If you are a fan of pork chops or looking to try something new pork tenderloin is the ideal dish to add to your menu. Best served grilled, seared, roasted, or cooked in stir-fries pork tenderloin is the perfect addition to your weeknight dinner.
What is Pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin is a cut from the muscle that stretches from the hip to the shoulder of the animal. This lean boneless cut of meat is sliced from the same place as pork chops. Pork tenderloin may also be labeled as pork filet or pork tender and weighs about a pound. While pork tenderloin is not cut into steaks like other cuts of meat, it is still equally delicious and packed with flavour.
Cuts of Pork
Most meats are cut into primal cuts, then the meat is further broken down into the sub primal cuts we find in grocery stores or online markets. There are 4 primal cuts of pork: pork shoulder, pork belly, pork loin, and pork leg or ham. These cuts of meat are broken down into sub primal cuts of meat. For example, pork chops and rib chops are cut from the loin, and bacon is cut from pork belly.
How is Pork Loin different From Pork tenderloin?
While pork tenderloin and pork loin are similar cuts of meat, their differences outweigh their similarities. One of the major differences between pork loin and pork tenderloin is they are visibly different. Pork tenderloin is slender and petite in comparison to pork loin which has a larger mass and surface area.
Additionally, both cuts of meat are cut from different parts of the animal. Pork tenderloin is cut from the muscle that is adjacent to the backbone. Pork loin is cut from the back of the pig. Pork loin can be further broken into 3 separate cuts of meat (the blade, center cut, and sirloin end) and has a thick layer of fat while the tenderloin is left whole and a thin layer of silver skin that is removed before cooking.
Benefits Of Pork Tenderloin
Pork Tenderloin only contains 93 calories making it the perfect meat for low carb diets. Most of the calories from pork are derived from the substantial amount of protein found in pork tenderloin. Protein is needed to produce hormones and maintain healthy tissues. Another health benefit of pork tenderloin is it has a small amount of fat. Fat helps the body take in vitamins from food as well as generating energy to support a physically active lifestyle.
Pork is a rich source of indispensable minerals such as selenium and phosphorus. Selenium maintains the bodies by managing thyroid hormones and safeguards the cells lining the body’s blood vessels from harm. Pork is a bountiful source of phosphorus that maintains enzymes, promotes strong bones, and is a vital element of DNA.
Pork contains copious amounts of vitamins like thiamine and choline. Thiamine or vitamin B1 triggers coenzymes cells need to carry out a sequence of chemical events required to manufacture energy called the Kreb cycle. Choline supports communication between nerve cells and assists the body with the metabolization of cholesterol.
What is the Secret to Making a Juicy Pork Tenderloin?
The secret to making a tender and juicy tenderloin is not overcooking it. Overcooking tenderloin will result in loin that is tougher than nails. Pork should be cooked to medium to produce a moist and flavourful product.
What Temperature Should Pork Tenderloin Be Cooked To?
Pork tenderloin is safe to eat if it is cooked between 145 ℉ -160 ℉. However, to unlock the tenderloin's full potential, cook your meat to 145 ℉. This will produce a juicy product that is a light shade of pink in the middle.
What Color is Cooked Pork Tenderloin?
Color does not matter when it comes to pork tenderloin. Use a meat thermometer to tell when your pork has finished cooking. Pork tenderloin can be consumed when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 ℉.
How to Cook Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is high-quality meat that can be jazzed up with marinades and dry rubs or it can be left the way it is. Either way, it is going to be juicy and delicious. Pork tenderloin should be cooked rapidly using high heat to maintain its moisture content. It is the perfect blank canvas for a marinade or a dry rub and can be baked, barbecued sliced into medallions, and fried, grilled, or roasted. It is also perfect for stuffed pork tenderloin, crusted with breadcrumbs and herbs, or with a light dusting of salt and pepper.
Brush the tenderloin with olive oil, herbs, and spices to seal in the moisture and give the meat a beautiful flavour. If you choose to slice the tenderloin into medallions and fry or grill them, only cook the meat for a couple of minutes per side.
Cook your tenderloin using high heat. This will help the meat develop a beautiful rich colour on the outside with a juicy and tender interior. Do not overcook your pork tenderloin. Tenderloin is a lean cut of meat that is easily overcooked.
Always use a meat thermometer to tell when your meat is cooked. Do not use your finger to poke the meat or cut it to see if the juices run clear. When the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145℉it will be cooked to perfection.
Pork tenderloin is a versatile meat. When cooked properly it is moist and flavourful. Whether you are a pork chop lover or are looking for a new weeknight recipe pork tenderloin is the perfect cut of meat.