Grilled Pork Tenderloin Recipe

This Grilled Pork Tenderloin recipe is an oldie but a goodie. It’s flavorful and couldn’t be easier!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin recipe

This Grilled Pork Tenderloin recipe is one of our favorites. Many people feel pork tenderloin has little taste, but with a little marinade time prior to cooking, this lean cut of meat grilled up right will change your mind forever. And forever is a long time.

Begin by marinating the pork tenderloin(s) in a simple concoction of your favorite pork friendly ingredients. Now here’s where I may lose you. We don’t measure for this recipe. Sorry. We kinda ka-gunk, ka-gunk—a couple of splashes of this and a few shakes of that, and a dash or two of something else.

Generally we begin with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar (or a citrus juice), soy sauce, honey. Then some rosemary (or oregano or basil or whatever herbs are on hand), garlic powder, ground ginger, brown sugar, salt and pepper are added to name a few. Not all of those together, mind you.

Experiment with combinations and proportions that tickle your fancy. That’s the fun part. It is like science class, only tastier! Mix a few ingredients, a little at a time, taste it every now and then and adjust it to your liking. Do NOT taste the marinade after adding the uncooked meat to it. I repeat, do NOT taste the marinade after adding the uncooked meat. Do I need to say that? Yes, yes I feel that I do.

how to grill pork tenderloin how to grill pork tenderloin

Once your marinade is ready, add it (if it’s not already in one) to a zip-top plastic bag, along with the pork tenderloin(s) making sure to coat all sides in the bag. Zip the bag up tight, and refrigerate it allowing it to mingle until ready to grill. So easy!

I think you’ll find this Grilled Pork Tenderloin will become a favorite too and one you can add to your weeknight rotation. Happy grilling!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

A few side dishes that be perfect partners with this Grilled Pork Tenderloin:

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy and flavorful way to grill pork tenderloins.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: Makes 4 servings.
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin(s)
  • marinade of choice (enough to coat tenderloins)
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag and add the pork tenderloin(s) making sure to coat all sides.
  2. Seal bag and let marinate, refrigerated, until ready to grill.
  3. When ready to grill, pre-heat the grill to a medium high heat. Place tenderloin(s) on hot grill. Sear 2 minutes, then turn ¼ (quarter) turn. Repeat every 2 minutes until all sides are browned.
  4. Once all sides are seared, turn heat to low, close grill lid or cover with foil and cook until meat thermometer reads 145-degrees F in the thickest part of the tenderloin (about 10-15 minutes depending on your grill).
  5. Let tenderloin rest for about about 15 minutes before slicing.

 Originally posted May 28, 2010. Updated April 5, 2015.

Sign Up for Email Updates

Subscribe here to have all updates delivered to your email.


  1. 2

    Lori @ RecipeGirl says

    I’ve done a lot of things to pork tenderloin, but I don’t think I’ve ever grilled it. I love your ka-junk instructions… I usually follow a recipe, but I’m inspired to wing it next time :)

  2. 3

    TidyMom says

    OMG!……’s 8am and I want to eat dinner{your pics are AMAZING!}!! We LOVE pork tenderloin here – I fix it a LOT!! We buy a “rub” product called “Amazing Pork” I sprinkle it on, and grill…..but now I can’t wait to try your marinate!

    Thanks for sharing Amy!!…..I just drool over your pictures! they are just SO sharp and clear and full of color! ♥

  3. 5

    Wei-Wei says

    That first photo made me drool. Just look at the crust on that tenderloin and the juicy insides. I could die now and be happy.


  4. 7


    We LOVE pork tenderloin. I like to wrap it in bacon and sage, bake it in the oven and slather Raspberry Peach Chipotle glaze from Fredericksburg Farms on it. Yummy!

  5. 9

    Patrice says

    I work as a chef and I find that ka-gunk and splash are two of my favorite methods of measuring. Once again, your photos are wonderful!

  6. 10

    Wenderly says

    Yes, hello my name is Wenderly, and I’d like to book a reservation for 2 (or 4 if you allow kids) on the patio please, overlooking your beautiful garden. Thank you.

  7. 12


    Can you please make Wenderly’s reservation for 7. We’d like to join her family for reservations. That looks delicious!!!

    I laughed out loud at the ka-gunk description of measurement. You know, that should become an official measurement. It’s perfect, and I knew exactly what that meant and can picture in my head about how much soy sauce before it makes that sound.

    Thank you so much for linking up this deliciousness to On the Grill.

    As always, your photography is perfect-o! You would have LOVED that class on Friday!!!

  8. 14

    the country cook @ Delightful Country Cookin' says

    Those are the BEST types of marinades, hands down!

  9. 15

    Brenda says

    I’ve been using the ka-gunk method for years, but I call it the “chinese menu marinade” — you know, pick something from column A, something from column B, … my “columns” are something sweet, something acidic, something spicy and some kind of oil.

    Oh… this technique works great for a beef tenderloin too — especially if you include diluted cider vinegar, brown sugar and a really strong mustard in there somewhere.

  10. 16

    Chef Michael says

    Irresponsible! Pork needs to be cooked to 160!!! 160!!!!! I know the temp should rise to 160 in that 15 minute wait, but most people will wait about 3 minutes…and your pork in the picture looks underdone. Happy bathroom time.

    • 17


      Hey Chef Michael!

      So glad you took the time to stop by and to leave a comment. I’m sure you’re quite busy being a chef, cooking and stuff.

      I want to clarify, mostly for anyone else visiting this site, about cooking pork and proper temperature times. To do that I looked to Pam Anderson, former Cook’s Illustrated editor, cookbook author, and current contributing editor/columist to many publications including Fine Cooking (and Maggy’s mom from Three Many Cooks). Pam is a trusted source for recipes, and more importantly recipe accuracy. And she just so happens to have written a sidebar for CookSmart back in 2002 about this very topic. Here’s the full reference to her article…

      “When I teach pork tenderloin at my cooking classes, I’m always surprised at the number of students who won’t touch pork that’s been cooked to a pale pink medium-well. It’s usually for one of two reasons. The first group simply prefers the texture of well-done food whether it’s lamb, beef, salmon, eggs—that goes for pork too. I understand.

      Those in the second group are simply afraid to eat pink pork. I understand that too. After all, most of us were taught to cook and eat by a generation that had good reason to cook pork beyond doneness. Unlike today’s pigs, those in our parents or grand parent’s time weren’t fed a controlled grain-based diet, and trichinosis was a real threat. Long cooking was the standard solution. If two hours was good, then three was even better In fact, pork was the last notch on the old meat thermometers and the standard suggested internal temperature was 180 degrees. But overcooked pork wasn’t a problem back then. There was enough fat on old-fashioned pork to lubricate and flavor it.

      Today’s pork is different. It’s safer, so there’s no need to overcook it. It’s also leaner, and overcooking it, particularly cuts from the loin, will result in dry, sawdust-textured meat. There just isn’t enough fat trap and retain moisture.

      The USDA and Pork Board have lowered their recommended internal temperature for pork from 180 degrees to 160 degrees, a temperature still too high for a lean cut like tenderloin. And there’s no reason to cook tenderloin to that temperature. Trichinosis a virtually a non-issue today (even so, it’s killed at 137 degrees). Because the inside of pork tenderloin is bacteria-free, it’s only the cut external surfaces that might be contaminated. But according to the Pork Board, as long as the outside of the roast reaches 140 degrees within 4 hours, the pork tenderloin is safe. Given that 7-6-5 Grilled Pork Tenderloins are blasted seven minutes on one side and six on the other in an enclosed 500-degree grill, the roast’s surface is undoubtedly safe. The tenderloins continue to cook in a turned off but still very hot grill for another five minutes, bringing their internal temperature to between 145 and 150 degrees—logically safe.

      For those who don’t eat pink pork because you don’t like it’s texture, feel free let the pork tenderloins cook to 160 degrees or beyond. For those who’ve shied away from pink pork for safety reasons, fear no more.”

      Gee, I’m so thankful for Pam and the information she has gleaned from years upon years of experience. It’s professionals like her who help moms like me make magic happen in the kitchen for our friends and family. Thanks Pam!

      ~ Amy

      • 18

        Kim says

        Well said Amy! Your grilled tenderloin looks amazing! My husband and I have been grilling ours to the same level of pinkness, tastes better than most any steak we’ve grilled. I have read countless recommendations similar to Pam’s. Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. 19

    Maggy@ThreeManyCooks says

    Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, Michael. I happen to disagree with you. I think her pork looks just right. Have a little faith in humanity, clearly Amy is capable of waiting 15 minutes for the internal temperature to rise and she trusts her readers to do the same. I, for one, don’t enjoy overcooked meat so would be more inclined to follow her instructions than a recipe that says you should bring the internal temp to 160. My family is never ready to sit down right away, we’ll usually have a salad first anyway. All this being said, did you really need to wish Amy “Happy Bathroom Time”? That’s not very nice at all.

  12. 20

    kcathey says

    This was the best instructions I have ever found for grilled pork tenderloin. Very tender, very juicy and done just right! I marinated mine in a store bought Baha Lime marinade (Grill Mates-excellent!) and then used a homemade pineapple salsa served on top of meat which I arranged on a bed of rice.
    Pineapple Salsa:
    5 (1-inch) slices fresh pineapple
    1 red bell pepper
    1 yellow bell pepper
    Cooking spray
    1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger
    1 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced (optional)
    2 tbls Adobo sauce
    Preheat grill.

    Place first 3 ingredients on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side. Discard stems and seeds from bell peppers; dice pineapple and bell peppers. Combine pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and remaining ingredients; toss gently.

  13. 21

    Charlie C says

    I was inspired by your wing it marinade so I tried my own wing it. 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 2 cloves of garlic sliced paper thin, 1/4 cup maple syrup, a sprinkle of hot dried chilies, salt, pepper, 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Bag it with 2Lbs tenderloin and refrigerate. The chilies give a hint of bite while the sweet and sour flavors are amazing. What a combination just from experimenting. This will be my new standard until I get another inspiration.

  14. 22

    pat says

    First time to this site. Looks good. My question is that we are having a party and are going to cook (4) pork tenderloins that are around 8 lbs. each and about 18 to 20 inches long. I have enough grill space but are wondering if you have any tips for grilling tips for that large of pieces. The other thing is that I plan on grilling them in the afternoon and serving them that evening. Will they dry out? I was going to heat them in the oven. What is your recommendations?

    • 23

      marjorie Patterson says

      Amy- The hats off chick: I agree 100% with your article.So many times I have tried to cook Pork Loins,pork tenderloins , and pork chops,, so carefully and they end up dry, tough, no flavour and just so disappointed in all my effort. . Since I have started to marinate most all our meats and grill them in my oven on my broiler pan, my family enjoys every single meal. That has made for much healther meals, I believe, and so much more taste and juicy flavour. I did start grilling on the barbeque but I tried doing the same thing in my oven in the winter weather and now we hardly use the barbeque. I marinate with olive oil and my own choices of spices and rub them in well and always at room temperature for considerable time.Cook them on Convection bake at 375-400 degrees .- 10-12 minutes for chicken filet, rainbow trout, and pork not as much experience, but just check temperature.for your own choice of rare, med. well done. Good Luck with my success story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>