This easy recipe for Grilled Pork Tenderloin is sure to become one of your favorite dinner ideas. You’ll love the juiciness of lean pork tenderloin, marinated in olive oil and red wine vinegar, and then cooked to perfection on a smoky grill.
Looking for more ways to cook pork tenderloin? Try this simple Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin!
Table of Contents
- Juicy, Tender, and Healthy Grilled Pork
- What’s the Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin?
- How Long Does Pork Tenderloin Take on the Grill?
- Ingredients You’ll Need
- How to Grill Pork Tenderloin, Step-by-Step
- Helpful Tips for Success
- Serving Ideas
- How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Get the Recipe
- More Easy Pork Recipes
Juicy, Tender, and Healthy Grilled Pork
Don’t you love grilling? I am a huge fan. So is my husband – but we have very different approaches. Let me reach back into the past and show you our grilling preferences, summed up in two pictures:
This is my kind of grill. It’s a little like R2D2, no? My husband, meanwhile…What is this? He can’t let go of his 1980’s camping ways. Ha! (To be fair, this little grill does produce some juicy burgers, not to mention kebapi.)
But I digress! Back to the present, which in my case is all focused on this amazing recipe for pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is delightfully tender and juicy, and when you grill it, the natural sweetness of the pork really shines through. All you need is a simple marinade, and you are looking at one seriously satisfying meal. My marinade is a foolproof mix of olive oil, red wine, rosemary, and seasonings. Paired with the lean pork, it’s a match made in heaven!
This easy recipe is perfect for a weekend dinner, or for a special occasion like Memorial Day. It’s not hard to pull together, mostly hands-off, but special nonetheless. That means that you can serve up a festive meal – something out of the ordinary – with very little hassle to distract you from your event!
What’s the Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin?
You might be wondering if pork tenderloin is the same as the more well-known pork loin. Well, not quite! Pork loin is also lean, and can be very tender and juicy when cooked properly. However, it’s much larger than tenderloin, and it is not as tender and delicate. Pork loin is often cut into chops and roasts, and can be bone-in or boneless.
On the other hand, pork tenderloin cuts are much smaller – usually only a couple of pounds in weight. They are most commonly sold whole, or sliced into small medallions. Pork tenderloin, as the name suggests, is more tender than the regular loin, which makes it perfect for grilling!
(Want to make pork loin, instead of tenderloin? Try this easy recipe for Pork Loin Roast!)
How Long Does Pork Tenderloin Take on the Grill?
That depends! A lot of recipes call for cooking pork tenderloin at high heat for around 15 minutes, but my method is a little different. I sear the outside of the meat at a high temperature, and then cook it on medium for about 40 minutes, followed by a long resting period to allow the juices to redistribute.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Like many easy grilling recipes, this one only needs a few simple ingredients to put loads of flavor on your plate! The smoky heat of the grill brings out the best in these basic pantry staples.
- Pork Tenderloin: As always, plan on about half a pound per person.
- Olive Oil: The base of the marinade is olive oil, so make sure to use a good-quality oil that you like.
- Red Wine Vinegar: This bold vinegar adds so much flavor to the pork! You could also use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Rosemary: I like to use freshly minced rosemary leaves, but you could also substitute dried rosemary to make it a little easier and quicker!
- Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper: Sprinkle these on, to taste.
How to Grill Pork Tenderloin, Step-by-Step
While it only takes a short time to cook the pork tenderloin, make sure to set aside some time for it to marinate first. I recommend marinating for several hours, but even 30 minutes makes a big difference.
- Marinate the Pork Tenderloin. In a large zip-top bag, mix together all of the marinade ingredients, and submerge the pork tenderloin in them. Seal, and refrigerate for 3 hours or so. (You can also marinate the pork using a large bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Make sure to turn the meat several times so that it gets evenly soaked in the liquid.)
- Brown the Pork Tenderloin on the Grill. When you’re ready to cook, preheat your grill. Next, take the tenderloin out of the marinade, and discard the marinade along with the bag. Place the tenderloin on the hot grill, and allow it to sear/brown on all sides. This will take 3 to 5 minutes per side.
- Cook, Covered, on Medium Until Done. Once the meat has browned on all sides, turn the heat down to medium. Close the lid of the grill, and allow it to cook for 40 minutes. Turn the tenderloin every once in a while during this part of the cooking.
- Let the Tenderloin Stand. When done, take the tenderloin off of the grill and place it on a serving dish. Let it rest for about 20 minutes, before cutting and serving.
Helpful Tips for Success
- Be Careful Not to Overcook: This is probably the most important tip of all! To avoid overcooking and drying out the tenderloin, I recommend checking it with an Instant Read thermometer about halfway through cooking. Pork is done when it registers 145°F, but you should take it off the grill when it reaches about 135°F or 140°F, since the temperature will continue to rise while it rests.
- Time Your Sides: Don’t forget that the pork will need a lengthy resting time – which gives you time to make some easy side dishes! You can even make grilled side dishes, since your grill will be hot and ready once the pork is cooked. Maybe pineapple?
- Double Up: This is a really easy recipe to double, which gives you easy-to-use sliced pork for meal prepping! Add it to a sandwich, sala, or rice skillet for an easy meal in minutes.
So just what sides should you make to go with your juicy grilled pork? I’m so glad you asked. You really can’t go wrong here, but I do have a few special favorites. Let’s take a look:
- Sweet and Spicy Veggies: I am obsessed with the flavors in this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Carrots and Green Beans! These simple, versatile veggies take on a whole new level of mouthwatering flavor when cooked with tart apples, thick-cut bacon, and a special sauce. Make this for a special occasion!
- A Colorful Veggie Salad: Want something more summery? I got you! This Grilled Zucchini Salad with Corn and Tomatoes is utterly fresh and bursting with flavor.
- Sweet Potatoes: Packed with nutrition and tons of naturally sweet flavor, these easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes are a combination of sweet potatoes and Yukon gold, mashed with butter, sour cream, brown sugar, and a hint of cayenne for a little kick. Crave-worthy!
- Mashed Cauliflower: One of my favorite low carb alternatives to creamy mashed potatoes. You’ll never know the difference!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To refrigerate your leftovers, place them in airtight containers or food storage bags, or just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
- To freeze, wrap tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. Mark with the date, and freeze for 3 to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- To reheat, slice the leftover tenderloin and place the slices in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add a tablespoon or so of water or oil, and cover. Allow the slices to heat, stirring and flipping occasionally, until they are hot all the way through, and then take them off the heat immediately to avoid drying out the pork.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- garlic powder , to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a large ziploc bag; refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat grill.
- Remove tenderloin from bag and discard marinade.
- When your grill is hot and ready, place the loins on the hot grill and brown on all sides; about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Once its browned, turn down the heat to medium, close the grill, and come back once in a while to flip it around.
- Continue to grill for 40 minutes.
- Remove meat from grill and allow to rest for 20 minutes before cutting.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.