How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin in the Oven
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!
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
- Mix both sugars together and then add the following eight spices: pepper, salt, ginger, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, thyme and onion powder.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.