Pork is my least favorite protein (let’s face it – nothing beats a juicy rib-eye – if you are into meat, that is). But a pork tenderloin cooked properly can be a very nice change of pace from chicken or beef. My challenge was cooking it properly.

Pork Tenderloin

There were MANY times I would pop a tenderloin into the oven, roast it for 20-25 minutes thinking it was cooked through only to find out the middle was almost raw. (Yes, I’ve had my share of kitchen failures. Ask GFB about the red beans and rice I made once.) We also tried the grill a couple of times, but same issue. Then, I ran across the most bazaar but full-proof way to cook a tenderloin. Trust me – it works.

Perfect Pork Tenderloin

  • Determine exact weight of your pork. Most tenderloins will have the weight printed on the wrapper. (I typically use a 1.5-2lb tenderloin that is no more than 2.5 inches in diameter.)
  • Preheat oven to 500-550 degrees. (Yea, I know it’s hot. On my oven – it’s the “broil” setting…)
  • Line baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. (This just makes clean up MUCH easier.)
  • Remove the pork from the package and season with your favorite herbs or spices. (I normally use S&P along with some Rosemary, but you could use any seasoning blend you prefer.)
  • Place tenderloin (uncovered) in the oven and bake for EXACTLY 5 1/2 minutes per pound.  For a 2lb. roast, you would cook for 11 minutes.
  • Once the time has elapsed, turn off the oven and DO NOT open the oven door for ONE HOUR. This allows the roast to continue to cook without the direct heat.
  • After one hour, remove the pork from the oven and let rest on the counter for 5-10 minutes. As Alton Brown taught us from the many segments on Good Eats, this allows the juices to redistribute.
After the 5-10 minutes, slice and top  with your favorite cranberry sauce, gravy or bbq sauce.
NOTE: This recipe does depend on the accuracy of your oven and how well it retains heat. I was lucky; the first time I tried the recipe on my 500degree oven, it worked PERFECT. You *might* have to adjust your settings slightly if you don’t achieve the desired doneness.
I, like many of you will, read the recipe and said to myself “Hell no that isn’t going to work.” Then read the more than 170 reviews from a website that posted about it and almost every one said “Oh hell yes it does.” (Ok, not in those words – but you get the idea.)

Try it out – and let me know what you think.

Happy Cooking~



Originally posted on food.com

36 Responses to How to cook the PERFECT Pork Tenderloin

  1. Mary Katherine says:

    In the past, I have used a recipe similar to this. However, the tenderloin could be left in the oven for 4-5 hours. I made it on Sundays and it stayed in the oven while we were at church. It was always fabulous. Does this recipe work the same?

  2. Tammy says:

    I used to “kill” roasts and pork tenderloins cooking them in the oven while trying recipes. My husband likes his pork tenderloin medium well (I always learned growing up to make sure pork was very well done).

    After finally learning you could now safely consume pork at a medium, I searched for new ways to cook.

    I came across this and was skeptical, but tried it (hey if it didn’t work, I could just cook it a little longer right?)

    My husband and I were amazed!

    So I tried doing the same with beef roasts (5.5 min per pound) and again it’s fantastic!

    Will never cook beef or pork any other way again.

  3. anders says:

    If this doesn’t come out allright, I’m voting for someone else.

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  5. Markus says:

    Could I put veggies in with the pork tenderloin while its cooking? or will the veggies over cook with this heat?

  6. Molly says:

    I only cook for two people so I used a small pork tenderloin about 1.3 lb, and it came out perfectly this way. So glad I came across this site!

  7. Helen says:

    Hi Stephanie
    Will this method still work if the loin is stuffed and wrapped in bacon?
    I would like to try it this weekend?
    Thanks Helen

  8. Shannon says:

    This did not work!!! I did everything you said and it was not cooked throughout. I cooked a 4 lb pork loin.

    • Debbie says:

      Shannon, this is clearly for a pork TENDERLOIN! A Pork loin is completely different. I have done this several times and will cook my Pork Tenderloins NO OTHER WAY! They come out PERFECT every time! :-)

  9. erica says:

    I tried this last year and now will not make my pork tenderloin any other way. This is the first time I’ve tried a tenderloin recipe and had to come out perfectly. I’ve done it every time since about once or twice a month. My children ask for seconds and thirds it is truly amazing. Completely foolproof. Skifta foil I lay my tenderloin and sliced apples and onions sometimes a little red wine.

  10. erica says:

    I only make my pork tenderloin this way I do it about once or twice a month it comes out perfectly every time. This is the only a recipe I really can’t screw up it’s foolproof!!!

  11. Maryellen says:

    I tried this and the meat turned out dry. I used two small tenderloins 2.3 pounds for both together. Should I have used the weight of one only?

    • JR says:

      Maryellen, when cooking more than one tenderloin, you do not add the weights of all together and cook for the total combined weight; you choose the tenderloin with the greatest weight and roast based on that weight alone. Try it again and I’m sure your next roast will turn out perfectly. This is the only method I’ll use for pork tenderloin now and it is not only foolproof, but the results are simply outstanding.

  12. Debbie says:

    I tried this a week or so ago and YES! It works perfectly! We liked it so much! had to come back in and check on that temp, because I’m doing another one right NOW! ha! This is now the only way I’ll cook them. Thanks bunches! :-)

  13. Sue says:

    Wow! This Pork tenderloin turned out amazing.Thank you for the recipe. I’ve not been a super fan since my previous attempts at pork tenderloin have been very hit or miss. I followed your directions to a “T” and drizzled one with a warm praline mustard glaze. The other I let stand alone with just the salt, pepper, and Rosemary. Delicious :-)

  14. Michael says:

    Did as suggested, seasoned the meat, set on foil. Set oven/timer 5 1/2 mins per lb @ 550 degrees. After this cooking time period, knowing my oven, set the temp to 200 degrees for 50mins. Covered the meat for an additional 10 mins cook time. Removed, let rest. This meat was sooo tender and tasteful! Delicious! What a confidence builder. Thank you!

  15. Chris says:

    This worked great, however, you did not say which rack that the pork needed to go on. The top or bottom, or somewhere else. I started on the top and I moved to the top rack after about 1 minute. The pork was moist and tasty.



  16. Texie P says:

    I tried this a few weeks ago and it worked like a charm. The meat was very tender and juicy. Thanks!

  17. Jeri Maher says:

    i have tried this three times and it has come out PERFECT every single time!!! highly recommend it!!

  18. Adam Trotter says:

    I did follow this to the letter (I finally have a real oven, after 7 years without one!) But for this 1.8lb tenderloin, at 525deg for 10 minutes + 1 hour sitting, it came out pretty much raw. Did line the baking pan with foil, maybe that affected the cooking, and have no sense yet (besides this experiment) how my oven loses heat. So I’ll just bake it for a while at 350 until done, I can live with slightly dry meat :)

    • Adam Trotter says:

      P.S. I may have been slightly misled by superficial pinkness on the outside of the meat…it’s possible it was actually done — though it certainly is done after an additional half hour at 350, and none the worse for wear. Cheers!

  19. Angie M. says:

    Hi! I was looking for information on the net regarding how long per pound to bake my pork loin when I stumbled upon this page. I have made this before, but my pork loin is larger this time so I wasn’t sure and had to go looking. Anywho, I don’t line my pan with the foil, I wrap the pork loin with the foil, heavy duty, wrap it twice. Then, put it in the oven at 500 for about 1/2hr, then I turn the oven off and leave it for an hour. Most of the time I have great luck with this – only once did it not cook entirely (maddening!). I like to get creative with my spices and the base – tonight I used butter, but I have used sunflower oil, bacon grease and coconut oil (not together, obviously!). Definitely try this way of making pork loin – it’s fantastic! OH and don’t forget to make yummy gravy with the drippings! :D

  20. debbie says:

    had to go looking for the recipe again made this awhile ago and it was awesome were up to camp and gonna do it again tonight…so moist and tender!!!!

  21. Kedrin says:

    the ability of your oven to retain heat is absolutely crucial! This technique works perfectly if your oven temp is around 200F after the hour of bake time.

  22. Marlene says:

    This did not work for me using my oven at 525 degrees. I even weighed my pork loin on a scale and did this to perfect calculation. The roast was way too underdone. I then just turned up the oven to 350 and baked for another 25 minutes until it registered 135. Rested for 10 minutes then ate.

    • Mary Anne says:

      I cooked without foil the first time, and this turned out perfect. When I lined the dish with foil, it was undercooked, like Marlene was commenting.

      • Stephanie says:

        That’s interesting Mary Anne. I didn’t even think about that. I never used aluminum foil either. I wonder if the heat from the pan helps with the temperature?

  23. Val says:

    Whatv if you’re cooking 2 tenderloins at same time?

    • Stephanie says:

      You know, Val, I’m not sure! I’ve never tried it. How many pounds are the tenderloins each?

    • EILEEN says:

      I’ve done this with up to 3 loins at the same time (I’ve tried 3×5-pound and 2×16-pound loins). If they are of similar weight, you can make them exactly as if you were making just one (example: for the 3 loins I used 5.5×5= 27.5 min cooking time and for the 2 loins i used 5.5×16=88 min cooking time). Make sure that there is enough space between the loins . Good luck!

  24. Misti says:

    I have done this 3 times now and it really does come out perfectly if you only leave the oven on for 5 1/2 minutes per pound (seriously do not go over this time) I have always had bad luck cooking pork because it was too dry but this comes out perfect (if you follow the recipe exactly)and as you can tell…if you can’t follow directions you can easily make this dry. Love love love that I put in minimal work and make a side dish while its just chilling in the oven for an hour.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Misti! I was VERY skeptical the first time I tried it, but it works! Do you put any seasonings or other flavorings on your pork when you cook it?

  25. I can probably do this! LOL Sounds yum, and it’s almost the time of year for roasting indoors! : ) Thanks! (Meeting you here via Katie, Dishin and Dishes, by the way)

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