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How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin in the Oven

Updated on June 19, 2013
Pork tenderloin with a honey, brown sugar and cocoa powder glaze
Pork tenderloin with a honey, brown sugar and cocoa powder glaze | Source
Pork tenderloin and rub
Pork tenderloin and rub | Source
Ready for the refrigerator
Ready for the refrigerator

Pork tenderloin is something that my family has for dinner fairly often. It is a favorite comfort food in our home. Most of the time, I make it in the fall/winter and in the slow cooker with potatoes, carrots and onions. Sometimes I make it in the oven, as I did for this recipe, or on the grill. It is actually quite easy to make whichever way you choose to make it. It can taste very different every time and it is such a versatile piece of meat. It works well in so many recipes and with different cultural cuisines. It also makes fabulous leftovers. I always turn it into pulled pork on the second day. Just add your favorite BBQ sauce and shred it with a fork. Serve it on a bun with pickles and beans and you've got a great meal. Yum!

I really like cooking with pork tenderloin because there is literally no waste. There is no bone and no excessive fat. It all gets eaten and I really like that value for my family. Also, the fact that I can make this into an American dish, a Mexican dish, a Chinese dish, an Italian dish or BBQ is quite appealing to me. I like to mix up what we eat to try to keep my kids (age 7 and 5) interested in food. They are extremely picky eaters.

This pork tenderloin came out even moister than others I have made. I attribute that to the dry rub before cooking. I might even allow the tenderloins to marinate longer next time. My husband said tonight that he thought this was the best tenderloin I have ever made. I always thought I made good tenderloin, but I must agree, this one was probably the most tender ever. I really like the extra little kick you get in the glaze from the cocoa powder. I hope if you try this recipe, you enjoy the cocoa flavor at the end, too!

5 stars from 1 rating of Oven baked pork tenderloin

Cook Time

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 3 hours
Yields: Serves eight, 4 per 1 lb loin

Ingredients: Pork Rub & Glaze

  • 2 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ground sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
Browning the tenderloin before baking
Browning the tenderloin before baking | Source
The glaze is added after the tenderloin cooks for 15 minutes at 350°
The glaze is added after the tenderloin cooks for 15 minutes at 350° | Source

Instructions

  1. Mix both sugars together and then add the following eight spices: pepper, salt, ginger, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, thyme and onion powder.
  2. Rub the sugar and spices into the pork tenderloin. This will act to help season the loin and keep it very moist while cooking. It gives a great flavor to the loin. Place the tenderloin into a glass dish.
  3. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place the seasoned tenderloin into the refrigerator for a couple of hours. I think it needs to be in there a minimum of 1 hour, but can stay in for up to 24 hours. I had mine marinating in the rub for 2 hours today.
  4. Take the pork tenderloin out of the fridge and let it sit for a few minutes to warm up slightly. I place slits all over the loins at this point and stuff them with a garlic clove.Then I brown it on all sides in a tablespoon of olive oil on the stovetop. I use a cast iron skillet, myself.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 350° and place the tenderloin into a roasting pan or on a rack in a cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes this way. Prepare the glaze using the last five ingredients by mixing them in small bowl.
  6. Remove the tenderloin from the oven and pour the glaze over the loin. Bake for another 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the loin is 150°. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. It will continue to cook a bit and the internal temp should be 160° when it is complete.
Super moist pork tenderloin ready to eat!
Super moist pork tenderloin ready to eat! | Source

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    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 4 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      This sounds great. And I love that you don't use any prepared foods, only single ingredients. This is the way I cook. I'm putting this recipe in my "Recipes To Try" file.

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Thank you for checking out the recipe! My husband really thought this was the juiciest pork loin I've ever made. I make it in the slow cooker most of the time, but really liked it in the oven today better. I also think it is much healthier to make your own rubs than to buy ones that are already prepared. I trust individual spices and like making my own blends. If you make this, let me know what you think!

    • kissayer profile image

      Kristy Sayer 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Great recipe and hub! My family would love this!

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Just heated up some leftovers in a tortilla with refried beans, cheese and salsa. So very good, I hope you enjoy it, too!

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 4 years ago from Oakland, CA

      That tenderloin looks simply mouth-watering. I can't wait to try your rub!

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      I seriously finished off the leftovers today and cannot wait to make another one!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Can I say that your photo makes this recipe look beautiful? It is. Love tenderlion and the flavor it provides you.

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      This is the best tenderloin I've ever made, my husband kept making comment about it and I guess we need to buy another one really soon! Thought I had good recipes before, but this one was just tops.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 4 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Have you ever tried stuffing a tenderloin? I often split it open, pound it out, and wrap sauteed greens, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese inside before tying with wet string. Then I sear it off and stick it in the oven. It's delicious, and looks quite impressive when sliced.

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      No, I have not stuffed a tenderloin before but your version sounds wonderful! Especially right now with all my fresh garden foods. Really need to get another one soon and try that!

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      I am making this again without the sugar or the honey since I am trying to do the Whole30 diet right now. I am also adding two fresh garlic cloves (I stuff one into slits on the pork loin) to the recipe, one cup of water and a red onion. The pork loin is sitting on the carrots and onions while cooking in the slow cooker. For the glaze, I am doubling the amount of balsamic vinegar and EVOO and cutting the cocoa amount in half. I will add the glaze the last 2 hours on low. It is smelling so good right now, I cannot wait for dinner!

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