Pork tenderloin, grilled until crispy and charred on the outside yet still juicy and tender on the inside, is the ultimate grilled meat. It’s flavorful, inexpensive, and customizable (you can marinate it however you’d like!).
Pork tenderloin is one of those cuts of meat that’s really misunderstood! When you think of pork, you probably think of bacon or Pulled Pork or pork chops or ham, but probably not pork tenderloin. If you haven’t had pork tenderloin (OR if you’re a superfan like me), this grilled pork tenderloin recipe will blow your mind. Serve with Thai Peanut Sauce.
Easy Grilled Pork Tenderloin
To sum it up, this method for grilling yields juicy and tender pork tenderloin heaven. But here’s more reasons why you’ll love it if I haven’t convinced you yet!
- It’s SO easy to make: marinate it a few minutes before grilling, throw it on the grill, and let it do its thing. BAM. Juicy grilled pork tenderloin is served.
- It’s inexpensive: most of the time, the word “tenderloin” is associated with “expensive,” but this cut is really affordable. It’s usually about $4-5 a pound.
- It’s SO flavorful and juicy: sick of chicken-this, chicken-that? Pork tenderloin is your new go-to! In my opinion, it is so much more flavorful than chicken breast (and more tender).
- It’s customizable: marinate your pork in whatever you’d like depending on how you’re serving it. See my notes below under “Ingredients” for ideas!
- It’s pretty darn healthy: pork tenderloin is one of the best cuts for you because it’s lean and high in protein and nutrients. Plus, I recommend trimming any extra fat off your pork tenderloin before grilling.
Pork Tenderloin vs. Pork Loin
Pork tenderloin is a long and narrow cut of meat, from the muscle that runs along the backbone of the pig. It is a very lean and tender cut of pork. Pork tenderloin is often compared to chicken breast in terms of leanness! It’s also usually an inexpensive cut of meat.
Pork loin is a wider cut that comes from the back of the pig. It can be bone-in or boneless. It is a larger and slightly fattier cut compared to tenderloin. It has a mild flavor and isn’t quite as tender as pork tenderloin.
How to Grill Pork Tenderloin
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
- Trim & rest.
This step is optional, but I recommend trimming any excess fat off the outside of your pork tenderloin. Regardless, let your pork tenderloin rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling.
Marinate pork, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I recommend marinating your pork tenderloin right before grilling it. The tenderloin is very “porous” so it soaks up the marinade quickly.
Preheat grill to high heat. Grill the pork tenderloin for about 4 minutes a side (4 sides total). Before grilling the final side, check the temperature of the thickest part of the tenderloin to see how close it is to 145 degrees. Grill pork for a few more minutes to reach 145 degrees (done temperature) if it needs it.
Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain (perpendicular to the muscle fibers) with a sharp chef’s knife.
Tips for Juicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- I recommend marinating your pork tenderloin right before grilling. The tenderloin is very “porous” so it soaks up the marinade quickly.
- Let tenderloin rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
- Make sure your grill is preheated.
- Trim excess fat for a cleaner presentation and a healthier option.
- To ensure the pork is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer. Pork tenderloin is safe to eat when its internal temperature reaches 145°F. Avoid overcooking to prevent dryness.
- Pork tenderloin (any size)
- Marinade of choice (see options below)
- Salt and pepper
- Soy Vay’s Veri Veri Teriyaki – (highly recommended) this is not an ad, just a product I absolutely love! It adds a nice Asian flair and gives your pork a delicious crust. You can find it in most grocery stores.
- Balsamic vinegar & olive oil – a 50/50 blend of olive oil and balsamic vinegar is delicious if you’re topping your pork on a salad or an Italian dish like Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta.
- Mustard maple glaze – mustard adds a zingy dimension while the maple will yield a subtle sweet, autumn touch! Mix together 1/3 cup grainy or smooth Dijon mustard with 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons soy sauce & 2 teaspoons thyme. You can add a clove of minced garlic in there too if you’d like!
Is Pork Tenderloin Healthy?
Pork Tenderloin is a lean source of protein, lower in saturated fat than many other meats, and rich in essential nutrients. Cooking it using healthy methods, like grilling, enhances its nutritional profile! Moderation and pairing with a variety of nutritious foods contribute to a balanced diet. However, I am not a physician, so please consult a physician for medical and nutritional advice!
Storage and Reheating Tips
- Store leftover pork, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheat pork in the oven, covered in foil, at 350 degrees until hot. The time it takes depends on how big the piece of pork is (anywhere between 5-20 minutes).
- Freeze pork in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
What to Serve With Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Here are a few of my favorite side dishes to serve with pork tenderloin:
- A dipping sauce like this Thai Peanut Sauce (P.S. this peanut sauce recipe is EVERYTHING. It’s one of my favorite recipes on my blog!)
- A veggie side dish like Sesame-Garlic Baby Bok Choy, Eggplant Caponata, Chipotle Corn Salsa, or Spicy Harissa Roasted Carrots!
- A starch like Buttermilk Drop Biscuits or sticky rice.
Other Grilled Recipes You’ll Love
- How to Grill Corn on the Cob (Easiest Way!)
- Simple Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Bruschetta Chicken (Grilled or Baked!)
- Grilled Apricot & Burrata Board
- Grilled Chicken Parmesan
- 1-3 pounds pork tenderloin larger size will affect amount of marinade needed
- ⅓ cup marinade of choice see post above for marinade ideas
- Salt & pepper
- Trim any excess fat off the outside of your tenderloin (optional). Let your pork rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before grilling.
- Marinate pork, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I recommend marinating your pork tenderloin right before grilling. The tenderloin is very “porous” so it soaks up the marinade quickly. Preheat grill to high heat.
- Grill the pork tenderloin for about 4 minutes a side (4 sides total). Before grilling the final side, check the temperature of the thickest part of the tenderloin to see how close it is to 145°F (done temperature). Grill pork for 0 to 6 more minutes to reach an internal temperature of 145°F (depends on thickness of pork). Total grill time is 12-18 minutes.
- Let tenderloin rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain (perpendicular to the muscle fibers) with a sharp chef’s knife.
- See my post above for marinade and serving ideas!