Deciding exactly how long to cook pork tenderloin in the oven can be tricky. Keep it roasting too long, and the pork will dry out and become chewy. Too little time in the oven, however, and you risk some nasty outcomes from ingesting parasites.
Here’s the general answer for how long to cook pork tenderloin in the oven at 350F or 177C: At this temperature, it generally takes 20-30 minutes for a pork tenderloin to reach a safe temperature.
Making a delicious serving of pork tenderloin requires just a bit more know-how, beyond the cook time. Fortunately, you’re in the right place to learn how to prepare, cook, and serve a delicious and juicy pork tenderloin.
How to prepare and cook pork tenderloin to perfection
Before you get started, begin by preheating your oven to 350F or 177C. At this temperature, you can cook your pork evenly without drying it out.
1. Cut off the silverskin
Pork tenderloin often comes with the silverskin still attached. This is connective tissue that remains tough even after cooking. You’ll want to remove it before you season and roast the tenderloin.
To remove the silverskin, angle your knife so the blade slides between the silverskin and the meat. It helps to lift up one edge of the silverskin and grab it with your non-dominant hand. You can then pull off the skin as you continue edging the knife between the skin and the meat. Take care to remove as little lean meat as possible.
2. Brine the pork tenderloin
Pork tenderloin can be dry so it’s a great candidate for wet brining. Wet brining involves submerging the meat in a mixture of water and salt. The process adds flavor and moisture.
To make a simple brine, combine 4 tablespoons of kosher salt with 4 cups of water. Make sure there is enough liquid so that the meat can be completely submerged.
You can mix the brine in a bowl or in a large Ziploc bag. Then, simply drop your tenderloin in the liquid and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours. When you’re ready to cook the meat, remove it from the brine and toss the remaining liquid.
3. Season the pork tenderloin
If you’re in a rush and don’t want to brine the meat, you can season it with salt and pepper instead. The end result may be drier than without the brine, but still acceptably good assuming you don’t overcook it.
You can also add seasoning after brining. For best results, don’t add more salt. Simply use other seasonings that go well with pork, like garlic powder, paprika, or an Italian spice mix.
4. Make sure the cut is even
These pork cuts tend to be uneven, with one side thinner than the other. Trimming the thicker side will allow the pork to cook more evenly. That way, when you check if one if cooked through, the other one will be as well.
5. Roast the tenderloin for 20 to 30 minutes
Pork roasts need to cook to an internal temperature of 145F, measured at the center of the thickest section. This typically takes 20 to 30 minutes of oven roasting at 350F or 177C.
If you have a meat probe, insert it before you start roasting. You can then monitor the temperature without opening the oven door — which is ideal. Otherwise, use an instant-read thermometer and start checking the pork at about 17 minutes.
6. Rest your pork tenderloin for at least 5 minutes
Once the pork tenderloin is fully cooked, let it rest before you slice it . If you jab a knife in immediately, the juice will leak out and dry out the meat. To avoid this, let the meat sit for at least 5 minutes on the counter. I like to tent it with foil. For a flavor boost, dab some butter over the top. It’ll melt over the top of the meat as it rests.
During this time, the meat will reabsorb its natural juices.
You can then slice and serve your tenderloin. Be ready to accept compliments on your cooking prowess from your guests.
7. Serve the pork tenderloin
Roasted pork tenderloin goes nicely with many side dishes — vegetables, mashed potatoes, salads, lentils, and cauliflower, to name a few. You could also pair it with pasta, rice, or drizzle it with tomato sauce.
Here are some side dish ideas for pork tenderloin you might like:
- Grilled Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Butternut Squash or Carrots
- Air Fryer Apples
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Chinese Green Beans
Other ways to cook pork tenderloin
You can also try these other prep methods for your pork tenderloin:
- How to cook pork tenderloin on the stovetop
- How to cook Smithfield pork tenderloin
- How to cook pork tenderloin on the grill
- Balsamic grilled pork tenderloin recipe
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 4 cups cold water, tap
- 4 tablespoons Kosher salt
- Garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 350F or 177C.
- Combine the salt and water in a large bowl or Ziploc bag and let it dissolve.
- Slice off the silverskin from the pork tenderloin.
- Put the meat in the salt solution, making sure the liquid completely covers it. Then, seal, and keep it in the fridge for 30 minutes to two hours.
- Discard the solution and rinse the pork tenderloin. Then, place in a roasting pan and skewer the thin end into the larger body. Do it such that this end becomes almost equal to the other.
- Season the meat with pepper and garlic powder. Insert a meat probe if you have one.
- Roast the pork in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes. The meat is done when a probe reads 145F or 63F in the thickest part of the meat.
- Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice it into half-inch slices and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 7699mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 59g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.