Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Recipe
G. Stephen Jones • January 15, 2016
How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin Sous Vide
I am now an official “sous vider” if there is such a title. My friend Chef David Nelson introduced the idea of sealing some food into a vacuum pouch and cooking it in a water bath at extremely low temperatures. The results are amazing and foods like steak, pork and chicken are cooked to perfection. You pick the internal temperature you want your ingredient to reach and that’s where it finishes.
Now David, I and a bunch of other home cooks are exchanging our sous vide experiences on a Facebook group I started called What I Cooked For Dinner Last Night. I’ve even posted a new page with a chart of temperatures and times plus flavor enhancers based on what we’ve been learning from cooking sous vide. I’ll be updating this chart as we learn more.
2 Flavor Enhancers
One of the cool aspects when cooking sous vide is the variety of flavor enhancers you can add to the vacuum bag you are cooking in. I used two different marinades in this recipe but I could have added a dry (or wet) rub to the pork to give it some extra flavor. The marinades included Trader Joe San Soyaki, a unique teriyaki sauce, and Stonewall Kitchen’s Honey Barbecue Sauce.
What I didn’t try and will next time I sous vide a pork tenderloin is brining. This week I learned from Chef David to try brining a whole tenderloin for 2 to 4 hours or pork chops for an hour before cooking. This works with sous vide, grilling or pan frying but be sure to rinse the brine off before cooking or the meat may be too salty. More on brining here.
Time & Temperature
My Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Temperature = 140°F Cooking Time = 2 hours
If you search online for sous vide pork tenderloin, you’ll find lots of recipes with various times and target temperatures. Which ones you use really depends on how you like your pork – rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well or well done. I stay away from rare, medium-well and well done when it comes to pork and aim for medium-rare to medium.
How do these temperatures equate to °F? That depends on who you ask. My meat doneness chart has a medium pork roast at 140°F but I’ve seen other sites say 130ºF – 135°F is ideal medium.
If you go to Foodsafety.gov site, you’ll see they suggest a safe minimum cooking temperature for pork is 145°F with 3 minutes of resting time but that will bring up the internal temperature 3 to 5 degrees. To me that is more medium-well.
Another great aspect to cooking sous vide is there is no “resting” time. When you roast, grill or pan fry most meats, you let them rest after they are done cooking to allow the juices in the meat to redistribute throughout the entire cut. During this time the meat continues to cook and the internal temperature goes up.
Many home cooks don’t take this into consideration so they cook the pork tenderloin to their target temperature and by the time they get to cutting and serving, the internal temperature can rise 3° to 5°F. With sous vide cooking, there is no need for resting.
Because the meat is not cooked at extremely high temperatures like when you throw it on a hot grill, the juices are already distributed. If you wanted, you could serve it right from the vacuum bag….but you wouldn’t because it doesn’t look too appetizing.
Because you are cooking pork in a low temperature environment, the heat is not high enough to give it that nice brown crust we all appreciate. In fact it will look sort of gray and anemic as the photo above shows. No worries, a quick sear on a hot grill, hot frying pan or blast from the blowtorch like Searzall will provide a nice looking and great tasting brown crust to the exterior.
The browning should be quick so make sure your grill or fry pan is hot and ready to go. You don’t want to make the effort to sous vide cook a pork tenderloin to the perfect internal temperature only to sear it on the grill for 5 minutes and overcook it. A quick browning for 1 – 2 minutes should do the trick and not overcook the edges.
Sous Vide Equipment
Sous vide machines – There are several styles of sous vide products ranging in price, size and features. Personally I like the sous vide circulators that can be used with your own pots and containers compared to the sous vide water ovens that are completely self-contained and more expensive.
Within the group of circulators, I have the Anova brand but you can also find a Sansaire and Nomiku. I suggest you do your homework on which unit offers the features you are looking for and which unit gets the best ratings. There is a good review of the circulators here – http://bit.ly/1USnhhY
Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer – Although you can use Ziploc bags to remove the air from the plastic bag using a technique called the “Water Displacement Method” using the pressure from the water to force the air out of the bag, I like using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer.
Saying that, the Ziploc bag method is much cheaper – you don’t have to buy the machine or the FoodSaver bags which are much more expensive than Ziploc bags. Since I already own a Foodsaver and use it to store leftovers, cheese, steaks for the freezer, I don’t mind paying a little extra for the bags.
Searzall(optional but fun gadget) – Basically, an attachment to an everyday propane blowtorch that turns it into a “hand-held, supercharged instant-power broiler”.
Sous Vide Cooking Equipment
Filed in: Pork Recipes, Sous Vide
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Recipe
2 pork tenderloins, with the fat and sinew trimmed
Flavor enhancer - dry rub, wet rub, homemade or commercial marinade, bbq sauce, salad dressing, salt & pepper
How To Prepare At Home
Set up your sous vide equipment and bring the water temperature up to the desired temp. For pork tenderloin, I went with 140°F but suggest you do you own research to decide if this is a safe temperature for you.
My Anova Sous Vide Circulator has an Bluetooth app so I can set up the time and temperature on my phone and it tells me when the water is at the desired temperature and a timer to tell me when the food is done. They even have a more expensive wifi Circulator where the app can be used anywhere you have wifi access.
While the water is heating up, add the pork tenderloins to separate Foodsaver bags (or Ziploc bags), add a flavor enhancer and vacuum seal shut.
As soon as the water is at the correct temperature, clamp the bags to the side of the water pot making sure the bags are fully submerged and not touching the Anova circulator.
Set your timer for 2 hours and walk away or start preparing your side dishes and dessert.
When the tenderloins are done, remove them from the bag, pat dry with a paper towel and brown them on the grill, in a frying pan or with a Searzall. When the exterior develops a nice crust, transfer to a cutting board, slice and serve.
As you can see from the photo, the meat is uniformly cooked to my specifications throughout the entire cut of meat. From top to bottom, left to right, the pork is 140°F.
Plate with side dishes and serve.
Copyright 1997 - 2016 The Reluctant Gourmet
Boneless pork tenderloin is an economical and flavorful cut of pork. Once you learn how to cook it perfectly, you may find yourself craving pork tenderloin for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
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On a typical day of food blogging, a mouthwatering recipe of mine would be intertwined with witty words, silly stories, or fun food facts. However, today is not a typical day.
The thing is, last night’s dinner was so flippin’ delicious that I’m craving a pork tenderloin sandwich for breakfast. I don’t have a lot of time though because dirty laundry and dust bunnies are sitting on my desk begging for my attention. I kid you not… they really are!
How one dirty sock mysteriously appeared on my desk has yet been determined. It may have been my Hasome’s way of hinting that he’s down to his last clean pair, or it could be the doing of Codie the wonder cat.
Either way, I’ll relay this recipe to you quickly, then I’ll feed my face before starting on the icky housework.
Here are my tips on cooking boneless pork tenderloin perfectly, EVERY time!
STEP ONE: Choose the best quality boneless pork tenderloin
Purchase a 1 to 2 pound, quality grade boneless pork tenderloin and a jar ofyour favoritedry rub.
Remove any silver skin from the underside of the tenderloin and generously apply the rub to all sides of the pork. You’ll need 1/4 of a cup or so. Wrap the pork tightly in plastic wrap and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I let mine sit in the fridge overnight and then I pull it out 30 minutes before I want to cook it so it has time to come back to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a couple of tablespoons of your favorite oil (I use a high smoke point oil like this one) over medium heat in a large ovenproof pan and sear the pork on all sides. Add some sliced onion and lemon wedges, then pour in 1/2 cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. Cook in the oven until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145 degrees F (about 20 minutes).
FOOD FACT: The brown bits in the bottom of a pan after you sear a piece of meat are called “fond”. I’m very fond of fond, because it’s where all of the truly yummi flavors of a dish come from.
STEP FOUR to making an exceptional boneless pork tenderloin:
While you’re waiting for the roast to cook, make your favorite side dish(es). I recommend my perfect mashed potatoes or steakhouse style creamed spinach To highlight the great citrus flavors in my roast, I chose to make pineapple mango quinoa.
It was as simple as preparing the quinoa according to package directions, allowing frozen chunks of mango and pineapple to thaw, then tossing them with the cooked quinoa along with 2 teaspoons of low-sodium soy sauce. I had a couple of slices of pineapple left over, so I opened the oven and tossed them into the pan. Incidentally, eating caramelized pineapple is the bomb dot com!
OK, let’s move on to STEP FIVE…
Let your tenderloin rest for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing. This is a very important and often overlooked step. If you remove that perfectly cooked tenderloin from the oven and immediately slice it up in your frenzy to feed it to your beautiful face, not ONLY will you end up with scorching second degree burns on the roof of your mouth (OUCH!), you will also lose all of the lovely juiciness.
Those juices will ooze onto your cutting board, drip down onto your freshly mopped floor and cause all sorts of mayhem and frustration. You could slip and break a bone. Worse yet, if you’re a pet owner, you can be assured that you will have dogs and/or cats at your feet quicker than Lindsey Lohan on a bottle of booze. So please heed my warning. Let your roast rest before slicing it.
Use the resting time to set the table, help your favorite mini-me finish up their homework, or catch up on a few minutes of The Voice. Then you may carry on on and eat your delicious dinner.
If you love boneless pork tenderloin, you should check out my recipe for balsamic brown sugar boneless pork tenderloin. It’s a slow cooker recipe that is super delicious, and I bet you will love it.
Perfect Boneless Pork Tenderloin in 5 Easy Steps
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If you make this recipe, I'd love it if you'd share a photo and/or give your feedback over on my Facebook page, Cooking with Chef Bec!
This juicy boneless pork tenderloin is seasoned with a smoky citrus rub. It's a quick, easy, but elegant dinner any night of the week.
- 1 to 2 pound center cut boneless pork tenderloin
- 1/4 cup dry rub (your favorite flavor or variety) b][I used this one [/b].
- 2 Tablespoons high smoke point oil (I use grapeseed oil)
- 1 cup white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- EARLY PREPARATION
- Remove any silver skin from the fatty side of the pork and generously apply the dry rub on all sides of the pork.
- Wrap pork tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-12 hours. About 30 minutes before cooking, remove from refrigerator and allow pork to come to room temperature.
- TO COOK
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large oven proof saute pan over medium heat, add oil. Place the rubbed pork into the pan and brown it for 2 minutes per side. Add sliced onions and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, then stir gently with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula to remove brown bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan.
- Place pan into the oven and cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature at the thickest portion of the pork reads 145 degrees on a meat thermometer.
- Remove the pan from the oven, place a sheet of aluminum foil lightly over the pork, and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and if desired, drizzle with the pan juices and caramelized onions.
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