Grilled pork tenderloin is a culinary delight that combines the smoky flavors of the grill with the tender, juicy texture of pork. It's a versatile dish that can be dressed up for a special occasion or kept simple for a weeknight dinner. Let's walk through the steps to achieve the perfect grilled pork tenderloin.

grilled pork tenderloin

Ingredients and Tools Required


  • 1-2 pork tenderloins (about 1-1.5 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: Marinade of choice (e.g., balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey)


  • Grill (charcoal or gas)
  • Meat thermometer
  • Grill tongs
  • Basting brush
  • Aluminum foil

Prepping the Pork Tenderloin


  1. Remove the silver skin: Use a sharp knife to trim the silver skin from the pork tenderloin. This tough membrane doesn't break down during cooking and can make the meat chewy.


  1. Season the pork: Rub the tenderloin with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Ensure it's evenly coated for maximum flavor.

Marinating (Optional):

  1. Marinate: If you prefer, let the pork marinate in your choice of marinade for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Setting Up the Grill

Direct vs. Indirect Heat:

  1. Direct Heat: Ideal for a quick sear. Place the pork directly over the flames or heat source.
  2. Indirect Heat: Best for slower, even cooking. Place the pork on the cooler side of the grill.

Temperature Control:

  1. Preheat the Grill: Aim for a temperature of about 375°F (190°C) for indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, ensure the coals are ashed over and distributed for even heat.

Grilling the Pork Tenderloin

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Sear the Tenderloin: Place the pork directly over the hot side of the grill. Sear each side for about 2-3 minutes to develop a nice crust.
  2. Move to Indirect Heat: After searing, move the pork to the indirect heat side of the grill. Close the lid and let it cook.
  3. Cook to Perfection: Grill the pork for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The pork is done when it reaches 145°F (63°C).

Checking for Doneness

Temperature Guide:

  1. Internal Temperature: Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloin. It should read 145°F (63°C) for a perfect, slightly pink center.

Resting and Slicing

Final Steps:

  1. Rest the Meat: Once the pork reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the grill. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a juicy tenderloin.
  2. Slice and Serve: Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions against the grain for maximum tenderness. Serve while hot.

Pairing Suggestions

Complementary Side Dishes and Sauces:

  • Side Dishes: Grilled vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad.
  • Sauces: Apple chutney, mustard sauce, or a balsamic glaze.


Grilling pork tenderloin is a straightforward process that yields delicious results. Remember to enjoy the cooking process and experiment with different seasonings and marinades to make it your own. Happy grilling!

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