How to Bake a Pork Tenderloin in the Oven
Delicious roasted pork tenderloin that is simple and quick to make. Perfect for a weeknight dinner!
Pork tenderloin is easily one of the most common cuts of meat that I cook. It is very economical and an extremely lean cut of meat. Pork tenderloin is tender, delicious and very versatile. While it is great served on its own, it is also great on pasta and rice dishes.
One of the easiest way to cook pork tenderloin is by baking them in the oven. I like rubbing the pork tenderloin with a seasoning blend and put them in the oven until cook through. Not only is it super simple, but the pork is juicy, tender and packed with flavour.
My most common seasoning blend that I use, replicates a BBQ rub that I use when smoking pork or chicken in the smoker.
Ingredients You Will Need
Making this pork tenderloin dish is very easy and does not use many ingredients. This
- Pork tenderloin – this recipe uses 2 whole tenderloins. Each pork tenderloin is about one pound in size. Don’t mistake this for a pork loin roast. That is a different, larger cut of meat.
- Brown sugar – this provides a nice sweetness for the seasoning rub that will be all over the pork.
- Oil – this is poured on the baking dish that the pork tenderloins will be placed on.
- Seasoning – for this rub I used paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, ground coriander, thyme, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
How to Trim a Pork Tenderloin
Before the pork tenderloins are seasoned, trim them of any excess fat. Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat, but there are sometimes some chunks of fat along the outside of the meat. Simply trim the little bits of fat away.
Along one section of the tenderloin there is a thin layer of silverskin. If desired, you can remove this. I often take it off with a sharp knife and I find that its removal makes slicing the meat easier once it has been cooked.
What Kind of Seasoning to Use for Pork
The seasoning rub that I used for the pork tenderloin is based off my Steve’s Basic BBQ Rub. It gives the pork a nice BBQ flavour, just like it came off the grill.
The seasoning can easily be switched up so many different spice blends, depending on your preference and what you are planning to serve the pork with.
You can use a baking dish or baking sheet to place the pork tenderloin on for baking. I used an enamelled cast iron oval baking dish and the pork turned out great.
Generously season the pork tenderloin with this rub. Make sure to rub the spices on every part of the meat and get in all the creaks and crevices. It may seem like the pork will be over seasoned, but trust me, it will be very delicious.
Get rid of any excess seasoning laying around the meat. I like to drizzle a few tablespoons of oil on the surface of the baking dish. Then, I place the pork tenderloins where the oil was drizzled.
The pork tenderloins are now ready to go in the oven!
How Long to Cook a Pork Tenderloin
Place the pork tenderloin in a 450F oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145F. Make sure to cook the pork uncovered. This allows the rub to create a nice crust. The brown sugar will actually caramelize on the surface of the pork. So delicious!
Let the pork tenderloin rest for 5 minutes before slicing. I like to cut the pork tenderloin into medallions somewhere in between 1/2 to 1 inch thick.
- Make sure to trim the pork tenderloin of the excess fat and silverskin. It will make each slice more lean and tender
- While the seasoning is more of a BBQ style, you can easily mix it up with different spices for a completely new flavour profile. Here are a number of great spice rubs that go great on pork tenderloin. Sweet and Smoky Chipotle Rub, Curry Rub, Cajun Spice Rub, Moroccan Spice Rub.
- Keep the door of the oven closed for the whole baking time. Each time you open the door to check on the meat, it will cause the temperature to drop significantly and that affect cooking time.
Side Dishes for Pork Tenderloin
Here are some side dishes that go great with this oven baked pork tenderloin.
- Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Bake
- Candied Carrots
- Couscous with Apricots and Pistachios
- Classic Homemade Mac and Cheese
- Lima Beans with Ham
How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin in the Oven
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 tbsp oil
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Mix brown sugar and all the spices together in a small bowl.
- Trim the pork tenderloins of any excess fat and the silver skin membrane. Rub the seasoning all over the pork tenderloins.
- Drizzle oil on baking dish or sheet where the pork tenderloins will be placed. Put the pork tenderloins on top of where the oil was drizzled.
- Bake the pork tenderloins in the oven for 35 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 145F in the fattest part of the meat.
- Let the pork tenderloin rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Trimming a pork tenderloin might not seem necessary, since it is already a very lean cut of meat, but it will help ensure that each slice of meat is super lean and tender. Removing the silverskin especially helps with slicing.
- Try mixing up the seasoning with various spice blends. This can give a totally new flavour to the meat. Pork is quite versatile!
- Don't over-cook the meat. A digital thermometer is the best way to make sure that the meat is fully cooked and done at 145F.