How to Perfectly Pan Sear and Then Oven Roast Pork Tenderloin

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Pork tenderloin is a great cut of meat – its size makes it quick cooking enough for an after work meal and yet it’s tasty and tender enough for a special occasions sort of dinner.

BUT – when cooked without care, tender and tasty can too easily become dry and bland, and it’s unfortunately all too easy to overcook a tenderloin when cooking over hot direct heat!

Here’s then is a foolproof method for making perfect, tender and juicy pork tenderloin every time – in only about 20 minutes or so of active cooking. This method is perfect for tenderloin because it combines the high heat sear needed to flavor and crust the meat with a gentler finish in the oven, which lets it all come to temperature without overcooking the exterior.

Because this method produces such consistent results, it is a restaurant chef’s go to move for larger cuts of protein.

How to Cook a Perfect Pork Tenderloin

This is a very simple set of instructions for a pork tenderloin with a sauce – one that go well with some sliced and served chutney or mustard. This method, however, will work well with any number of different recipes, especially with recipes that call for the making of a pan sauce for the meat. If you want to know how to make a pan sauce, see easy pan sauce recipes)

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. Season a pork tenderloin with some salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  3. Once the oven is at temperature, take out a heavy fry pan, preferably one that’s oven safe and preheat it to medium high.( If you don’t have an oven safe fry pan, you can fry the meat and then switch it to a baking dish.)
  4. Use some paper towels to dry off the pork tenderloin (drier meat creates a better browning – less steam is created)
  5. Add in a splash of vegetable or olive oil, and then add the pork tenderloin and cook it on all sides, until it is very nicely browned all over (not greyish brown – brown-brown!). About 5 minutes total.
  6. Transfer the fry pan to the oven, uncovered, and let it roast for 10 or 15 more minutes, or until it comes to an internal temperature of 145-150 (you really need to use an instant read thermometer here. If you don’t have one, you should spend the 5$ or so and get one, they will make a world of difference to your cooking!)
  7. Take off the heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

Easy, foolproof - and delicious!

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Comments 9 comments

Steph Harris profile image

Steph Harris 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Thanks John for a wonderful recipe, pork is so easy to overcook so that it becomes dry and bland. I will have to try this recipe.


puter_dr profile image

puter_dr 5 years ago from Midwest USA

Sounds like good stuff. Looking at my grocery circulars right now to see if any of them have pork loins on sale.


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

Properly prepared Pork Tenderloin is a delight. Thanks for sharing your recipe.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

I love a good pork tenderloin. As you stated pork can come out dry and tasteless. Your way sounds as though it would be nice and moist, not overcooked.


Aaron 3 years ago

I followed this recipe and made an awesome pork tenderloin. Thanks for posting!


tara 2 years ago

I cooked it exactly how you said. I was raw. what did I do wrong,???:(


Sarah 2 years ago

Can this recipe be used if the pork has a thick rub on it?


SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 23 months ago from Arkansas USA

Sounds like a perfect method. I'm not always careful about drying the meat first, but now I will be. Thanks for sharing!


VeryHungry 14 months ago

This didn't even start to cook the pork. After brazing, it took almost an hour in the oven before it cooked. I think you have the wrong time/temperature posted here

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