Pork tenderloin, not to be confused with pork loin, is perfect for the grill. Why? It’s a small, yet hearty cut that can be dressed up for an anniversary dinner or charred for a casual backyard BBQ.
The key to cooking it perfectly is all about quick timing on high heat, and the initial brine you use.
The tenderloin is a smaller, thin strip of meat that comes from the backbone area. It will take on the smoky char of the BBQ when it is perfectly seared and will be juicy and full of flavour! However, if you’re not careful, it can be very easy to overcook, ending up dry and flavourless.
Here at Spragg’s, we process our meat in-house; ensuring you’re purchasing a fresh cut every time. We raise our hogs in our low-stress, free-range pastures in Rosemary, Alberta, providing our pigs with the ideal conditions (antibiotic-free) that will make the end result ideal for your grill. Come into our meat shop in either Calgary or Rosemary, or visit us at the Calgary Farmers’ Market to grab your pork tenderloin for tonight’s big BBQ roast.
Here are a few secrets to grilling up a well-seared, drool-worthy pork tenderloin on the BBQ that will impress even the pickiest of meat lovers!
The Secret is in the Prep
Begin by trimming the excess fat off the meat, along with any silverskin that might be left on there – this is a stiff connective tissue that doesn’t break down in the cooking process.
Since the tenderloin has the texture of red meat, but not the flavour, it helps to soak it in a salt sugar brine for 45-minutes. This will make the meat juicer, more flavourful, and dare we say it, moister!
Here are a few tips for making the perfect brine here.
Season the Tenderloin
This is where the flavour comes in. Since it doesn’t have as much of its own distinct flavour, it will pick up the charred smokiness from the grill and take on any other seasonings that you apply.
A sweet glaze made with sweet chilli, apple, pineapple, or Dijon mustard is always a nice complementary flavour that will give the tenderloin a good crust. A dry rub with salt and sugar or an Italian seasoning is also great for caramelizing the crust while keeping the meat on the inside juicy and moist.
Grilling the Tenderloin
These are the steps we recommend. From start to finish, it should take anywhere from 20-25 minutes if the grill is at 400 degrees Fahrenheit – this is the key.
Preheat the grill for 10 minutes
Put the tenderloin on the grill for 7 minutes on the first side, directly over high heat, keeping the grill covered.
Then flip the tenderloin, cooking for six minutes on the second side, keeping it over the high heat so that the whole tenderloin can get evenly seared.
Then turn the grill off and leave the lid closed for 5 minutes checking the tenderloin often until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Garnish and enjoy!
Finish the dish off with a mango or pineapple salsa, Dijon mustard, or leftover glaze and pair with some crisp veggies and a fresh Pinot Noir, Shiraz, or fruity Zinfandel.