Grill or roast this ultra tender and juicy Cherry Balsamic Pork Tenderloin to perfection that’s immersed in a sweet n’ tangy marinade which then doubles as a delicious sauce. Super quick, easy, keto, gluten-free and so good!
A Delicious Marinade for Pork Tenderloin
Using fruit in savory dishes is one of my favorite things, and cherries whether fresh or frozen along with balsamic vinegar is a winning combo. The acidity from the cherries and vinegar penetrates the meat to break down proteins which tenderizes the pork and infuses another layer of flavor.
What other fruit can be used in the marinade?
If you’d like to use something other than cherries, a blend of berries, citrus fruit (lemon, orange, pineapple), peaches, nectarines, apples or pears are all great substitutes and go well with the other ingredients.
Once you decided on the fruit, it’s a quick blend with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, thyme, and some s&p. Use either a high-powered blender or food processor to make a smooth puree. The recipe yields a little over 1 ½ cups which is plenty to divide into thirds – one part used to marinate the pork, another for basting, and the last part for serving.
How long should the pork marinate?
Pour the marinating portion into a resealable plastic bag along with the pork and move the meat around so it’s well coated. Marinating for a few hours or overnight (48 hours at most) in the fridge is best, but if you’re short on time, let the pork sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The longer the meat marinates, the deeper the pink hue.
How to Grill or Roast Pork Tenderloin
Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate when it comes to our outdoor grilling plans so having cooking options takes away the stress of being hamstrung to the weather. When it comes to grilling or roasting the pork in the oven, using medium-high heat works best. You’ll have a crusty exterior while the meat is still juicy inside.
Heat your rig over medium-high heat and make sure the grates are clean to prevent unwanted flare ups. Grilling time will be 15 minutes max. Use the basting portion of the marinade when turning the meat a couple times while cooking. You’re looking to remove the pork when an instant thermometer reads 140-145 degrees and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the tenderloins on a large, rimmed baking sheet so juices don’t drip all over. Cooking time will be slightly longer than the grill, about 25 minutes, to reach the right temperature. Again, baste once or twice while baking and let rest before slicing.
Expert Tip: Make sure the pork is room temperature before grilling or roasting to ensure even cooking.
FAQs & Tips
They are two different cuts of meat. The tenderloin is an elongated, lean, less-used muscle running along the central spine making it the most tender cut of pork. Loins are still “high on the hog” coming from the rib section. However, they’re much larger cuts than tenderloins and can be bone-in or boneless, roasted whole or cut into chops. By contrast, the toughest cuts of pork come from the shoulder and shank muscles used for locomotion.
Absolutely. Raw in the middle is bad, but a slightly pink center is the goal. Remove the pork from the grill or oven when an instant thermometer reads 140-145 degrees. The temperature will rise slightly during carryover cooking as it rests. If the pork reaches 160 degrees or higher, you’re on your way to a dried out tenderloin.
Tips to ensure juicy pork tenderloin are: Let the the acidity of the marinade have time to tenderize the meat, meaning try to marinate a minimum of 30 minutes. Also, use part of the reserved marinade for basting a couple times while cooking. Third, be sure to use a good instant-read meat thermometer for accurate temperature taking when getting close to being done. And, make sure the meat rests a good five minutes before slicing so those flavorful juices have a chance to redistribute through the meat.
What to Serve on the Side
Round out your delicious dinner with these side dish ideas:
+ More Pork Recipes to Try!
Cherry Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
- 1 ½ cups fresh, or frozen and thawed cherries, halved and pitted
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, plus a few sprigs for garnish
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
- Combine the first 9 ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend mixture until smooth and pureed, about 45 seconds.
- Makes about 1 ½ cups. Reserve ½ cup of marinade for basting and another ½ cup to pass separately when serving.
- Trim pork tenderloins of any excess fat or silver skin. Place pork in a resealable plastic bag.
- Pour remaining ½ cup of marinade over the tenderloins. Seal bag and make sure all the meat is coated.
- Marinate at least 30 minutes at room temperature or chill up to 48 hours. Remove pork from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before grilling or roasting.
- Prepare grill* on medium-high heat.
- Remove the tenderloins from the bag and place in the center of the grill. Discard bag with marinade.
- Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes, until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F using an instant-read thermometer.
- Let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved marinade. Enjoy!
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