There is certainly a lot to love about pork tenderloin. And there are also a few things to not like about it, like how in the wrong hands it can be turned into a cruel piece of unforgiving eraser. But in the right hands, the hands of a Traeger owner, it can be perfectly supple and succulent.
Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service lowered the recommended internal cooking temperature of pork to 145 degrees a few years ago. (Thank goodness for that!) When that happened, pigs around the world breathed a sigh of relief that they weren't dying in vain. Just don't make the mistake of overcooking the pork or their cloven hooves may come rapping at your door.
Because the pork tenderloin is so lean, it really benefits from a good marinade to help seal in all of those juices and pack it with a punch of flavor. We used a very versatile marinade that really turns the tenderloin into a knock-out dish. While we call for pork tenderloin here, this marinade would also work marvelously with almost any cut of pork or even chicken.
Find this recipe in our Traeger on a Budget cookbook.
KENTUCKY PORK TENDERLOIN
PELLETS: Hickory or Apple
PREP TIME: 10 min. active time plus 8 hours for marinating the pork
COOK TIME: 24 to 32 min.
SERVES: 4 to 6
THINGS YOU’LL NEED
• 2 pork tenderloins, each about 1 to 1-1/4 pound
• 1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon or apple juice
• 1/4 cup soy sauce, preferably low-sodium
• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
Trim any silverskin from the tenderloins with a sharp knife. Place in a large resealable plastic bag.
MAKE THE MARINADE: In a small mixing bowl or even directly in the resealable bag, combine the bourbon, soy sauce, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper and whisk or mash to mix. Stir in the onion and garlic.
Pour over the tenderloins and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pork from the marinade and scrape off any solid ingredients (onions or bits of garlic). Discard the marinade.
Arrange the tenderloins on the grill grate and grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side, rolling with tongs, or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees F when read on an instant-read meat thermometer. (The pork will still be slightly pink in the center. If you prefer your pork well-done, cook it to 160 degrees F.)
Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board. Let rest for several minutes before carving on a diagonal into 1/2-inch slices.
KY Pork Tenderloin Recipe.docx (12.21 kb)