The 2-Step Process for Cooking Perfect Pork Tenderloin Every Time (No Recipe Required)

updated May 1, 2019
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Pork tenderloin is really a weeknight all-star. It’s food-budget-friendly, it’s always ready to feed a hungry crowd, and, most importantly, it’s super easy to make. The key is to remember this little two-step process — sear and roast — which results in a piece of meat that’s moist and juicy. Learn the technique and cooking pork tenderloin is suddenly surprisingly simple and always delicious.

Sear + Roast

This cooking method is a surefire way to make moist and juicy pork tenderloin without much fuss. Searing the meat first gives it that golden-brown crust before a quick roast in the oven finishes it off. It’s an easy, crowd-pleasing meal for any night of the week.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in Two Easy Steps

The sear: While your tenderloin rests on the counter to take the chill off of it, start by getting your skillet nice and hot, as that will ensure you’ll get the best possible sear. If you have a cast iron skillet, that’s ideal; otherwise another oven-safe skillet will do. Get the oven preheating at 400°F and place the skillet inside while it comes to temperature. Let it hang out there for about 20 minutes or so, until it’s screaming hot.

Using oven mitts, carefully transfer the skillet to the stovetop and turn the burner on high. Swirl a little vegetable oil in the pan and place the tenderloin in it. Let it sear on one side for one to two minutes, until you’ve got a nice golden crust, then continue to sear the remaining sides for another one to two minutes each until the whole tenderloin is well-seared.

The roast: Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the tenderloin for 10 to 12 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the meat reads 145°F. Remove it from the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes tented with foil on a cutting board, and serve.