How to cook a pork tenderloin in the oven

A Detailed Look at How to Cook a Pork Tenderloin in the Oven

How to cook a pork tenderloin in the oven does present a very real danger that by cooking it in this fashion, we will cause the pork tenderloin to be dry and/or tough when it is served. Pork tenderloin is most often grilled or shallow fried but cooking a pork tenderloin in the oven is a delicious, alternative way in which it may be enjoyed.


Step 1

Put the Oven on to Preheat

It is a vital step when we are considering how to cook almost anything in the oven that we firstly allow the oven to reach the required cooking temperature. Some ovens will have a built-in means of advising us when the desired temperature has been reached but 15 minutes serves as an adequate guideline for the oven to reach its required cooking temperature.In this instance, the oven should be put on to preheat to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5.

Step 2

Prepare the Pork Tenderloin for the oven

While the oven is being allowed to reach the required cooking temperature, the pork tenderloin should be prepared. A sheet of aluminium foil should be placed in a roasting tin or baking tray (shiny side up to reflect the heat back in to the meat during cooking) and the pork tenderloin placed in the centre. The onion rings should then be arranged along the top as shown and the meat seasoned with the dried sage and freshly ground black pepper.

Note that I quite deliberately add no salt at this stage. Salt draws the moisture out of meat during cooking and can therefore contribute to making it dry and tough.

How to cook a pork tenderloin in the oven
Step 3

Put the Pork Tenderloin in to the Oven

The pork tenderloin should then be carefully wrapped in the foil to form a sealed but loose package. It should then be placed on a high shelf in the oven for twenty-five minutes.

Step 4

Remove the Pork Tenderloin from the Oven

When the alloted cooking time is up, the pork tenderloin should be removed from the oven and carefully unwrapped. A check should be made to ensure that the pork is fully cooked by piercing the pork tenderloin at its thickest part and checking that the juices run clear. It is vital that pork never be served in any way underdone. Any doubts in this respect and the pork tenderloin should be re-wrapped and returned to the oven for a further five minutes, after which time the same check should be performed.

Provided that the pork tenderloin is cooked completely, it may then be re-wrapped and sat on top of the stove or in a safe place for five minutes in order to rest.

Step 5

Serving the Pork Tenderloin

When the pork tenderloin has been rested, it may then be salted if desired and served with one’s choice of vegetables or accompaniments. Broccoli makes an excellent choice in this respect but it should be noted that broccoli is a vegetable which will be most unsavoury if over-cooked. Around eight minutes only in boiling, salted water is quite sufficient to cook it.

You will Need
✯ 1/2lb pork tenderloin
✯ 6 or 7 raw onion rings
✯ Generous pinch of dried sage
✯ Freshly ground black pepper
✯ An oven
✯ A roasting tin or baking tray
✯ A sheet of aluminium foil big enough to wrap the pork tenderloin

Tips & Warnings
✯ Always ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw pork, prior to touching any other cooking ingredients, to prevent risk of contamination.
✯ Pork is like chicken and unlike beef in that it should always be fully cooked before being eaten. If any traces of red or even pink remain in the escaping juices, it must be further cooked. Failure to adhere to this advice can mean risking serious food poisoning.


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