For years I shied away from grilling pork tenderloin fearing it would dry it out and taste burned. Like most fears, mine was unfounded. Three times in the last 10 days, I have grilled pork tenderloin, and all three times it was fabulous. So fabulous that I may never roast pork tenderloin in the oven again. (Well, maybe I will in February when San Diego’s temperatures drop below 62 degrees.)
When done correctly, grilled pork tenderloin is exceptional — that charred, crackled exterior reveals a moist, pale pink meat so rich in flavor and juices you’ll swear it couldn’t have been grilled. And the best part is, it’s insanely simple!
Here’s how to grill pork tenderloin:
1. Trim off excess fat and, if present, the “silver skin,” a shiny, silver colored piece of connective tissue. If making more than one pork tenderloin, choose ones of equal size so they’ll cook evenly.
2. Season the pork before grilling. Use either a dry rub or a wet marinade and marinade for a minimum of 4 hours.
3. Preheat gas grill for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Brush grill grates with a bit of canola oil before adding the meat. Grill with the cover closed, and flip once. In general, a 1-pound pork tenderloin takes 12 to 15 minutes to cook, whereas a 1 1/2 pound tenderloin takes about 20 minutes. Of course, cooking time depends on your grill. The tenderloin should be nicely charred all over. To be sure the meat is thoroughly cooked, use a meat thermometer, and remove pork when the internal temperature registers 145 degrees. (I usually remove it at 140 degrees; while it rests for 10 minutes, the temperature rises to 145.) Transfer it to cutting board and tent with tinfoil. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to become sealed inside the meat. (NOTE: Last year the USDA announced that pork can be safely cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.)
5. Cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and serve.
The 1-pound pork tenderloin you in the pictures was rubbed with a tablespoon Mexican seasoning and grilled for about 14 minutes.
How about you? Do you like to grill pork tenderloin? How do you grill it? Please share in the comment section below.