Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Proper Temperature for Pork Loins

Today's discussion comes from an email I received regarding the proper temperature to cook a pork tenderloin. Let's take a look:


What is a safe internal temp for pork loin? I have read everything from 140 to 165. I don't want it to be to dry, but I don't want to make anybody sick.

Thanks for your help. Later JJ

Dear JJ,

The safe internal temperature to serve pork loin at is approximately 155 degrees. At this temperature, it is still moist and juicy and above the temperature needed to kill off any bacteria. While 165 degrees will give you an iron clad guarantee against bacteria, it will also assure you of a dried out and chewy piece of pork tenderloin

What I like to do is remove the tenderloin from the grill or smoker when it's internal is 140 - 145 degrees. I then let it set on the cutting board for approximately 10 - 15 minutes before slicing it into medallions. This does two things, it allows the juices to settle and redistribute and the internal portion of the meat will finish cooking and the temperature should easily reach 155 as it rests.

Make sure you have an accurate thermometer that provides an instant reading. The new digital thermometer probes are ideal and are highly accurate. You can test them in a boiling pot of water and it should read 212 as the water begins to boil.

Another tip is to sear all sides of the tenderloin over high heat to get the grill marks on the meat and then finish the cooking with an indirect heat method if grilling.

Until next Time - Keep on smokin!

If you have any questions that you would like to see featured here, please send them my way for consideration. Simply click on my signature above to contact me.


Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

all good advice... do you ever foil? I have had very good results wrapping in foil for up to two hours at 145 degrees, final temp is 160, but always comes out moist

Anonymous said...

I do not foil pork tenderloin because my goal is to smoke it, not cook it over direct heat. I sear it on all sides over the hot coals and then move it over to the cool side of the grill and place the top on to finish it up after adding wood chips.

This way I end up with a nice piece of smoked meat that has the char texture and grill marks that I'm looking for.

It's all about the presentation for me.