Grilled Pork Tenderloin was a well-intentioned attempt to break out of our weeknight dinner rut. But here’s the thing: when you grill juicy, perfect pork tenderloin, it’s all you crave multiple nights in a row!
A maple-mustard marinade that takes seconds to stir together infuses the pork with robust flavor, tenderizes it, and helps it to maintain juiciness.
With a taste that’s tantalizing, it’s worthy of a dinner party (unless it’s raining, and then you can serve this sassy Stuffed Pork Tenderloin instead).
Pork tenderloin is also FAST.
- Unlike tougher cuts of pork that need low and slow cooking (like this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork), pork tenderloin does not become more tender the longer it cooks.
- Pork tenderloin cooks in 12 to 15 minutes on a gas grill or charcoal grill over medium heat (about 350 degrees F).
That kind of speed—and the fact that you can marinate pork tenderloin up to one day in advance—makes it ideal for quick-and-easy weeknight meals.
How to Grill Pork Tenderloin
This grilled pork tenderloin is one of those fairytale recipes in which incredibly simple prep yields gloriously tasty results.
The three most important factors to ensure you cook perfect, juicy grilled pork tenderloin are:
- DO NOT SKIP THE MARINADE. Yes, all caps, bold font. The marinade isn’t just for flavor. The acid in the marinade tenderizes the pork. The salt in the marinade is how you keep pork tenderloin from drying out on the grill. (Check out this post on Grilled Chicken Breast for more information on the importance of salting meat prior to cooking it.)
- DO NOT OVERCOOK THE PORK. Yep, it’s that bossy all-caps again! Pork loin will not become more tender the longer you cook it. Once you overcook, it’s game over. (This Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin has gravy to cover your mistakes, but not every pork recipe will bail you out this way.)
- Let the Meat Rest. Resting gives the juices time to reincorporate into the meat. If you cut the pork right away, all of those yummy, critical juices will run all over the plate, instead of back into your pork. This step is for all pork cooking methods, whether you’re grilling it or making Baked Pork Tenderloin or Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin.
How to Know When Pork Is Done
- The best way to know if meat is cooked properly is to use an instant read thermometer.
- The FDA considers pork safe to eat at 145 degrees F. That said, the pork’s temperature will continue to rise as it rests.
- I typically pull my pork tenderloin off of the heat once it reaches 135 degrees F. After 10 minutes of resting, it gives me perfect, juicy pork every time. I’ve never had it come out underdone.
- Pork Tenderloin. If you are new to pork tenderloin, I highly recommend it. It’s an incredibly lean cut of meat and, while I do love my chicken recipes, it’s a refreshing alternative that’s still healthy.
- Maple Syrup + Dijon Mustard. These two ingredients star in our grilled pork tenderloin marinade. The mustard is zippy, the maple is sweet, and together they make for a succulent grilled pork tenderloin marinade.
For another stellar recipe with an easy maple syrup and Dijon mustard glaze, check out the 5-Ingredient Salmon in my cookbook. It’s the recipe I cook for dinner most!
- Apple Cider Vinegar. This acidic component does double duty. It balances the sweetness of the maple syrup and works to tenderize the pork.
- Garlic. Is there any grilled meat garlic doesn’t make better?
- Salt + Pepper. Season, season, season your meat to ensure the flavor carries all the way through, not just the outside.
- Mix the marinade ingredients.
- Place the tenderloin in a ziptop bag with the marinade. Refrigerate pork for 2 hours up or up to 1 day.
- Let the pork come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to medium. The best temperature to grill pork tenderloin is 350 to 375 degrees F.
- Grill until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, flipping once halfway through. Twelve to 15 minutes is how long it takes to grill pork tenderloin.
- Cover and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Serving Grilled Pork Tenderloin
When I’m hosting a party, I like to cut the meat into thick slices, then arrange the grilled pork tenderloin medallions on a serving platter and sprinkle on fresh herbs.
It looks gorgeous and you can bring it right to the table and let guests help themselves.
For simple weeknight meals, we let the pork rest on a cutting board, slice it up, then serve ourselves directly from there.
What to Serve with Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin on the grill is lean and versatile! If you can brave the elements, you can grill pork tenderloin (or smoke it using my Smoked Pork Tenderloin recipe) year-round.
Here are a few ideas of what to serve with it:
- Grilled Vegetables. Cook Grilled Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Corn on the cob, Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, or Grilled Asparagus right beside the pork.
- Starches. Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Homemade Scalloped Potatoes, and Oven Roasted Potatoes can all give you restaurant vibes at home.
- Salad. Spinach Strawberry Salad is a tasty green salad to serve with pork. For a different route, try Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta Salad or Healthy Potato Salad.
- Slaw. Pork and coleslaw are besties. This Healthy Coleslaw and Brussels Sprouts Slaw are both fantastic.
- Creamed Corn. For a true comfort meal, serve your grilled pork tenderloin recipes alongside Crock Pot Creamed Corn.
- To Store. Refrigerate pork in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F. In a pinch, the pork can also be reheated in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze pork in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Tongs. These are perfect for grilling pork tenderloin. The locking feature is ideal for staying organized in a drawer.
- Measuring Cups. Very durable and sturdy, and dishwasher-safe.
I challenge you to step out of your weeknight dinner rut and try grilled pork tenderloin!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you do not need to wrap your pork tenderloin in foil when grilling. While you can grill pork tenderloin in foil if you prefer, I find that the pork is typically more flavorful when it’s placed directly on the grill grates.
If your pork tenderloin turns out tough or chewy, it’s likely because it was overcooked. While the marinade in this recipe works to combat dry meat, pork tenderloin can still easily go from juicy to tough when overcooked. Make sure to check your pork tenderloin with a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to the perfect temperature.
Yes, you should flip the pork tenderloin once during cooking. This ensures that both sides of the pork have those beautiful grill marks and smoky flavor.
If you’d like to experiment with a different marinade, try the honey soy sauce one from my Chicken Thigh Marinade recipe or my bright and refreshing Orange Chicken Marinade. You could also add a brown sugar pork rub (like the one in my Instant Pot Ribs recipe) and top the pork with Barbecue Sauce.
Fresh garlic is my first choice for this recipe, but you can swap garlic powder in a pinch. Swap 1/2 teaspoon for the 3 cloves of garlic.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the garlic, apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the marinade in a large, sturdy ziptop bag.
- Cut away the silver skin from the pork tenderloin. Trim away any large pieces of excess fat. Place pork in the bag with marinade and seal it tightly, “squishing” the bag so that the pork is coated on all sides.
- Place the bag in a baking dish or on a plate to catch any drips. Refrigerate to marinate for 2 hours or up to 1 day, turning occasionally. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium (about 350 degrees F). Make sure the grates are very clean. Remove the pork from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Discard the marinade and bag. Place the pork on the grill and cover.
- Cook until the pork reaches 135 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, about 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- Remove the tenderloin to a plate, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- Note: Nutritional information has been calculated without the marinade, as most of the marinade is discarded. Nutritional information is calculated only as a courtesy. To calculate in further detail, use an online resource such as myfitnesspal.com.
- TO STORE. Refrigerate pork in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT. Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F. In a pinch, the pork can also be reheated in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE. Freeze pork in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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