Oven roasted pork tenderloin is a frequent dinner item in my family. I prefer to cook it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While the recipe may look simple, the key to a delicious tender pork tenderloin is in the control of the cooking temperature. Now you may ask. How long to cook pork tenderloin in oven at 375 degrees per pound? In this post, I like to share this answer and some tips to make the best homemade pork tenderloin.
It takes 25 minutes to bake pork tenderloin in oven at 375 degrees per pound. In other words, if your tenderloin weighs 3 pounds, it will need 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook. Note that this is for medium doneness which means that the meat is cooked to a internal temperature of 145 degrees F. If you want a firm meat without pink center, you want the meat thermometer to register 160 degrees F. This will extend the cooking time by 2-3 minutes per pound.
Other cooking temperatures for pork tenderloin include 275, 350 and 400 degrees. At 275 degrees, you will have to stick to a 40 minutes per pound rate to get the tenderloin fall-apart tender and juicy. While offering the most tender meat, slow cooking at 275 degrees doesn’t do much in rendering the tenderloin a crispy exterior. A more prominent crisp will be visible if you choose the 350 degrees option. At this temperature, you will enjoy a balance of crispy outside and tender meat inside. The rate to follow in this case is 30 minutes per pound.
If you want to obtain a brown crust, you should take the 400 degree route with the cooking rate of 20 minutes per pound. Yes, it’s a matter of just one hour to get a 3 lb pork tenderloin ready. Yet make sure your guests and family love a sharp contrast between crispy and brown exterior and moist and pink interior.
If your goal is just a uniformly cooked and tender tenderloin, you should choose 350 degrees. The tenderloin doesn’t come out too moist, too dry, too brown, too crispy, too pink. It turns out just right. However, if you love roast extremities like tough crust, pink center, extra juiciness, fall-apart tenderness, you should focus on one of the other temperatures mentioned above. For crispy fans, 400 degrees F is the answer. For those who adore feeling the meat melt in their mouth, 275 degree is the way to go.
Here is the recipe to cook pork tenderloin in the oven.
If you need to reduce severely the cooking time of the pork tenderloin, you can cut it in half. Of course, it will make the meat less tender and moist in the end. However, this will increase the area of crispy surface. If you want to bake the tenderloin as a whole, you can use the convection fan or broiler to speed up its cooking.
While there are a lot of side dishes that match pork tenderloin, we have our special favourites. Roasted veggies have always been a perfect pairing for pork roast, especially when there is the opportunity to bake them together. Put to good use the empty baking sheet under the rack by stuffing it with seasoned asparangus, broccoli, carrots, peppers and onions. In 20 minutes, you will have the appetizing side dish ready. We also like to fill the sheet with garlic-parmesan potatoes which is a no-fail side for pork roast. Other dishes that deserve a place on the dining table next to the pork tenderloin are spinach risotto, butternut squash soup, baked beans, sautéed mushrooms and corn on the cob.
The internal temperature for pork tenderloin should reach 160 degrees for a fully done meat. The temperature should be taken at the thickest part of the tenderloin as that’s where it takes the longest time to cook. If you prefer a medium doneness, the internal temp of the pork tenderloin will need to be at 145 degrees Fahrenheit before it is removed from the oven.
It takes 20 minutes to cook pork tenderloin in oven at 400 degrees per pound. If you have 2 lb pork tenderloin, then it will need to cook for 40 minutes in the oven. This is for medium doneness which means a internal temperature of 145 degrees. If you want it to be fully done, cook about 1 – 2 minutes per pound more for the internal temp to hit 160 degrees before removing them from the oven.
The pork tenderloin is pink at the center when it is not fully cooked. This means the internal temp of the meat is below 160 degrees. It typically happens when you cook at high temperature of 400, 425 and 450 degrees. At such high temperatures, the exterior is cooked much faster than the interior. Thus this result in the pink center. If you like to have the crust from the high temperatures, try a dual temperature approach. After the crust is formed, lower the cooking temperature to about 350 degrees and cook for another 20 minutes per pound until the internal temperature at the pink center reaches 160 degrees.
My usual portioning for my family is 1/2 pound of pork tenderloin per person. We find this to be very filling even without side dish.
Yes, pork tenderloin is the leanest meat on the pig.
Pork tenderloin is from the meat running along the pig’s backbone. It is made from cutting this meat into long strips.