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With just the right balance of savory, tangy, and sweet flavor, this quick and easy Pork Tenderloin Marinade is the first step to incredibly juicy, tender pork—whether you make it on the grill, in the oven, or on the stovetop.

Why You’ll Love This Marinated Pork Tenderloin Recipe

  • It Gives Your Pork Tenderloin Exactly What It Needs. Which is to say: flavor. Pork tenderloin is fabulous—if you need convincing, see my Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, and Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin. The problem, though, is that unlike bacon and ribs, tenderloin isn’t a particularly flavorful cut of pork. You need to add that flavor, and this marinade is a great way to accomplish it. It’s bold, it’s garlicky, and it’s even a little bit sweet thanks to the addition of maple syrup.
  • Tender, Juicy Pork Tenderloin. The apple cider vinegar breaks down the proteins in the meat, which makes it juicy and tender—just what you want, whether you’re making grilled pork tenderloin or you need a pork tenderloin marinade for the oven.
  • Oh So Easy. Like my Grilled Shrimp Marinade and Flank Steak Marinade, this simple pork tenderloin marinade comes together with a few basic ingredients and a brisk whisking—then it does all the rest of the work for you. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a Strawberry Mojito while the pork soaks in all that wonderful flavor. Then throw it on the grill, in the oven, or sear it in a pan or skillet.
  • Versatile. Use it for Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, or Baked Pork Tenderloin. However you make it, your cooked pork tenderloin going to be delectable, especially when paired with a side like Grilled Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato Salad, or Roasted Red Potatoes with fresh rosemary or a squeeze of lemon juice.

How to Make Pork the Best Tenderloin Marinade

The Ingredients

  • Pork Tenderloin. An under-rated option for healthy weeknight meals, pork tenderloin cooks quickly and is an excellent source of lean protein. 
  • Garlic. I like the pungent flavor of fresh garlic in this recipe instead of garlic powder.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV pairs beautifully with pork.
  • Dijon Mustard. Adds a little pep to your step—and your pork tenderloin marinade.
  • Pure Maple Syrup. The darker the syrup, the more intense the maple flavor will be.

Substitution Tip

If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, you can substitute brown sugar.

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Oil helps the marinade’s flavors penetrate better.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper. Always essential! You can add red pepper flakes too for an extra kick.

The Directions

  1. Prep the Pork. Dry the pork and trim it, then place it in a zip-top plastic bag.
  1. Whisk. Mix together all the ingredients.
  1. Marinate. Pour the marinade into the bag with the pork and chill for 2 hours or up to a day.
  1. Cook. Let the pork come to room temperature for 30 minutes, then grill, bake, or smoke. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. You can refrigerate unused pork tenderloin marinade in an airtight container or jar for up to a week.
  • To Freeze. Transfer the marinade to an airtight container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Meal Prep Tip

When I’m making this pork tenderloin marinade, I like to scale up the recipe and make some to pop in the freezer for later.

  • Measuring Cup. Liquid measuring cups are great for mixing marinades because the spout makes it easy to pour.
  • Mason Jar. If you plan on making your marinade in advance or prepping extra for freezing, these smaller size and larger size jars are great for storage.
  • Baking Dish. To catch any moisture or leaks from the zip-top bag.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t Over Marinate. Although you might think more time in the marinade will mean a more flavorful pork tenderloin, after a day the acid from the vinegar will begin to break down the proteins in the meat, causing it to have an unappetizing soft texture. 
  • Flip It. If the meat isn’t completely submerged in the pork tenderloin marinade, flip it at least once during the marinating time to make sure the flavors soak in evenly.
  • Discard the Excess. Never reuse marinade! Once the marinating time is finished, the marinade has done its job and leftovers should be discarded. 
  • Watch the Internal Temp. No matter how you decide to cook your marinated pork tenderloin, it’s important to use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness instead of monitoring the cooking time. When the meat thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, it’s done—I remove the pork from the heat at 135 degrees F, since the pork’s temperature will rise as it cools.
  • Don’t Skip Resting. Cover the pork tenderloin with aluminum foil and let it rest before slicing and serving so the juices have a chance to reincorporate into the meat.

Pork Tenderloin Marinade

4.80 from 10 votes
With a balance of savory, tangy and sweet flavors, this simple pork tenderloin marinade is the first step to juicy, tender pork. Quick & easy!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  


Instructions
 

  • Pat the pork dry and trim away the sliver skin (the tough piece of membrane that is on one end of one side of the tenderloin). Trim away excess fat. Place the pork in a sturdy ziptop bag.
  • In a small bowl or liquid measuring up with a spout, stir together the marinade ingredients.
  • Pour the marinade into the bag, then seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Move the bag around a bit so the pork is evenly coated, then place the bag in a shallow dish.
  • Marinade pork tenderloin for at least 2 hour or up to 1 day in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes prior to cooking. See Baked Pork Tenderloin, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, and Smoked Pork Tenderloin for three excellent ways to make pork tenderloin.

Notes

  • Recipe from my Grilled Pork Tenderloin
  • TO STORE: You can refrigerate unused pork tenderloin marinade in an airtight container or jar for up to a week.
  • TO FREEZE: Transfer the marinade to an airtight container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 344kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 47gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 147mgPotassium: 954mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 14IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 3mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Way to Tenderize Pork Tenderloin?

Marinades are an excellent way to tenderize pork tenderloin, particularly if they contain apple cider vinegar, as this pork tenderloin marinade recipe does. Apple cider vinegar not only helps with tenderness, it also adds flavor.

How Long Can You Marinate Pork Tenderloin?

Different cuts of pork can withstand different marinating times, but pork tenderloin should not be marinated for more than 24 hours.

Is Marinating Pork Necessary?

Marinating pork is not necessary, but it does improve its flavor. This is particularly true of pork tenderloin, which tends to be a less flavorful cut.

How Do You Speed Up Marinating Pork?

Using a fork to poke holes in the meat can help the marinade soak in faster. Some people also use vacuum sealers to aid in marinating, but there’s debate about whether this is actually effective.

Related Recipes

Don’t sleep on pork for healthy weeknight dinners! Here are a few of my favorite ways to use it.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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