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Tips for Roasting the Perfect Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin and Quark with a side on a white plate

Pork Tenderloin – What do I need to know about roasting the perfect one?

Pork Tenderloin, commonly seen in the supermarket, not purchased often enough.  Often relegated to the summer season of grilling meat, Pork Tenderloin can be cooked in the oven at any time of the year.  Over the last decade, pork has been suggested as “the other white meat.” Making a conscious effort to incorporate different ingredients into our diet is a challenge, and when most of us have the same grocery list week after week, something like the lone Pork Tenderloin is oft passed over.

What is the difference between Pork Tenderloin and Pork Loin?

Both come from a pig. And that is the starting point.  As different cuts of meat, they cook for different times and temperatures and require slightly different prep work.  Seasonings can be roughly the same, but as an advocate of brining, pork is a meat that highly benefits from an hour or more of brining.  When I say an hour or more, a Pork Tenderloin can be brined for as little as a hour, or perhaps a thinly sliced pork chop, but go for a thick roast and the time to brine significantly increases.

Differences between Pork Tenderloin and Pork Loin

  • Pork Tenderloin is cut from along the backbone and Pork Loin is cut from the back itself.
  • Pork Tenderloin is about 2-3 inches in diameter and a Pork Loin is closer to 5-7.
  • Pork Tenderloin never has bones and Pork Loin might or might not.
  • Pork Tenderloin cooks faster than Pork Loin (and can therefore be overcooked if cooked for too long at high heat)can be brined for a shorter period of time than a Pork Loin.

How do you brine a Pork Tenderloin?

The best part about brining a Pork Tenderloin is that it is relatively small and easy to work with.  With a bowl, salt, spices, water and ice, the process is so simple that you can do it when you get home from work, carting people places, or when you forget to do it first thing in the morning.  The technique is to dissolve the salt in the water, add the meat and herbs, add ice to keep it cool, and then let it sit for an hour or so.  It is a process that works with poultry as well (although I would recommend longer with poultry).

Brining 101 and Removal the silver skin from the Pork Tenderloin.

At what temperature is pork tenderloin done?

We’ve been taught to cook pork through and through. Cook it too long, it will bounce.  Undercooking and pinky-rare is not a good idea either.  The rule of thumb is a meat thermometer into the dense middle.  The internal temperature should be a minimum of 145-155°F/63-68°C.  Brined pork will stay moist.  It should never be eaten rare.  Period.

Can you eat pork red in the middle?

See above.  NO.

How many minutes per pound do you cook a Pork Tenderloin and at what temperature?

This is the reference chart used in the Bleuberet kitchen.  It will give you a variety of cuts of meat.  Pork Tenderloin is partway down the first section.

Can you shred a pork tenderloin?

Would not suggest it.  It is a piece of muscle that is fairly firm. It is perfect for stuffing-make a hole through the middle or butterfly.  A better cut for shredding would be the shoulder, commonly (in shredded pork circles) known as the Boston Butt, is the go to cut.  It cooks for hours, does not dry out, and falls apart.  A Pork Tenderloin would have to go through a food processor to get the shredding that a Boston Butt will do from a full day of cooking.

These are some of our favorite Pork Tenderloin recipes from others:

Herbed Pork Tenderloin from the Barefoot Contessa
The Best Baked Garlic Pork Tenderloin from Sweet C’s
Prune-Stuffed Pork Fillet from SOS Cuisine

Healing + Mending=Comfort

Protein and a colorful veggie were on the shopping list for M2 on her shoulder healing journey.  She is doing well, almost out of the sling and 4 weeks along. The weather has turned here in Berlin, everything is in full bloom, and grills are on balconies throughout the city.  Pork Tenderloin is one of our favorite summer foods to grill.  Do this recipe in the oven or on the grill.  Just allow enough time to brine.

Healthy Component

  • Pork-lean protein for rebuilding muscle
  • Sweet Potatoes-fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, magnesium, iron, zinc (to name but a few of the healthy nutrients
  • Quark-calcium

Meet Quark

Quark is the base for the topping used on the pork. What is Quark? It’s a tangy fresh cheese, a cross between Greek yogurt and sour cream.  It originates from Germany, where it is spread on bread, used as a dip, pasta sauce or topping for meat.  Lower in fat, Quark is not quite as creamy as sour cream.  The tang is a great backdrop to fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and the mild pork.  Quark is easy to make and/or can be found in the dairy case near the yogurt.

Sweet Potatoes

Peel and boil the sweet potatoes, then sprinkle generously with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.  Simple.


Pork Tenderloin and Herbed Quark

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 35 minutes


  • 2 pork tenderloins (they are roughly the same size on each cut, look at the weight as cooking reference)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 8oz/230g Quark
  • 4 TBSP chopped fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, chives, mint....)
  • salt and pepper



Follow brining recipe steps prior to roasting (see link above).


Allow at least an hour for brining.


Remove Pork Tenderloin from the brine and pat dry.


Preheat oven to 350°F/175°F


Line a baking sheet with foil or use a ceramic baking dish.


Place the tenderloins in the pan.


Drizzle generously with olive oil.


Rub with salt and pepper.


Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes approximately.


Test with a meat thermometer (145-155°F/63-68°C).


Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.




Chop the herbs and blend with the Quark.


Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Slice the tenderloin and top with the Herbed Quark.


Quark can be found in the dairy case usually near the yogurt and/or cream cheese.

Pork Tenderloin & Herbed Quark-tangy fresh cheese. Bring a roasted tenderloin to life. Click To Tweet


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