to be totally comfortable doing it. There's always this voice in the back of my head telling me that I'm about to die horribly.

My technique for cooking pork loin:
1) High heat is better. I tend to cook at 400 or 425 and I don't necessarily brown first.
2) Add lots of flavor. For some reason, I perceive meat as less dry when it has more flavor - especially salt.
3) Rely on a meat thermometer. Again, I'm not a fan of pink, so I tend to aim for 150 before I let it rest, and it ends up at 155 or so.
4) Do some kind of sauce. I like to take the drippings in the pan, deglaze with a little dry white wine, and then mount it with butter after I take it off the heat. An au jus style sauce works well too.
5) Let it rest! This is especially true for pork loin.
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:51 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: darwin fish meaning tk421 quote visibility measure phenol matrixectomy custom textbooks paddy rollers reddit kava mall strip wd 40 fishing buddhist martial art ikea spoons small transformer shih tzu licking carbon dioxide flammable small multivitamin pills retired prostitutes selling encyclopedias detergent substitute shoujo define smelly potatoes lesbians prison architecture turret rebar finder ayla and jondalar antibiotic overdose define kipe crackers and butter synthetic underwear eskamo pussy kujira meaning restoring enamel sinks do cats personality change after spaying i had sex with my stepdaughter do k and n filters work is planet minecraft safe costco chocolate sheet cake heat pool without heater error does not compute what does a wart look like when it falls off why did the empire stop using droids can a big dog mate with a small dog how to get combined shipping on ebay pontiac vibe toyota matrix what is the song solsbury hill about how often do fillings need to be replaced deep voice female singers swallowing too much cum horror movies where everyone dies how long does lead stay in your system diesel fuel weed killer the selection pilot full episode keurig cup sizes icons daniel j travanti wife is tweety bird a boy or girl can you dump trash in a dumpster alcoholic drink with dr pepper key stuck in ignition saturn dan carlin recommended books cat average body temperature fly on screen for cat standard comic book page count overpriced items on amazon repair leaky pvc joint why put ice in urinals other insurance company called me two step snakes in vietnam