5 Steps to Amazing Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin

5 Steps to Amazing Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin

I made this Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin twice before deciding to share it with you. The first time I made it, I honestly didn’t think it was going to be as good as it was. I have made tenderloin many ways, but this one experience placed this recipe on top of my list of favorites. I couldn’t believe how good the tenderloin was and I was sad that I hadn’t even taken one photo to turn the experience into a blog post to share with you.

A few weeks ago, I decided to make the same recipe for Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin again. This time I was going to capture the process and hope it was just as good as the first time. I followed the same recipe I made up before.

Once again, this tenderloin was some of the best I have ever eaten and I am about to tell you why…

5 Steps to Amazing Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin

#1 The first step to building good flavor in meat is a good spice rub.

The spices will adhere to the moist surface of the meat forming a coating that will form a flavor seared crust when the meat hits the pan. To really intensify the effects of the spice rub, you can rub the meat ahead of time so that it can penetrate the meat a little more, but it is not necessary to marinate if time does not permit. There is very little flavor loss if you don’t have time, so don’t worry!

#2 Searing the meat is the second step to building flavor.

Searing is not done to lock moisture inside the meat like a lot of people have been told forever. It turns out that searing is actually the secret to cooking flavorful meat with good texture. When the meat hits a hot pan, the surface of the meat begins to caramelize the sugars and browns the proteins of the meat, which gives you a more appealing color and a deep, savory flavor that makes meat delicious. It may seem like searing is an unnecessary step that can be skipped, but trust me is NOT! You’re really not beginning the cooking process, but just starting to build the flavor. It really doesn’t take that long and you’re only standing at the stove for just a few minutes. Trust me it is worth every minute!

#3 The pan makes a huge difference.

You need a nice heavy pan, that can retain a high level of heat, such as cast iron, aluminum or stainless steel. Do not use coated or non-stick surfaced pan. You need a good pan that can withstand the heat of the oven to finish off the cooking.

#4 Use oil for leaner cuts of meat.

For lean cuts of meat such as a pork tenderloin add a little oil to the pan. First, place the empty pan over the heat and allow the pan to get hot over high heat. You can sprinkle a drop or two of water onto the pan to test the heat. The water should sizzle and jump around. Next, add the oil to the pan and allow it to warm, but do not let it burn. You should start to see ripples, then it is time to add the meat. Be careful the hot oil may spatter!

#5 Leave the meat alone!

Once the meat is in the pan, as tempted as you may be, do not move it. You actually want the meat to lock onto the pan. Do not fear this!

I use to panic when my meat stuck to the pan. Little did I know that if you just give it a minute or two the meat will release from the pan. This is where the flavor forms.

Let the meat sear for a few minutes. The meat will start to brown quickly, so now is not the time to walk away. Keep an eye on it and when the meat releases from the pan and is browned, flip it over and sear the other side. Then roll it over on each side to brown all the way around.

Lean, moist, and incredibly succulent, Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin is seasoned with a blend of sweet, warm, savory spices, and smothered in BBQ sauce. | TheMountainKitchen.com

When the meat is browned on all sides, the inside will still be raw. Finish the cooking inside the oven.

Once I learned these 5 important steps, I created a lean, moist, and incredibly succulent, pork tenderloin seasoned with a blend of sweet, warm savory spices, and smothered in BBQ sauce. It’s really amazing!

How to Make Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the tenderloins under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl (make sure to work out any clumps that are in the brown sugar for even distribution) and stir to mix.

If you have a mortar and pestle, that works best. Rub the spices onto the meat covering it well. If you have time, wrap the tenderloins in plastic wrap and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. (If time is not a luxury, it will not hurt the flavor.)

spice rubbed pork on platter

Preheat a large oven-proof heavy cast iron pan or stainless steel pan, over high heat. Sprinkle a drop or two of water onto the pan to test the heat. The water should sizzle and jump around. Next, add the oil to the pan and allow it to warm, but do not let it burn. When you start to see ripples in the oil, carefully add the meat to the pan. Be careful the hot oil may spatter!

Once the meat is in the pan, do not move it. Let the meat sear for a few minutes. When the meat releases from the pan and is browned, flip it over and sear the other side. Then roll it over on each side to brown all the way around. When the meat is browned on all sides, the inside will still be raw.

Lean, moist, and incredibly succulent, Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin is seasoned with a blend of sweet, warm, savory spices, and smothered in BBQ sauce. | TheMountainKitchen.com
Lean, moist, and incredibly succulent, Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin is seasoned with a blend of sweet, warm, savory spices, and smothered in BBQ sauce. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake until the pork is done and juices run clear; about 30 to 45 minutes. For really saucy tenderloins, pour the BBQ sauce over the meat and allow bake the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting.

cast iron pan inside oven

Remove the tenderloins from the oven and place them on a carving board. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes. Slice pork, and serve with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Lean, moist, and incredibly succulent, Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin is seasoned with a blend of sweet, warm, savory spices, and smothered in BBQ sauce. | TheMountainKitchen.com

I served the Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin with some Brussels sprouts and macaroni and cheese.

I know David is usually grilling things with BBQ sauce, but sometimes it is just not practical to light the grill when you want something BBQ’d. The weather could be crappy like it has so far this spring, with gusting winds and driving rain or even in some cases snow. If that happens then I recommend you try this recipe.

This Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin is guaranteed to become a family favorite!

Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin
Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin
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Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Lean, moist, and incredibly succulent, Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin is seasoned with a blend of sweet, warm, savory spices, and smothered in BBQ sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue, bbq, pork, Tenderloin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 283kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin (2) one pound tenderloins
  • pork spice rub (recipe to follow)
  • 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

Pork Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Rinse the tenderloins under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl (make sure to work out any clumps of the brown sugar for even distribution) and stir to mix. If you have a mortar and pestle, that works best. Rub the spices onto the meat covering it well. If you have time, wrap the tenderloins in plastic wrap and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. (If time is not a luxury, it will not hurt the flavor.)
  • Preheat a large oven-proof heavy cast iron pan or stainless steel pan, over high heat. Sprinkle a drop or two of water onto the pan to test the heat. The water should sizzle and jump around. Next, add the oil to the pan and allow it to warm, but do not let it burn. When you start to see ripples in the oil, carefully add the meat to the pan. Be careful the hot oil may spatter!
  • Once the meat is in the pan, do not move it. Let the meat sear for a few minutes. When the meat releases from the pan and is browned, flip it over and sear the other side. Then roll it over on each side to brown all the way around. When the meat is browned on all sides, the inside will still be raw.
  • Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake until the pork is done and juices run clear; about 30 to 45 minutes. For really saucy tenderloins, pour the BBQ sauce over the meat and allow bake the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting.
  • Remove the tenderloins from the oven and place them on a carving board. Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes. Slice pork, and serve with additional BBQ sauce for dipping.

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 957mg | Potassium: 718mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.9mg
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The Mountain Kitchen

Hi, my name is Debbie, Author and Photographer at The Mountain Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious homemade recipes using clean food ingredients, and stories about mountain life.
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