This easy and perfect bbq pork tenderloin recipe on the grill is one of my favorite easy dinners, especially during the week. Grilling creates the most tender pork that is packed with flavor. Enjoy with mixed a green salad or one of your favorite side dishes, this bbq pork loin recipe is the perfect meal for grilling season.
Pork tenderloin is one of our favorite cuts of meat to enjoy because its a leaner and more tender cut of pork than a pork shoulder or pork butt. It takes a lot less time to cook and on the grill, the clean up couldn’t be easier. And it only takes a couple of basic ingredients to make it special! I guarantee you’ll love this simple recipe bbq pork loin recipe for easy breezy summer dinners.
Why this recipe works
Healthy – Pork tenderloin is leaner than different cuts of meat in the pork family.
Simple ingredients – Even the most novice home cook will have these ingredients on hand. If you decide to make my favorite bbq sauce from scratch though, it will require just a few extras!
Five minutes To Prep – Just a few minutes and you’re ready to throw this on the grill. If making the homemade bbq sauce though, allow for an extra 25 minutes.
Make Ahead – Prep this pork recipe, and pop this in your fridge. It’s ready to be grilled any time.
- 2 smaller or one 3-lb pork tenderloin – My pork tenderloin came in two pieces for a total of 3 lbs. If yours is one piece, then see note below about adjust cooking times.
- Olive oil – You can also use vegetable oil, and simply rub each pork tenderloin with the oil. This helps the dry rub stick and makes for less sticking to the grill, since pork tenderloin is such a lean cut of meat.
- Dry rub spice mixture– You can use your favorite dry seasonings or premade dry rub that is well suited for pork. We used Trader Joe’s BBQ Dry Rub with coffee and garlic, but I often just do a mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and a bit of cayenne.
- Optional homemade barbecue sauce – Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, ketchup, water, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and ½ diced onion.
Pat dry the pork tenderloin with a paper towel and set on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Brush olive oil all over the pork tenderloins, then season with your favorite dry rub and about 2 tsp each salt and black pepper.
Heat your gas grill or charcoal grill to medium-high heat; the temp should be about 400-425 degrees. Place pork on the grill, close the lid and allow to grill on one side for about 10-12 minutes.*
Flip the pork over and grill for an additional 5-10 minutes. Using a instant read thermometer, grill until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140 degrees f.
*If you want to use a bbq sauce to flavor the pork, generously brush the pork with ¼ cup of your favorite bottled sauce or make your own (recipe below) just before flipping. Once flipped, brush the other side with more of the bbq sauce and grill for the additional 5-10 minutes. I prefer this method versus basting with bbq sauce for the entire grill time, as I find the sauce caramelizes too much and may char the pork.
You don’t want under-cooked pork, so make sure to grill until the internal temperature reaches at least 140F, to get to it’s recommended safe cooking temp of 145F, and then cover it and let it rest.
I have found when I grill the bbq pork tenderloin all the way to 145, it ends up drying out, so I like pulling it off just a bit early, and letting it come to temperature off the grill. This produces a much juicier piece of pork.
Remove pork from the grill, place on a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for at least 10 minutes (see below why this is important!).
When ready, use a sharp knife to cut pork on a straight diagonal and serve! I typically cut 1″-2″ thick slices.
To make the homemade bbq sauce
To make the barbecue sauce, over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter in a small sauce pan. Add the diced onions. Stir and cook until onions are soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, water, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Stir well. Raise to medium-high heat and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to low. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
Expert grilled pork tenderloin tips
The best way to ensure the bbq pork loin recipe is cooked to juicy perfection is to let your meat rest! If you cut into the meat right away, all those juices will just leak right out and you will be left with a dry tenderloin.
Resting allows the meat fibers and connective tissue, which contract when hot, to relax and reabsorb juices they’ve squeezed out. If cut too soon, the roast will release these juices onto your cutting board, resulting in a drier piece of meat. Resting also allows the internal temp to rise a bit, without receiving direct heat that may dry it out.
So I take the pork off once it’s reached 140F, and then cover with tinfoil and let it rest for 10 minutes. This will let the juices redistribute, and you get one juicy, delicious pork tenderloin to enjoy.
Pork has such a mild flavor that it tastes great with just about anything. Serve alongside your favorite veggies, green salads, potato salad. For something sweet, make my mom’s ambrosia salad! We also love grilled vegetables and use a slotted grill pan we picked up on Amazon (a must for any grill pro). This round pan with handle is the one I have, but this basket also looks great!
Pork tenderloin usually comes vacuum packed in 2 small to medium pieces, weighing about 3-3.5 lbs total. Occasionally, it comes in 1 large piece, especially if purchased from a warehouse store like Costco. The cooking times noted here are for 2 smaller pieces, so adjust accordingly if using 1 large 3-4 lb pork tenderloin. Add at least 10-15 minutes of cooking time for a larg single piece of pork.
You can tell in the pics above that mine were uneven, and that’s okay, they will just have slightly different cooking times. Monitor the grill time on the smaller one, and will most likely need to pull it off at least 5 minutes sooner than the larger piece.
I hope you enjoy this bbq pork loin recipe and give it a go this Summer (or anytime of year where grilling is appropriate). If you loved it, please leave a comment and review rating.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- 1 3 lb Pork Tenderloin Can be 1 or 2 pieces
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Dry Rub Use your favorite
- Mixed Vegetables to grill Optional
- Brush olive oil all over the pork tenderloins, then season with your favorite dry rub and about 2 tsp each salt and pepper, if your dry rub doesn't have much salt.
- Optional, also cut up some of your favorite vegetables to grill, and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill alongside your pork tenderloin.
- Place pork on an outdoor or indoor grill at medium high heat, close the lid and allow to grill on one side for about 10-12 minutes.
- Flip the pork over and grill for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches at least 140 degrees.
- Remove from the grill and cover with tin foil, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. This will seal in the juices and allow the internal temperature to rise to about 145 degrees.
- Slice on a diagonal and serve alongside your favorite side dish and grilled vegetables.