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Aug 13, 2006 09:14 PM

Any such thing as roasted NON-DRY Pork Tenderloin

I fell once again for those giant packages of pork tenderloins at COSTCO. Now that I have defrosted, I wonder if there's any way to bbq or roast them sans ending up with a couple of dried-out hunks of meat.

In the past I've sauteed them and then sliced, as well as sauteeing them already sliced and making taco filling.....

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  1. Pork tenderloin is very lean and is very dry if overcooked. For a moist pork tenderloin, brine it and don't over cook it. Use a probe themometer and remove the pork tenderloin from gril/oven when the internal temperature reaches 138-142 degrees. Rest the pork tenderloin about 10 minutes before slicing. The pork tenderloin's internal temperature will continue to rise about 5-7 degrees as it rests.

    I suggest you fold and double up up the thinner tail of the pork tenderloin to prevent overcooking this part of the tenderloin.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Norm Man

      Brining is the way to go. I cooked one this evening...brined it overnite (sugar, salt, bay leaf, black pepper in the brine), rubbed it with a little of my standard pork rub, then cooked it on a gas grill (indirect heat, grill thermo registered around 350). Delicious, and definitely not dry.

    2. This is a great way to do pork tenderloin:

      Give it a generous amount of salt and pepper. Sear it in a already hot pan (about a minute on each of the 4 sides). Put it in a preheated 350 over for about 10-12 minutes. Take it out, wrap it in foil and let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. I usually put a wine reduction sauce on it.

      It will be slightly pink in the middle....moist and delicious.

      2 Replies
      1. re: janedoe67

        I always shy away from salt if possible. Have been taught by grandmother/mother that salt takes the moisture out of meat. Is this perhaps an old wives tail?

        1. re: older

          Yes, it is. I've had the process of what really happens explained to me several times and still haven't got it straight, but lightly salting the meat tends to keep it moist and juicy, unlike burying the meat in massive quantities of salt which will dry and cure it. I've been presalting every fresh chunk of animal protein I've cooked for several years now, and I wouldn't dream of stopping.

      2. Ah, the "other white meat" formerly known as pork...

        I don't think Costco (at least yet) is selling the "enhanced" modern pork, but do look carefully at the labels to see if there is any ingredient other than pork. Lots of modern pork being sold today is pre-injected with a brine-like solution that tends to make the pork mushy if less prone to dryness. Some markets only sell that enhanced crap. Never buy it; it's always better to brine your own.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Karl S

          I checked the label on the tenderloin I have in my freezer right now (purchased from Costco) and saw no indication of any additives, although I have seen pre-marinated pork tenderloins being sold there recently.

        2. I'm looking for seasoning-type info....ala porchetta. Is it possible to get any flavor development with such a short cooking time? I want to do this tonight, so no long marinade-type deal.

          Also, I don't know if anybody else has had this problem with brining - things tend to taste like corned beef....even though I've varied the seasoning in the brine solution.

          1. I buy the folded over loin roast at Costco - where they cut a whole loin in half, leaving the bottom in tact, so that it folds over, and then they tie it up to create a cylindrical roast. I don't know if you're talking about this or the cryo-pac whole loin (from which you could do the exactly same thing yourself).

            In any case, it is indeed lean and easy to roast too dry. I urge you to do your best to resist brining. I know that ATK (and others) push brining like its the best thing since sliced bread, but it's not a panacea for lean meat - it changes the meat - and unless you're looking spcifically to make Canadian bacon or some sort of ham from the loin, I'd avoid it. Of course, you could have a salt shortage and need to brine to make up for it - but most of us have more than enough salt in our diets, thank you.

            I have recommended the Weber rotisserie attachment many times on this board, and some have claimed that they can cook anything I cook on the rotisserie without it - well, then I'd issue this challenge: This folded loin roast cooks to moist, tender, perfection using the extreme high heat and a very short time, with constant rotation, that I get from the rotisserie attachment and weber kettle - it's as if the meat was made for this attachment. It may sound counterintuitive to use such high heat on such a lean piece of meat, but it comes out beautifully.

            So if you're a Weber kettle guru that's claimed in the past that Weber made the rotisserie attachment by mistake, Steingarten doesn't know what he's talking about, and obviously, if only the rest of us could learn about the perfect air control possible with the vent positioning... well see if you can actually replicate a moist lean pork loin roast, evenly crusted and cooked without any burnt spots, without using the rotisserie attachment.

            If the solution is high even heat and a short time, I would assume that there indeed may be other ways to do it for those that don't own a Weber kettle or the rotisserie attachment. But it is a perfect solution for this problem.

            I rub the loin roast all over (including in between the pieces) with crushed garlic, rosemary, thyme, s&p, crushed cumin seed, and plenty of olive oil. I put it on the spit, and over hardwood coals piled high on both sides - the temp is over 700F to start. I cook for 45 min to 1 hour for a 5-6 lb roast until the middle of each side is about 135F. It finishes cooking while sitting off the fire - the inside is barely pink, but done, and very moist. We usually pack up one side in the fridge for sandwiches, and have the other for dinner.