How to Grill a Pork Tenderloin

pork tenderloin very tender cooked on the grill with dry rub

Pork Tenderloin – Juicy & Tender

Southern Living Magazine had a delicious-looking recipe for grilling pork tenderloin. It looked so tasty I just had to try it. And it delivered just as expected))

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

  • 1/3 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 T kosher salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins 1 lb each
  • 2 T coffee grounds – optional (not in the Southern Living recipe.

Step 1 – Mix

Mix the dry ingredients together, except for the coffee grounds. The coffee grounds were not a part of the Southern Living recipe, but it’s something I usually put on pork tenderloins when I prepare them. So you might want to leave it off, or just try it on one or a portion of one of the tenderloins.

Step 2 – Prepare the Meat

Southern Living didn’t mention this, but I always remove the silvery tissue on a pork or beef loin. It will never become tender. It’s a connective tissue part of the muscle layer, fascia I think.

Slip a sharp knife under the tissue to remove it.

remove silvery tissue from tenderloin with a sharp knife

Place the tenderloins on a pan as they will need to go in the refrigerator for a while before you grill.

A beef tenderloin is prepared this same way. Here’s a post I did a while back.

tender filets

How to cut up a Beef Tenderloin

Have you ever wondered how to cut up a beef tenderloin into filet steaks? Well, it’s easy to do and I can show you how.

Step 3 – The Rub

Southern Living said to place the sugar mixture in a gallon zip-lock bag along with the meat and shake until the meat was covered and to discard any remaining mix. I didn’t have a bag that size, so I just rubbed mine in and used it all.

dry rub for pork tenderloin

Cover all sides well. The brown sugar will start dissolving.

refrigerate meat for a few hours uncovered

The next step is mine, so you can be the judge if you want to do it or not. I took about two T of coffee grounds and rubbed it into the meat.

optional step is to rub in coffee grounds

The original recipe called for refrigerating the pork tenderloin uncovered for 8 to 12 hours. I didn’t wait that long. I applied the rub that morning and grilled it that afternoon.

Let the tenderloins come to room temperature before placing them on the grill.

Step 4 – The Grill

Preheat the grill to 400-450 degrees. Brush the tenderloins with the canola oil before placing on the grill, being careful not to brush off the rub. I missed this step! But we still got nice char marks))

place meat on grill at 400 degrees for nice grill marks

Turn the meat a couple of times and check for doneness with a meat thermometer. Southern Living says to remove it when the temp reaches 140 degrees and that it will come on up to 145 degrees after it’s removed.

Personally, we like ours a little more done than that. So mine came off the grill between 150 and 160 degrees.

use a thermometer to check for desired temperature

Do let the tenderloin rest for a few minutes before slicing. It will slice much better that way and hold on to the juices better.

It turned out very tender and juicy. Oh…I cooked it on the grill for about 20-25 minutes which still seems pretty quick, but always just check the temp and remove it just before it gets to your desired temp.

pork tenderloin juicy and tender


  • To me, it needed more salt and some pepper which I added after it was sliced. It needs that to cut some of the sweetness of the brown sugar. To me anyway))
  • When you purchase pork tenderloins, look for “tenderloin” and not just pork loin.
  • A pork tenderloin is a long, narrow, boneless cut of meat that comes from the muscle that runs along the backbone. A pork loin is wider and flatter and can be a boneless or bone-in cut of meat.
  • Notice the packaging. It’s easy to miss that two pork tenderloins are usually packaged together. If anyone knows why, please tell me)))


Store any leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. We plan to have leftovers tonight. I will wrap it in tin foil and warm it up in the oven. I’ll let you know how it turns out))

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Southern Living has a great recipe for a dry rub to use on pork tenderloins. This is their recipe with an personal option that you can try or leave off.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pork tenderloin
Servings: 8
Calories: 190kcal




  • Mix dry ingredients and set aside.
    Trim silvery tissue from tenderloins.
    Rub dry mix onto tenderloins (or add to a plastic bag and shake, discard excess)
    Optional: Rub 2 T of coffee grounds into pork.
    Refrigerate 8-12 hours unconvered.
    Rub lightly with the canola oil without rubbing off the rub.
    Grill at 400-450 degrees (approximately 15-20 min). Check temp with thermometer and remove at 140 degrees. Allow to sit for 15 min, temp should come up to 145 degrees. Or cook until desired temp (we prefer a little higher).
    Add addition salt/pepper as desired.
    pork tenderloin juicy and tender



Nutritional facts are estimates only and not calculated by a nutritionist.
Store leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Reheat by wrapping in tin foil in a slow oven.


Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1814mg | Potassium: 523mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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