The Best Way to Reheat Pork Tenderloin (Without Drying It Out)

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Pork tenderloin is easy to prepare on even the most hectic of weeknights. What’s even better is that leftovers can be stretched to last all week — tucked into sandwiches or reheated for a quick midweek dinner alongside roasted vegetables.

Since pork tenderloin is quite lean, reheating it without drying it out in the process can be tricky. Overcooked pork tenderloin can easily happen, especially if it’s just zapped in the microwave or tossed in an extra-hot oven. When it comes to reheating pork tenderloin, I want to work as quickly as possible — after all, speed is the beauty of leftovers, right? — and make sure the meat stays juicy.

Here’s the best method to follow that always ensures delicious results: Reach for a frying pan and, more importantly, a lid.

The Best Way to Reheat Pork Tenderloin

Reheating pork tenderloin can be quickly done on the stovetop over gentle heat in a simple frying pan. Regular, cast iron, nonstick — it doesn’t really matter too much, but just make sure that you have a lid that fits the pan of your choice. Reheating in an uncovered pan will result in dried-out meat, but a lid helps to trap all that precious moisture and steam so the pork absorbs it and tastes just as good as it did the first time around.

If your pork tenderloin had a nice crust on the outside, it won’t be as crisp as when you first made it, but I’m willing to sacrifice that tiny bit of texture for juicy meat.

How to Do It

Start by picking out your pan. Choose one that will fit the meat in a single layer if your pork tenderloin is already sliced, then make sure you have a lid for that pan. Add a very thin film of oil to the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. I prefer a gentle, rather than high, heat to minimize the risk of overcooking.

Add the pork tenderloin — whole or sliced — to the pan in a single layer and immediately cover with the lid. Flip occasionally until heated through, making sure to keep it covered between flips.

For sliced pork tenderloin: I flipped every minute or so and it took about three minutes total for my half-inch slices.

For the whole tenderloin: I turned it every two to three minutes, and it took 12 to 15 minutes total.

My pork tenderloin, which had a perfect, slightly pink center when I first cooked it, reheated beautifully with this method. It was juicy, warmed through, and didn’t take long at all. Having this method in my back pocket means that I can plan on making an extra tenderloin the next time around and count on tasty leftovers!

Do you have a method you like to use to reheat pork tenderloin?