Brined Pork Tenderloin

This pork is moist, tender, and well-seasoned through and through thanks to fresh thyme and cracked black peppercorns. Brining the pork in a vinegar mixture, which gently breaks down the proteins for tender meat, also imparts flavor and moisture to the tenderloin. (The same brine also works great with pork chops or poultry). Don’t be alarmed if the surface of the pork exposed to the brine turns gray in color and toughens a bit: you won’t notice it after grilling. Be sure to let the meat rest after removing it from the heat, then serve atop salad with charred snap peas drizzled with buttermilk dressing. Or, cut into smaller pieces and stir into fried rice.

brined-pork-tenderloin
Photo by Daniel Agee
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  • Makes 4 (serving size: about 3 slices)
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    Nutritional Information

    Per Serving

    • Calories 160.06 calories
    • Fat 5.74 g
    • Sat Fat 1.23 g
    • Cholesterol 70.02 mg
    • Sodium 1224.36 mg
    • Protein 22.66 g
    • Carbohydrate 3.23 g
    • Sugar 2.52 g
    • Fiber 0.23 g
This pork is moist, tender, and well-seasoned through and through thanks to fresh thyme and cracked black peppercorns. Brining the pork in a vinegar mixture, which gently breaks down the proteins for tender meat, also imparts flavor and moisture to the tenderloin. (The same brine also works great with pork chops or poultry). Don’t be alarmed if the surface of the pork exposed to the brine turns gray in color and toughens a bit: you won’t notice it after grilling. Be sure to let the meat rest after removing it from the heat, then serve atop salad with charred snap peas drizzled with buttermilk dressing. Or, cut into smaller pieces and stir into fried rice.

Ingredients

  1. Check 2 cups water
  2. Check ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  3. Check ½ cup granulated sugar
  4. Check ½ cup kosher salt
  5. Check 1 (1-lb.) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  6. Check 1 tablespoon olive oil
  7. Check 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  8. Check 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Whisk together water, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Place pork in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag; pour in brining mixture. Chill 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high (about 450°F). Remove pork from brining mixture; discard brining mixture. Pat pork dry with paper towels; rub with oil, thyme, and cracked peppercorns.
  3. Place pork on grate; grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 140°F, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from grill, and let stand until temperature registers 145°F, about 5 minutes.