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How to grill a whole pork tenderloin?

Hi! I"m new here and have a question for all you 'pros! I have a 8.5 lb whole pork loin hanging out in my freezer. I want use this bad boy up for our 4th of July BBQ- I need to know- how do I pull this off?! I would like to keep it whole, and I have a weber gas grill with front and back burners. I'm down w/ marninating, or rubbing, but I need cook times and any tips you all might have! I've never taken on anything this big before! Thanks in advance!

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  1. Sounds to me like, if it weighs 8.5 #, it is pork loin, and not the much smaller tenderloin.
    Neverthless, I cook pork loins all the time on my Weber, but it is charcoal and not gas, so you would have to make adjustments.
    Remove the silvery skin,but leave as much fat as possible on the loin. Season generously with the holy trinity (salt -- I use kosher, on pork no less; coarsely ground black pepper, and garlic). For additional flavor, I cut slits and place fresh rosemary into the openings.
    Soak some hickory chips. Cook on indirect heat until done. It will vary by roast and heat of grill, but a small touch of pink is not only okay, but desireable. Let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing. Sometimes I smear some peach and hot pepper preserves on top for the last 15 minutes before taking off the grill. My kids call this "pig log" and it goes with everything. PS: I cook it for 50-75 minutes.

    1. Should I give it a rub down w/ some olive oil ( or some other kind) to avoid dry out?

      2 Replies
      1. re: shanna1752

        We just grilled a tenderloin a couple days ago with tremendous success. I threw together a marinade of fresh rosemary, mustard, salt, and blood orange olive oil from a local olive mill and let it soak overnight. I've done similar marinades in the past with regular olive oil, but the blood orange olive oil really made the pork exceptional.

        Turn the grill on high to preheat, and then down to medium when the meat goes on. Close the lid. Turn every few minutes to brown evenly on all sides. Cook until the internal temperature is about 150, around 10 to 15 minutes. Take it off the heat, and let it rest for about 10 minutes--residual heat will continue to cook and will take the internal temp closer to 160.

        This is for a smaller tenderloin, nowhere near 8.5 pounds. But if you cook to the right internal temperature, it should be pretty easy to adjust for whatever size loin you have.

        1. re: shanna1752

          Don't need a rub.

          I prefer a brine (1 c. salt for every gallon of water); add some rosemary, and apple cider to your brine.

          Sear, and slowly cook at about low/medium heat.

        2. If there is any possibility of using a rotisserie attachment, that would help to keep it moist.

          1. I like to take a pork loin and slather it in a paste of sage, thyme, italian parsley, garlic, olive oil and dijon mustard. Let it sit in that overnight. Then sear it on all sides on a grill, reslather with extra goop(I use a charoal grill with half charcoal and half mesquite, and bank the coals to one side) and finish cooking on the cool side. Pull it at 145. Let it rest, tented in foil for 10 minutes. Done.

            1. are there bones on the roast or are they cut off? i guess they might be still there but if not, you might want to tie the roast with string every couple of inches up and down the line. insofar as you can control the temp of the indirect heat, i'd shoot for 375. as others have said, keep tabs on the internal temp of the roast--that's what counts, but this'll likely take a couple of hours.

              personally, i'd go with the green herb and olive oil glop--and some pretty light smoke, probably apple wood. for my taste, hickory would be too much for the herbs and a loin roast. mesquite would be over the top in my view. sounds fun.

              1. Shanna, you are braver than me, cause I would not risk a tenderloin on a grill. But you have a gas grill, so you can control the temperature better than with charcoal. The big risk is drying out the meat. Whether you marinate or dry rub will not make much difference. Brining will add some moisture, but it also makes the meat salty throughout, which I don't care for. Your choice.

                The main thing with cooking a pork tenderloin regardless of how you cook it is to not overcook it. You absolutely must have a probe thermometer to test the interior temp and remove and cover the roast when it reaches 150F or a bit more (the "carryover" heat will raise the temp to around 160F while it rests, for about 10-15 minutes, and 160F is what the Feds say is safe). If it comes out a few degrees short, no big deal. A big roast will have more carryover than a small one.

                1. Pork loin is not to be confused with pork tenderloin- one is quite large and the other long and thin. The loin can be cooked medium rare to a temp. of 160 otherwise it will be tough.
                  Rub with salt and pepper and like the guy said below make slits and stuff with garlic and rosemary and thyme if you like. Cook- covered on indirect heat for about 45 to 50 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes or 15 before carving.
                  Should be delicious!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: amandachef

                    the cut under discussion is quite surely a loin roast at over 8 lbs isn't it. honestly, i can't imagine a roast that size getting done in 45 minutes.

                    1. re: silverhawk

                      My error. I was thinking loin and typed tenderloin. Same principal, though. Use a thermometer.

                  2. Mornin Miss Shanna ---- Don't take my comments as being rude, but after cooking all types and all cuts of meat for over 50 years, I've never met a piece of meat that could tell time!!! When you start cooking your pork loin, by whatever method, on/in whatever appliance, turn your clocks around backwards, and take your wrist watch off. ---- Use an instant read thermometer to cook to your desired temperature....There are products that can be left in place during the entire cooking process, and those than can be used to check the temperature by probing at various intervals. Cooking by temperature takes all of the variables out of picture...Wind, rain, sleet or snow, your oven vs. anyone else's oven, your BBQ Pit/Grill appliance vs.anyone else's, whether, chacoal/wood, gas, or electric, it doesn't matter...When your piece of meat reaches your desired degree of doneness...then it's time to eat.

                    Good luck and enjoy your pork loin.....

                    PS...I cook pork loins to an internal temperature of around 145* ---- Rest 10-15 minutes, and serve.

                    1. I have been a chef for 25 years and i do pork best. You MUST remove the fat to remove that tough sinew layer under it. If you do not remove it, no matter how thin you slice the prok EVERY slice will have some of that very tough sinew on it, might as well try to eat a tennis shoe ! To remove it, i am right handed, lay the pork loin fat side up with the small end to your right, now with a VERY sharp but small knife, work the tip under the fat and sinew and with your left hand pull up what you have cut lose. Keep doing this till you have removed ALL of it ! Pork is best if you brine it for 24 hours. A whole pork loin is very easy to cook on a GAS fired bbq, most even temps. My crew does hundreds of pounds of whole pork loin every summer on a rotisserie we built all out of stainless steel.

                      1. sorry, I forgot this in my other posting. First, what LOOKS like charcoal in the photo on the right is not charcoal it is ceramic charcoal. The other important thing i forgot was, pork is done at 140<<<, let it rest for 15 minutes and it will go up to 145. Do not roast pork any higher than 140 or you will dry it out. Just remove it at 140, cover it with tinfoil and let it sit

                        If anyone has suestons about cooking pork or would like to see photos of our gas bbq grill with home built rotisserie that will do 100 pounds of pork all at once you may email me at