Pork tenderloin is boneless and is the leanest, most tender cut of a pig. It is more expensive, but will reduce less than other types of meats when cooked. It can grace the most elegant of tables or be sliced and served in casual settings.
Tenderloins can be purchased whole, in medallions, butterflied, or as steaks and tips.
They are also available in vacuum packs that are either plain or pre-seasoned. Some are labeled ready for the grill or the oven.
Meat should be more reddish than other parts of the pig and only lightly marbled.
When purchasing prepackaged cuts, read the label. Some meats are made with a greater percentage of additives, including water, along with high amounts of sodium. Those with water injected should be seasoned with a dry rub rather than a marinade.
Most pork will keep in the freezer for up to six months. Fresh meat should be refrigerated no longer than two-three days. Do not remove the original wrapper until ready to cook.
After cooking, consume within four days.
- Tenderloin can be grilled, smoked, braised, and roasted.
- Always remove any membrane and trim away fat before cooking.
- In the oven, cook about 30 minutes for every pound at 425 degrees (or follow packaged directions).
- On the grill, place chops and medallions over direct heat and use indirect cooking for whole tenderloins.
- Do not be confused between this cut and a loin roast. The latter is larger and usually rectangular, while a tenderloin is elongated and tapered
- It is important to avoid overcooking this lean meat. Although commercial pork is no longer prone to carrying trichinosis, it is still better to remain on the safe side. Always cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. You can remove from heat at 155 degrees as it will continue cooking while it rests.
- Because it is a mild meat, it adapts well to sauces and marinades.