HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Help!!! Pork Tenderloin question: Temperature and time???

I've seen many recipes where the temp to cook at is anywhere from 325 to 400 degrees. Which also changes how long to bake in the oven. The tenderloins I have total approx 2 lbs. What oven temp produces tasty pork without drying out the meat. Also, according to the many recipes, the temps varying on what to cook the meat to...145, 150, etc. I do have an instant read thermometer. Please advise. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I like to pan brown it quickly and then put in a 350 F oven until 145 F. and it win't take long. Let it sit a bit while you make a sauce from the drippings.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      100% agree with Candy. I brown all sides in a cast iron pan and then toss it in a 350 oven till it hits anywhere from 140 to 150. Then let it rest at least 10 minutes. It'll be pink but it's done. And yummy. I imagine that after pan browning you could probably finish it at a temp anywhere between 325 and 400; it doesnt take long. Just go by temp.

      If you want to do the whole thing in the oven, you will sacrifice the crusty exterior. Though you could try starting it at a high temp like 425 to brown and then dropping the temp to finish. I'm not sure the meat is thick enough for that to work, though.

      Final method I've seen is to broil it about 6 inches from the heat for about 6 min per side.

      1. re: JBM

        not thick enough? I buy a pork tenderloin that is 24" long and at least 3" thick, while i cut it down to have several dinners or center cut chops, 3" is kinda thick for a roast, what do you mean?

        1. re: danny83365

          No, that's a loin. The Tenderloin is a different part and it's very small -- rarely more than a foot long and an inch or so thick.

        2. re: JBM

          I've done them ithe oven the whole time at 425. Still doesn't brown the exterior as well as pan roasting does. I have the best luck pan roasting. Brown it all sides, about four minutes a side for a total of about 16 minutes. Then I pop it in the oven at 425 for about ten minutes. Let rest for a few. Comes out perfect every time.

          1. re: JBM

            Yep!! Story of perfect pork ^ !!

          2. re: Candy

            My perfect pork tenderloin goes like this: Sear quickly on all sides in a skillet that can go into the oven. Make sure the pan and oil are hot enough for searing. Then, put skillet into a preheated 375 degree oven for 17 minutes -- use a timer. Make sure your oven is accurate.

            Take out immediately, cover with foil and let rest 8 minutes. Slice into 1/4" slices. Pale pink in the middle, perfect with risotto or half a sweet potato. Deglaze pan juices if you like -- a splash of wine and a bit of stock, reduce. Check seasoning and pour over slices.

          3. Pretty much the same, but after browning I wouldn't go higher than 325 and i pull by 140. The oven temp probably isn't as important as the temp you pull it by, and letting it rest of course.

            1. I'm really not sure that a tenderloin should ever make it's way into an oven, unless it's fully cooked and being 'held' until serving. It's so lean and so small that the window you get between the meat being raw to being overdone is miniscule. I place chicken breasts in a similar realm, except a slightly undercooked chicken breast is a lot less impalatable than a slightly undercooked pork tenderloin (food safety issues aside). At least it is to me. Besides, if you bake or grill enough chicken breasts, you can develop a good eye/feel for doneness, whereas with a tenderloin, it's not something people make often so theres more guesswork involved/more room for error.

              Cut them into medallions and saute them in plenty of fat. Tenderloin doesn't contain a great deal of connective tissue/collagen so it doesn't yield much fond- I'd make your sauce beforehand with previously prepared stock. Chicken stock is a classical base for pork dishes. A rich cream based sauce tends to be complementary with the lean meat. I do a white wine mustard sauce with sauteed pork medallions that's a big hit.

              1 Reply
              1. Key to pork tenderloin? Brine in saltwater first! I just cooked 18lbs for an event last week and brined them over night, you could do yours in two hours or so, you cant over brine.This will help you from over cooking and remain tender and tasty. Sear first like others have told you to give a nice crust and help keep it from drying out. Pre heated oven at 325 -350 is ok but two 2lb will cook fast like 15 min. Pull them at 135 to 140 deg tops! let sit 5 to 10min, it will go up to 145deg. If you cook to 145, well you just made pork jerky.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lisa Caters

                  How long did you allow for 18 lbs? I have 20 lbs of tenderloin that I am roasting for this Saturday and am trying to get my timing right.

                2. I marinate my pork tenderloin in a bourbon/soy sauce/brown sugar mixture for about 6 hours and then bake at 425 degrees, basting with the marinade every 5 minutes or so. They only take about 20 minutes to cook at this temperature and I take them out of the oven when the meat thermometer reads about 148 degrees. I know that sounds a bit weird, but I have perfected the cooking time over the years. I put them on a cutting board, cover with foil and let them rest for about 10 minutes. They are always juicy and just a tad bit pink. While they rest, I boil the marinade and spoon on top after slicing. I always get rave reviews the pork when I cook it this way. I hope this helps!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: elc515

                    Hi there,
                    You answer makes lots of sense to me. Quick question for you, could you grill mark tenderloins in the morning and finish in the oven in the afternoon?

                  2. I jotted the CI recipe down into my notebook since I use it often - pan-sear, then a 375 oven for about 10-12 minutes. I wrote down that the meat therm should read 160 but that might be for the rested meat - will have to double-check, it seems high and I have always just taken a peek rather than its temp. I marinate ahead of time in soy/teriyaki sauce, apple cider, mustard, garlic, minced onion, and savory or thyme. Wipe off the solid bits and put back in marinade. While meat is reasting, boil the marinade with the pan juices and add a little light cream for a delectable sauce. Salt in the soy sauce serves the same purpose as brining.

                    1. I brine my pork tenderloins. You can use salt but for tenderloins I use 6-8 tablespoons of soy sauce and a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar. I put the brine and the tenderloins in a zip lock bag with as much of the air removed as possible and let the tenderloins soak for about an hour. I then sear the tenderloins in a skillet until all sides are brown and put them in a 350 degree oven until they reach 145-150°F. My wife tends to object about the pinkness at 145 so I go closer to 150. 148 to 150° F is just pink which is about all I can do without the ghosts of our parents coming back from the grave and spanking us.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Hank Hanover

                        You must be my long-lost brother in the overdone meat department. I have the same ghosts.

                        1. re: Lynsun

                          My brother from another mother? LOL

                          Yeah.. I know it is all psychological but barely pink is as rare as I can make myself eat pork.

                      2. I recently started using a marinade of red apple/cinnamon balsamic with some variety of olive oil. This last time I used Blood Orange EVOO and some apple cider. I also grind some sea salt and pepper over the meat. I let that marinate at least six hours, though overnight is even better. Sometimes, I slice some onions into the marinade. This time, I'm cutting up some apples and onions to roast with the pork. I always roast the pork with the marinade at a temperature between 325 and 350. As a child of the 60s, I also cook my pork to about 150. Afterwards, let the pork rest on a cutting board or platter with some foil for at least 10 minutes. Then I pour the marinade into a saucepan and let it reduce over medium-medium high heat. This recipe has been getting raves. You can use any type of balsamic and olive oil combination. Cider also works. I've had some success adding some all-fruit spreads in various flavors. Just blend the all-fruit with the cider, then pour it over the pork. That last glaze also works wonderfully on ham, with the traditional cloves studding the ham. You could certainly add some whole spices to the marinade, too.