Pork tenderloin cooking temperatures

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Pork tenderloin cooking temperatures
Pork tenderloin temperature (Getty Thinkstock)

Pork tenderloin is a tender strip of meat cut from the underside of the ribs. It is a very lean, healthy cut of pork and a favourite because of its tenderness and flavour. Pork tenderloin cooks very quickly. It will be dry if overcooked, so take care to cook it until it's just done and allow it to rest before slicing.

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Cooking tips

Pork tenderloin has a mild flavour that goes well with a variety of spices and marinades. It is extremely versatile and can be the star of any cuisine. Try it in your next German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese or Asian dish. Pork tenderloin is a good choice for a busy weekday meal because it is quick to cook and can be prepared many different ways. It is also a good choice for elegant company meals because of its flavour and tenderness.

When cooking pork tenderloin, monitor the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Because the tenderloin contains so little fat, it will dry out quickly if overcooked. Cook to within 15ºC to 16ºC (3 to 5 degrees F) of your desired temperature, and then allow the meat to rest while it finishes cooking.

Roasting

Most cuts of pork roast at 160º to 175ºC (325 to 350 degrees F); however, the tenderloin is such a long, thin, lean cut that it will easily dry out if cooked too slowly or too long. Roast a 3/4-pound to 1 1/2-pound (600 gram) tenderloin at 220ºC for 20 to 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven when the internal temperature is 68ºC (155 degrees F), cover it and allow it to rest for five minutes or more. The internal temperature will continue to rise to 71ºC (160 degree F) and the juices will redistribute.

Grilling

Grill pork tenderloin over direct heat.Place the meat on a grill pan approximately 12 cm (4 inches) below the heat source. Grill the tenderloin for 15 to 25 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 68ºC (155 degrees F) and allow it to rest, covered, for a few minutes. The temperature should reach 71ºC (160 degrees F).

Sauteing

Cut the pork tenderloin into medallions about 0.5cm to 0.75cm (1/4- to 1/2-inch) thick, and sauteing them over medium-high heat in a small amount of oil. They will take about four to eight minutes to cook and are ready to eat when tender.

Braising

For braising, cut your pork tenderloin medallions a little thicker, about 0.5cm to 0.75cm (1/2- to 3/4-inch) thick. Braise them with a small amount of liquid over low heat. In a tightly covered pan, they should take about eight to 10 minutes to cook.

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