As mentioned, pork tenderloin can be purchased plain or flavored. There are several methods and recipes for dressing up your pork tenderloin with added flavor. You can season your tenderloin with a dry rub, marinate it, brine or glaze it. We’ll talk about all of those options and how to execute each method.
How to Marinate Pork Tenderloin
Marinating is the process of soaking raw meat in a seasoned liquid in order to impart flavor. The marinating process should always be done in the fridge. Depending on the recipe, you can marinate your pork tenderloin for a couple of hours or even overnight.
To marinate, mix your marinade ingredients together in a glass bowl and then add the mixture to a sealable plastic bag before adding your pork tenderloin. Follow the recipe for time guidelines, but never marinate longer than 24 hours. Flip the tenderloin over occasionally to ensure even coverage.
After you’ve removed the meat from the plastic bag, you can use the remaining marinade as a sauce. You should heat the marinade to boiling in a one-quart saucepan and let it continue to boil for at least a minute. Do not use as a sauce unless it has been boiled.
Check out five of our favorite marinades. We love that they use ingredients that we almost always have on hand!
How to Dry Rub Pork Tenderloin
Using a dry rub on your pork tenderloin is another easy way to flavor your meat. A dry rub is a blend of spices and herbs mixed with sugar or salt that is rubbed onto the meat prior to cooking. It’s best to apply the dry rub about 30 minutes prior to cooking.
To make a dry rub, simply mix the seasonings called for in the recipe together in a small bowl. Brush your pork tenderloin with two tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil and sprinkle the mixture all over the tenderloin. Rub the mixture in using your hands until the entire piece of meat is thoroughly covered.
There are countless seasoning mixtures to try, but our 5-star Grilled Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin is a guaranteed hit.
How to Brine Pork Tenderloin
Brining is a method that will enhance the juiciness of your pork tenderloin. It involves soaking the meat in a saltwater mixture and refrigerating. You can add spices and herbs to the mixture to further enhance the meat’s flavor.
To brine your pork tenderloin, mix together water, salt, and any other ingredients called for in the recipe in a large container or stockpot. Submerge your tenderloin in the mixture and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for eight to 12 hours. When you’re ready to cook your tenderloin, remove the meat from the mixture and discard the brine.
You will find that the brining method will significantly tenderize your tenderloin and bring out its flavor. This Grilled Brined Pork Tenderloin uses maple syrup and cider vinegar for the brine, resulting in a delicious dinner that’s cooked in 30 minutes.
How to Glaze Pork Tenderloin
Adding a glaze to pork tenderloin not only adds exceptional flavor, but it is an excellent way to recover your tenderloin in case you’ve overcooked it. You can glaze your pork tenderloin with almost anything syrupy, from barbecue sauce to fruit jam or juice.
You will cook the tenderloin prior to adding the glaze. Once the tenderloin is cooked to the appropriate temperature, you can spoon it over the top. Other recipes call for the tenderloin to be sliced into medallions, cooked in the skillet and then adding the glaze directly to the skillet during the final minutes of cooking.
Our Apricot-Glazed Pork recipe allows you to add the glaze ingredients right in the skillet along with the pork so you only have to use one dish. The glaze only requires two ingredients: apricot preserves and oyster (or hoisin) sauce.
- Slice the tenderloins into ½-inch slices.
- Heat wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add oil and rotate wok or skillet to coat the sides.
- Add the pork and stir fry 4 to 5 minutes until no longer pink.
- Add frozen vegetables and continue to stir fry for an additional 2 minutes.
- Stir in preservers and oyster sauce. Stir for about 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.