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How to Prepare Perfect Pork Tenderloin

Original post written by Mary Kennon Lewis

Photo credit: Food Network

As a busy wife and mom, I LOVE recipes that taste like I spent hours in the kitchen, but actually only require a few minutes of my time.  Today, I’d like to share with you my “go to” recipe for pork tenderloin that’s as delicious as it is easy! Pork Tenderloin is a fantastic choice for dinner because it’s budget friendly and very versatile. Kids love dipping it in BBQ sauce as part of a weeknight meal, or it can be dressed up with mango salsa and rice pilaf for your next dinner party.

This recipe is great for busy moms because you only have to keep an eye on the pork tenderloin for a few minutes before turning off your oven and walking away. It’s super important that your oven is well insulated, you cook the meat exactly 5 ½ minutes per pound, and no one opens the oven door while the meat is cooking. Since finding this recipe on years ago, I’ve adapted it a bit and it’s now one of our family’s favorites. Give it a try…I’m certain your family will love it, too!


1 lb Boneless Pork Tenderloin (approximate)

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

Dry Rub or Seasonings of your choice


  1. The success of this cooking method depends on how accurate the temperature of your oven is and how well it retains heat. Adjust cooking time +/- according to your individual oven. If you have a really old oven, this recipe may not work for you, as heat retention/residual heat is important to the success of the recipe.
  2. Determine the EXACT weight of the pork tenderloin from the meat wrapper. This will determine the cook time.
  3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Brush pork tenderloin lightly with olive oil and season as desired. Place in an uncovered roasting pan on a rack in the bottom 1/3 of your oven
  4. Bake EXACTLY 5 ½ minutes PER POUND. Adjust +/- according to your oven’s accuracy and heat retention. Turn oven OFF and DO NOT open oven door for 45 minutes. (Or, up to an hour depending on your desired level of doneness).
  5. Remove pork from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let rest 5-10 minutes to redistribute internal juices. The pork tenderloin should be slightly pink in the center and will be very juicy.

NOTE: It’s perfectly fine to use an oven probe or thermometer and set the temperature alarm for your desired level of doneness (I typically pull my pork tenderloin at 140 degrees). Remember that the temperature of the meat will increase 5-10 degrees while it’s resting.

Enjoy your time in the kitchen, and get ready for a tasty treat!

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