How to cook pork tenderloin from frozen

Updated April 17, 2017

Pork tenderloin, frequently sold in thick, steak-like slices, is a lean, tender cut of pork from the loin section of the pig. As a quick dinner, it's versatile, easy to prepare and requires less cooking time than other cuts of pork. Broiled, grilled or sautéed, it cooks in just 15 to 20 minutes. Frozen tenderloin can even be prepared from freezer to table without thawing. According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should add 50 per cent to your cooking time for frozen pork tenderloin.

Remove a package of pork tenderloin from the freezer. Unwrap the frozen tenderloin and place the slices on a plate. Set aside the plate and discard the wrapping.

Preheat the sauté pan on medium heat until water dripped in the pan beads and dances on the hot surface. Pour 3 tbsp of olive oil in bottom of the pan, or enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Tip the pan to spread the oil over the entire pan's surface. If pan is too hot and olive oil begins to smoke, remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.

Place slices of frozen tenderloin in the hot oil and sauté the first side. Sautéing is to cook foods such as meat or vegetables in a small amount of hot fat in a shallow sided pan over a high temperature The purpose of sautéing the pork tenderloin is to carmelize the surface to create a golden, brown colour and seal in juices and flavour.

Flip the tenderloin slices with a spatula to brown the uncooked surface. Brown meat only until its exterior is browned. Before the meat is cooked to completion, remove it from the saucepan and place it on a plate. Set aside.

Add 1 tbsp butter or margarine to the pan. Scrape any brown particles of pork from the pan with a spatula. Add any seasonings and stir in the fat.

Add 1 cup of chicken or beef stock to sizzling fat. Liquid will boil rapidly. Reduce liquid until juices and fat thicken slightly. According to the website "Recipe Tips," reducing liquid concentrates and intensifies flavours through an evaporative process. By cooking down the liquid, water evaporates and the juices thicken into a sauce consistency.

Return the pork tenderloin slices to the reduced liquid. Turn the pork to coat. Cook until done. Though the Food Safety and Inspection Service determines doneness for pork at an internal temperature of 71.1 degrees C, meats such as pork, poultry and beef continue to cook away from heat. For this reason, you should remove the tenderloin from the heat when the internal temperatures measures 62.7 to 65.5 degrees C.

Remove the pork tenderloin from the pan when done and move it to a serving platter. Allow the pork to rest for five to seven minutes.


Take hygienic measures and sanitise hands and all food handling surfaces, especially when you handle pork. Wash any utensils in hot, soapy water. Wash surfaces with a disinfectant or bleach-based cleaner.

Things You'll Need

  • Pork tenderloin slices
  • Sauté pan
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Seasonings
  • Plate
  • Knife
  • Meat thermometer
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About the Author

Merle Huerta, an adjunct instructor of English skills, began writing during her husband's combat deployment to Iraq in 2003. Her articles have appeared in "The Jerusalem Post," and USA Travel Tips, among other publications. Huerta has an M.A. in instructional media and technology from Columbia University and is a graduate of CUNY's The Writers Institute.