BBQ pork tenderloin at its absolute best. This is the best grill pork tenderloin… period. Moist, tender and the most wonderful spicy taste.
This is the most common recipe people will claim as their all time favorite from my site. It had a special spot on my site for 2 years as “My One Must Try Recipe.” And I called it the best meal I had ever grilled at the time and it probably still is. It really is that good.
Editor note: This is a republishing of one of the best recipes on this site. It is a bit more work but not hard and so worth the extra work. Originally published May 2, 2010, and then redone with new pictures May 2, 2013. It was in need of a rewrite and re-editing of pictures. Also, it was time to bring it to the forefront again. Enjoy this recipe. Cheers
I’m claiming a dream sequence for this one. I only had a few hours of sleep the night before, I lay down for a few minutes with dinner on my mind. I had a pork tenderloin in the refrigerator for dinner but no plans. I should do another one for my grilled pork tenderloin series, but I had done no research.
So, what to do with that tenderloin? I really would like more of my Memphis BBQ sauce but on what? Just grill the thing and dump sauce on it? But out of my drowsiness came the memory of wanting to try dry rub Memphis ribs sometime. I have seen them over and over on the various cooking show. Well, my half-awake self-decided to use the rib rub on the tenderloin. I obviously have my best ideas when I’m not really with it.
Start with a well-trimmed pork tenderloin. You need to get the silverskin and any other membranes off so the brine and the dry rub can do their thing. Brine for a few hours to make that already moist and tender meat cut with a fork.
A dry rub to add flavor for a few hours. Then let rest at room temp for 30 minutes before grilling. This allows you get to the correct internal temperature easier without over cooking the spicy crust.
At the time of the original, I rated it 9.7 which was the highest ever at that time. An absolute to rated recipe.
Notes on Memphis Grilled BBQ Pork Tenderloin:
You can skip the brine and suffer a little decrease in moisture and tenderness. It is not absolutely necessary to rest at room temp, but you will get to the desired internal temp on the grill easier if you can get some warm up before grilling as the grill preheats.
Great BBQ requires great sauce. Try this one. Memphis Barbecue Sauce – A Wonderful Thing
Mix the Memphis dry rub: 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt – only add if not brining.
Serve with Memphis BBQ sauce.
The Best Grilled Pork Tenderloin – Memphis Style
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons table salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt - only add if not brining
- Start with a simple brine. 4 cups cold water, 4 T table salt, 3 T brown sugar. Mix well in a one-gallon food storage bag.2
- Trim a pork tenderloin of any silver skin, loose fat and membranes. Add the tenderloin to the brine and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
- Mix the Memphis dry rub: 2 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt - only add if not brining.
- When the tenderloin is done brining, rinse under running water and pat dry with a paper towel. This will remove the brining salt from the surface.
- Place on a piece of plastic wrap about 6 inches longer than the tenderloin. Rub all sides of the loin well with the rub reserving about 1/4 of the rub for later.
- Roll the tenderloin tightly in the plastic wrap, seal the ends and refrigerate for 1 -2 hours. Longer is OK.
- Remove from refrigerator, unwrap and rub with the remainder of the rub on all sides and allow to rest at room temp for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat grill. You want a surface temp of 450-500 degrees. That is medium high on most grills. Clean and oil the grill well. This last step is important or it will stick.
- Grill for 5-6 minutes per side and then decrease heat a little and continue to flip about every 5-6 minutes until internal temp of 150. About 25 minutes total. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Have a question or something not clear? Ask in the comments.
Nutrition is for one serving. Number of servings is stated above and is my estimate of normal serving size for this recipe.
All nutritional information are estimates and may vary from your actual results. This is home cooking, and there are many variables. To taste ingredients such as salt will be my estimate of the average used.
If you like this recipe or find it useful, the pleasure of a nice 4 or 5 rating would be greatly appreciated.
Originally Published May 2, 2010