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Old 07-15-2009, 11:33 PM   #1
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How to cook pork tenderloin on the grill?

I'm so confused and every time my pork tenderloin either comes off the grill overcooked or raw (in which case it goes back on... and eventually comes off overcooked). I'm confused because there is no consensus among recipes and I've read that pork tenderloins should be cooked on the grill in three totally different ways

- Highest heat possible, for only 3-4 minutes per side
- High heat to sear meat (1-2 minutes per side), then indirect heat to finish (15-20 minutes)
- Medium heat the whole time, about 4-5 minutes per side

Can someone please give me guidance on which of the above will produce the best results and be the most fool-proof? The recipe I want to make is here - Barbecued Pork Tenderloin Recipe - MyRecipes.com And when I make it... I just want to make sure I get it right. If it matters, I'll be cooking on a 4-burner Summit grill.

Thanks.

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Old 07-16-2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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do you use a thermometer to check for doneness?
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:32 AM   #3
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Crankin - I sear for outside flavor, than move away from the direct heat. I use a thermometer to test for doneness. Which for a pork tenderloin (for me) is 145F, and foil as it comes off the grill. Normally it will continue to rise to 150F which is my preferred temp.

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Old 07-16-2009, 06:26 AM   #4
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Any of the three methods will work with the second one (Sear over direct heat...Finish over indirect heat) probably being the most fool proof, and giving you the best results ---- When using this method take your watch off, and use a thermometer. It's about searing (browning) the meat on the outside, and cooking to a degree of doneness on the inside. Only your thermometer can tell you that...not your watch. Grill/sear over direct high heat turning to all sides to get the degree of browness/sear you want. Then move off of the high heat, and lower the lid on your grill to finish --- Don't walk away!!! Pork tenderloin cooks quickly, so stand by and check the temperature often --- move it around, turn it over, swap ends etc to help it cook evenly --- When you see 140*-145* in the thickest part...It's done. Remove it from the grill, tent with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

As a side note...Personally I would skip the first step (marinating) in the recipe...It's not accomplishing much of anything. Pork tenderloin is already very tender so marinating is not needed for that purpose. If you want to incorporate the flavor of the marinade into the dish then add those ingredients into your basting/finishing sauce. --- If you choose to marinate per the recipe then dry the stuff off before taking it to the fire. Wet meat does not sear/brown properly. HTH

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Old 07-16-2009, 09:45 AM   #5
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My big problem is putting the thermometer in the right place. I'll take the temperature several places and think it's good, only to cut onto a piece of what looks undercooked. Which leads me to another question: what does 145-150 pork look like (how pink). If anyone is making a tenderloin in the near future, can you please take a photo of how the pork should look (once cut). I don't know how pink is too pink.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:48 AM   #6
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Any temperature above 137 F is safe. After that, it's a matter of preference. 145F should be slightly pink, as in medium to medium well for beef.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankin View Post
My big problem is putting the thermometer in the right place. I'll take the temperature several places and think it's good, only to cut onto a piece of what looks undercooked. Which leads me to another question: what does 145-150 pork look like (how pink). If anyone is making a tenderloin in the near future, can you please take a photo of how the pork should look (once cut). I don't know how pink is too pink.

Also, the best place to take the temp would be in the center, and the center of the thickest part as it will be the last to cook. If you take the temp at thinner places and it looks done, that is probably why you get surprised when cutting into a spot that's undercooked. And if you have a full loin, being rather long, it's also good to check the temp in several places since grill cooking can sometimes be uneven.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #8
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crankin - Done is a point of view. For me it's 150F at the thickest part. I always cook by temp, unless grilling (note I did not say BBQ as that is another critter).

Perfect beef for me 130F coming off the cooking source and covered, poultry is ~160F, pork is 145F coming off the heat source. Fish gets plump and the muscles look flaky (if you can call it that). Other things I play it by ear as I don't use recipes unless doing baked goods. I like my meat done, not overdone, but not eye-balling me either :-)

Bob

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Old 08-01-2009, 10:20 PM   #9
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Hey crankin, you tried this again?

I've done a couple of pork tenderloins on the grill in recent weeks and thought I'd share my tips.

1 - Brine it. That way even if you leave it on a bit too long you will still have juicy meat.

2 - Crust the outside with cracked pepper and salt. Tasty!

3 - I left my tenderloin on for about 12 - 15 minutes and it was perfect.

I didn't want to poke it with a thermometer but it was uniformly brown and with a pink center. It was absolutely delish! Hope that helps if you try again.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:02 PM   #10
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Practice.
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