This Grilled Pork Tenderloin is so juicy and flavorful thanks to the best pork tenderloin marinade! Tips for grilling, baked pork tenderloin and slow cooker.
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Grilling season is here and we couldn’t be more excited!
My husband (as cliche as it is) is a big lover of getting outdoors and cooking over a flame — propane, charcoal or wood fired.
This summer I was determined to master the best grilled pork tenderloin with a super flavorful marinade, and I think I’ve got it.
I love how easily this marinade is to throw together, and then you can stash it in the fridge for up to one day or even in the freezer to pull out when you’re in a pinch. You’ll be thankful you did!
If you love an easy pork tenderloin recipe as much as we do, check out my Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin with honey balsamic glaze, this Roasted Pork Tenderloin, or this Instant Pot pork tenderloin if that’s more your style!
There are a few tricks to cooking pork tenderloin (how to know the internal temp, how to trim the silver skin, how long to cook it and what temperature, etc.), and I’m here to share my tips to get you the best results.
It’s important to trim off the silver skin on pork tenderloin before cooking, regardless of how you’re cooking it.
This tissue can become tough and chewy when cooked and is not going to leave with a juicy, tender tenderloin (redundant?? Lol).
Use a sharp knife to carefully remove the skin without removing the meat with it. Once you get one end of the skin loosened, you can hold that as you slowly run your knife underneath to remove the rest, all the way down.
Here is a video tutorial if you need a visual.
- The marinade: I love using a marinade with pork because it takes on so many flavours so easily. It adds great moisture and a ton of flavor without having to worry about barbecue sauce. If you prefer, you can always brush with bbq sauce just before finishing on the grill, or serve it alongside.
- The grill temperature: I like to grill pork tenderloin over medium-high heat, roughly 375-425 degrees F.
- The pork tenderloin often has two larger, flatter sides, and two skinny sides. I make sure to get a good sear on each of the two larger sides, as it’s not going to sit really well propped up on the skinny sides. If you like, you can use your tongs to hold the tenderloin on the grill and get a nice sear on these edges as well.
- The internal temperature for pork tenderloin can vary depending on how well you like it done. I like to remove my tenderloin from the grill at an internal temp of 140 degrees F, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This will leave just a slight touch of pink in the center, but in no way will it be raw or undercooked. I brushed my tenderloin with some remaining juices from my cutting board after I sliced it, which is why mine looks more brown.
- It’s important to let it rest so you don’t let all the juices run out — 5-10 minutes should be enough!
This marinade has everything I love — it’s got some sweetness, a bit of spice, some oil to keep everything moist (also helps to prevent stickage to the grill!), and some acid to help tenderize.
You can mix things up a bit, swap the brown sugar for honey or maple syrup, add more spice (try a squirt of sriracha!), or add a squirt of your favorite barbecue sauce for that familiar smoky flavor.
The options are endless! You can use this marinade on pork chops, pork skewers, or even chicken.
I still recommend marinating for a few hours to get all of that flavor. Simply bake for 17-20 minutes at 400 degrees F if you’re using the oven, or on low for 4 hours in the slow cooker.
If you’re using the slow cooker to make this tenderloin recipe, you can even dump in some or all of the marinade to keep the pork moist while it cooks.
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- 1 pork tenderloin (1-1.5 lbs)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar (or apple cider)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (or more for extra spice)
- Trim pork tenderloin according to instructions in post above.
- In a large ziploc freezer bag or container, whisk together apple juice, brown sugar, canola oil, cider vinegar, salt, garlic, ginger, mustard, pepper and pepper flakes. Reserve 1/2 cup of marinade for basting later.
- Add tenderloin, seal tightly, and turn to coat.
- Refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat (roughly 400 degrees F). Remove tenderloin from marinade and discard the bag.
- Grill pork tenderloin for 8-12 minutes per side (exact cook time will depend on exact grill temperature and width of tenderloin), basting with reserved marinade several times during the cooking process.
- When the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F, remove from the grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
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