How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin to Ensure Tenderness

Cook pork tenderloin quickly to ensure tenderness.

Although pork tenderloin is one of the most tender pork cuts, overcooking can make it tough and unpalatable. This cut from the loin is one you definitely do not want to cook over low heat all day long in a slow cooker or Dutch oven. Instead, the trick to ensuring tenderness is to cook it at a high temperature, as quickly as possible. Sautéing, oven roasting and grilling are the best ways to ensure that your pork tenderloin comes out both tasty and tender.

Step 1

Heat your stove top burner, oven or grill to the appropriate heat levels. Use a medium high heat setting on your stove top and an oven temperature of 450 to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat a gas grill with all burners set to high, and a charcoal grill until the coals are white hot.


Step 2

Follow cooking time directions. Sauté pork tenderloin slices for a total of four to six minutes. Brown a whole tenderloin for about three minutes on your stove top and then roast it for about 15 minutes in your oven. Grill a pork tenderloin a total of about 12 to 14 minutes, turning once during grilling time.

Step 3

Use a meat thermometer and remove the meat from its heat source when the temperature of the meat reaches 145 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the pork tenderloin rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. During this time, the juices reabsorb into the meat and the temperature of the meat continues to rise another five to 10 degrees, bringing it to an optimal degree of doneness.


Use caution if you decide to marinate pork tenderloin before cooking. Limit marinating time to 45 to 60 minutes, and also limit the ingredients you use, as acidic ingredients such as citrus juice, vinegar or wine add flavor to pork tenderloin, but also change the structure of its proteins. Over time, this can cause the meat to become tough.