I don’t write a lot of recipe posts, but when I come across a game changing way to cook, I have to share it. First, pork tenderloin is delicious. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically the filet mignon’s smaller cousin. It’s the exact same cut that they use for beef filet mignon, but pork. It’s still insanely tender like it’s bigger cousin and with the technique I’m about to share you can almost cut it with a spoon.
As I was growing up my parents loved hosting big family and friend gatherings, and their go-to meal to serve was pork tenderloin. Over 20 years of this, they became experts at knowing exactly when to take them off the grill so that they would be JUST done, without overcooking them. I still stand by saying that the make the best pork tenderloin I’ve ever tried, including those served at nice restaurants…until now.
Just like Netflix changed the game and put Blockbuster out of business, there is a new champion beating anything that can be done on a gas or charcoal grill.
The idea is simple. With a grill, the temperature around the meat you’re cooking is lets say 200 degrees (93 C), and the goal is to get the internal temperature of the meat to 136 degrees (57 C). By the time the internal temperature of the meat reaches the idea temperature of 136 degrees (57 C), the outside of the meat is going to be MUCH hotter and actually overcooked. There’s no way around it.Screenshot from the app I use with my sous vide cooker
So how do you fix this? Hot water, or more specifically sous vide cookers. I’ve been researching sous vide cooking for a long time, but the cost for the equipment was always more than I wanted to spend. Luckily, the price has dropped significantly, and you can get some AMAZING sous vide cookers for under $200.
How do they work? In the most basic terms, the sous vide cookers keep pots of water at a very specific temperature – even within .25 of a degree. So instead of cooking your meat at 200 degrees in a grill and waiting for the internal temperature of the meat to reach 136 degrees, you instead cook the meat in exactly 136 degree water. This way, there’s no possibility of the meat ever getting any hotter than the ideal 136 degrees.
What’s even better is that if I’m busy with something, I can leave the pork tenderloin cooking up to an hour longer than the 90 minutes it takes to cook, and it still won’t overcook.
Unlike a grill, there is one extra step if you want to create the perfect pork tenderloin. There isn’t a way to get the delicious char on the outside of your pork with a sous vide, so when it’s done cooking, you can throw it for 30 seconds on a VERY hot grill or cast iron pan.
A perfect pink center across the ENTIRE tenderloin and a nice thin crust on the outside. It’s just so good, and there isn’t a way to make it without a sous vide cooker!
This cooking style works with any style of seasoning, but if you want to give our recipe a try, marinade 4 pork tenderloins overnight in 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of honey, 6 crushed garlic cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour out most of the liquid, but keep some in for the sous vide, and put two tenderloins in each gallon freezer Ziplock before cooking at 134.6 degrees for 90 minutes. You can keep the tenderloin cooking for up to one hour longer without any issues. Then pull out the tenderloins, pat dry and sear on HIGH heat for about 15-30 seconds per side. Enjoy!
If you’d like to see the exact model I’m using, you can check it out here
If you have any questions or tips for others let me know in the comments below.