Brined pork tenderloin is one of those dishes that is really hard to mess up because the brine adds moisture and tons of flavor. It’s great for quick a dinner for two, or make a few for a luxurious dinner with friends. These small tenderloins cook very quickly. After the brining process is complete; the meat cooks in 30 minutes from hitting the skillet to taking it out of the oven.

Pair this with some delicious slow-cooked carrots and garlic mashed potatoes.

Brined Pork Tenderloin |
Adding herbs to the brine is a fantastic way to get even more flavor into your pork.

Brined Pork Tenderloin |
Cast iron skillets are my favorite for creating a beautiful sear on meats. Spooning the butter and herbs over the top creates so much awesome flavor.

Brined Pork Tenderloin |
Place the seared tenderloin on a rack in a baking sheet. I like to line the baking sheet with aluminum foil for an easy clean-up.

Brined Pork Tenderloin |
Be sure to rest it for at least 15 minutes after you take it out of the oven. This will pull the juices back into the meat so they don’t escape when you slice it.

Brined Pork Tenderloin |

Brined Pork Tenderloin

This is seriously delicious and a must make recipe if you love tender pork with tons of flavor.
4.54 from 15 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 3



  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh rosemary springs
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup Diamond kosher salt (or 1/4 cup Morton kosher salt)
  • 4 cups water


  • 1 pork tenderloin silverskin and fat removed
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • salt & pepper to taste the pork is brined, so you shouldn’t need to add additional salt


To make the brine

  • Bring half of the water to a boil with the rest of the ingredients, whisking to dissolve the salt and honey.
  • Transfer the brine to another container big enough to hold the pork and add the remaining water. Cool completely before adding the pork. You can put the container over ice to cool it faster. Place the pork in the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Thoroughly rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Then let the pork sit out for 30 minutes to get to room temp before cooking.

To cook the Pork Tenderloin

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a 10″ to 12″ skillet. Season the pork with pepper (no need to salt it since it was brined). Sear the pork in the hot skillet cook until it is golden on all sides, about 6 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and add the butter, garlic cloves, thyme and rosemary to the pan. Spoon the melted butter, herbs and pan juices over the pork for another two minutes.
  • Transfer the pork to a sheet pan with a rack in place, and place the herbs and garlic on top of the pork.
  • Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the pork registers 135-140 degrees. The temperature will continue to rise after the pork is out of the oven.
  • Move to a cutting board, cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Why not just put the tenderloin in the oven in the iron skillet in which you seared it? One less pan and you can add some wine to pan afterwards for a bit of sauce.

    1. The main reason is for even cooking. The super hot skillet will retain a lot of heat, cooking the bottom side of the tenderloin too quickly. Totally agree about the pan sauce though. You could totally still do it after transferring to the oven. Cheers!

  2. This was my first time bringing anything the flavor was great, but the result was very salty. I’ll go over the steps to see if I did something wrong. I felt like there was something odd about 1/2 cup of salt for 4 cups of water.. I usually eat fairly salty and even by my standards this was too intense. I used sea salt because that’s what I had, maybe that was it? ..I doubt it had that much of an impact. I’d try it again but half the salt easily.

    1. Hi Stefano. Sorry to hear it came out too salty. My bet is on the type of salt. There is actually quite a difference in sodium levels between different salts because of the granule size. I write about it in this Salt 101 article. Sea salt is a little tougher to measure because the granule sizes vary so much within the category.

  3. 3 stars
    Very flavorful but a little too salty for my taste. I’d cut the salt in half and brine for 2-3 hours instead of 4. Served with black eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day.

  4. I will be cooking 3 pork tenderloins that weigh about 2.5 lbs each. Would I need to double or triple the brine recipe or just add enough water to cover the meat?

    1. Hi Sandra! Those are pretty large tenderloins, but you should be good doubling the recipe. I wouldn’t just add more water as this will change the ratios. You can use ziplock bags to brine the tenderloins which require less actual brine versus using a container. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      1. 5 stars
        I was incorrect about the size of the tenderloins. That weight was per package, which was actually two tenderloins. I did use your brine recipe for my sister’s 80th birthday dinner as well as on New Years Day. I had very good results both times. The pork was very tender and moist.

  5. 5 stars
    So delicious! I love the texture of the meat after brining and the brine seasons the meat all the way through. Husband and I dribbled the pan juices over our portions on our plates. Just divine!

  6. I have a question, can you leave it in the brine over night? i’m trying to do a recipe where i can prep the night before and come back from the beach and just throw it on the grill. Will it be too salty?

    1. Hi Erica,
      I wouldn’t leave pork tenderloin in this brine overnight. Since pork tenderloin is so small and delicate, it would break down too much and get mushy. You could cut the salt down by half or so and leave it for longer. What I would do is brine it the evening before, remove it from the brine and rinse it. Dry it with paper towels and then refrigerate it until you come back from the beach. Let me know how it turns out! Cheers!

  7. Great recipe. Very delicious. Only mistake I made was I let the pork sit in brine overnight so the meat was salty. Next time I’ll follow the recipe and only let it sit for 2-4 hours.

    1. Hey Brigid,
      So glad it came out delicious! Ahh, yeah this brine is really meant to only be for 2-4 hours. You can create a brine with less salt if you need to do it for longer, but for a smaller piece of meat like this, nothing positive comes from brining it longer.

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe, perfect way to bring out the flavor of the pork. Had to make it after seeing that cast iron skillet shot and the butter, nice work on the photos.

  9. I’ve made this twice now and it’s by far the best pork tenderloin I’ve ever tasted. It’s restaurant quality, or better. I cook the pork right in cast iron pan and don’t bother with the roasting pan and rack. Then while the pork is sitting I make a sauce from maple syrup, whole grain mustard and chicken broth. Just cook long enough to reduce and pour it over the sliced pork. My whole family agrees that this is outstanding. Thanks for posting!

    1. Hi Kim,
      I’m so happy to hear that. I totally agree about not needing to put the pork in the roasting pan as I prefer my pork more on the medium side. Thanks for the nice comment.