The Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin

The Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin

The Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin: A Recipe and Guide

For many home cooks, grilling conjures up images of juicy steaks, smoky burgers, and perfectly charred vegetables. But grilling offers a fantastic way to prepare other delicious dishes, including the often-overlooked pork tenderloin. This lean cut of meat is ideal for grilling because it cooks quickly and delivers amazing flavor and tenderness.

Today, we’re diving deep into a fantastic grilled pork tenderloin recipe that’s sure to become a staple in your summer grilling repertoire. We’ll not only provide a step-by-step guide but also explore the secrets to perfectly grilled pork tenderloin, serving suggestions, storage tips, and what makes this recipe a favorite among Allrecipes reviewers.

Why You’ll Love This Grilled Pork Tenderloin Recipe

This recipe is a true crowd-pleaser, consistently receiving rave reviews from the Allrecipes community. Here’s a glimpse of what makes it so special:

  • Simple and Delicious: With just a handful of ingredients and a straightforward cooking process, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights or relaxed weekend barbecues.
  • Flavorful and Versatile: The combination of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and barbecue sauce creates a wonderfully balanced flavor profile. Plus, you can easily customize the seasoning to suit your preferences.
  • Always Tender and Juicy: The indirect heat grilling method ensures your pork tenderloin cooks evenly without drying out.
  • Family-Friendly: This recipe is a crowd-pleaser, perfect for serving to adults and children alike.
The Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Grilling Pork Tenderloin

If you’re new to grilling pork tenderloin, don’t worry! This guide will take you through everything you need to know.

The Art of Seasoning:

This recipe keeps the seasoning simple, using just garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. This allows the natural flavor of the pork to shine through, while the barbecue sauce adds a touch of sweetness and tang.

Of course, you can customize the seasoning to your liking. Here are some ideas:

  • Italian Herb Blend: Swap the garlic powder for 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning for a Mediterranean twist.
  • Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat.
  • Smokey Chipotle: For a smoky flavor, try using chipotle powder instead of black pepper.

The Magic of Indirect Heat:

The key to perfectly grilled pork tenderloin is using indirect heat. This means cooking the meat over a cooler area of the grill, away from the direct flames. Indirect heat allows the pork to cook through gently without burning on the outside.

Here’s how to achieve indirect heat on your grill:

  • Gas Grill: Set up your gas grill for two-zone cooking. Turn on the burners on one side of the grill to high and leave the other side off. Place the pork tenderloin on the unlit side.
  • Charcoal Grill: Bank the coals to one side of the grill, creating a hot zone and a cooler zone. Place the pork tenderloin on the cooler side.

Basting with BBQ Sauce:

Basting adds moisture and flavor to the pork while grilling. This recipe uses half of the barbecue sauce for basting and reserves the rest for serving. Baste the pork generously during the last 15 minutes of cooking, turning the meat frequently to ensure even coating.

Don’t Forget the Thermometer!

The most accurate way to determine if your pork tenderloin is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. This recipe recommends cooking the pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius).

Now that you’ve grasped the grilling essentials, let’s get cooking! Here’s a detailed breakdown of the recipe:

The Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin


  • 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided


  1. Gather Your Ingredients: Assemble all your ingredients before starting to ensure a smooth grilling experience.
  2. Preheat the Grill: Prepare your grill for medium, indirect heat. Lightly oil the grate to prevent sticking.
  3. Season the Pork Tenderloins: Pat the pork tenderloins dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Rub the seasoning mixture evenly over the pork tenderloins.
  4. Prepare the Basting Sauce: Pour half of the barbecue sauce into a separate bowl for basting. Set aside the remaining sauce for serving.
  1. Grill the Pork Tenderloins: Place the seasoned pork tenderloins on the cooler side of your preheated grill set up for indirect heat. Close the lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Baste and Cook Through: After 30 minutes, brush the pork tenderloins generously with the reserved basting sauce. Flip the meat and baste again with the remaining sauce. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes, turning and basting occasionally, until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the pork reaches 145°F (63°C) as measured by a meat thermometer.
  3. Rest, Slice, and Serve: Once cooked through, transfer the pork tenderloins to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful experience. Slice the pork tenderloin into thin pieces and serve immediately with the remaining barbecue sauce for dipping.

Perfect Pairings for Your Grilled Pork Tenderloin:

This versatile grilled pork tenderloin pairs beautifully with a variety of side dishes. Here are some recipe ideas to complete your summer BBQ spread:

  • Classic Sides: For a crowd-pleasing accompaniment, try grilled vegetables, creamy potato salad, or a simple green salad.
  • Something Sweet: Balance the savory flavors of the pork with a touch of sweetness. Grilled pineapple slices, baked beans, or coleslaw are all excellent options.
  • Light and Refreshing: Complement the richness of the pork with a light and refreshing side dish, such as a chilled cucumber salad, Greek pasta salad, or a platter of fresh summer fruit.

Don’t forget the carbs! To round out your meal, consider serving grilled bread, rolls, or dinner rolls alongside your pork tenderloin and chosen sides.

The Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Storing and Reheating Leftovers:

If you have leftover grilled pork tenderloin, you can store it safely for future meals. Here’s how:

  • Refrigerate: Let leftover pork tenderloin cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, you can freeze leftover pork tenderloin. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or freezer paper, then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. Frozen pork tenderloin will keep for up to 3 months.


There are a couple of ways to reheat leftover pork tenderloin:

  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Wrap the leftover pork tenderloin in foil and place it on a baking sheet. Heat for 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • Microwave: Slice the leftover pork tenderloin and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high power for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through. Be careful not to overcook, as this can dry out the meat.

Final Thoughts:

This grilled pork tenderloin recipe is a fantastic addition to your grilling repertoire. It’s simple to prepare, delivers amazing flavor and tenderness, and is sure to please a crowd. With its versatility for customization and ease of storage, this recipe is a perfect summertime staple. So fire up your grill, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy this delicious dish!

Bonus Tip: Leftover grilled pork tenderloin can be used in various dishes throughout the week. Try it chopped up in sandwiches, salads, or stir-fries for a quick and flavorful protein addition.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 185
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g5%
Saturated Fat 1g7%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 652mg28%
Total Carbohydrate 12g4%
Dietary Fiber 0g1%
Protein 24g47%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 1mg7%
Potassium 518mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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