Learning pork tenderloin internal temperatures will help you prepare the juiciest and most tender pork dinner that's also safe to eat! Undercooked pork tenderloin is almost as bad as overcooked pork tenderloin. Once you learn how to properly measure the internal temperature, you'll get amazing results every time!
Internal Temperature For Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of pork that is low in fat and high in protein. Since it is so lean, it can be easy to overcook, which will result in tough, dry meat. On the other hand, undercooked pork can be unsafe to eat and can contain harmful bacteria.
To make sure that your pork tenderloin is safe to consume while having the best texture and flavor, it's important to cook it to the right internal temperature. In this helpful guide, I will cover all of the tips, tricks, and methods you can use to achieve a perfectly cooked pork tenderloin every time!
If you're looking to test out these tips and tricks, my air fryer bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin or pork tenderloin with mushroom gravy recipes would be a great place to start!
Ideal Pork Tenderloin Internal Temperature
Just like any other meat, pork tenderloin has a minimum internal temperature that it has to reach in order to prevent the risk of food-borne illnesses. According to the USDA, a cooked pork tenderloin needs to reach an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption.
At this temperature, the pork is considered to be medium rare and will have juicy meat that's more pink. Even if the meat is pink, it's considered safe to eat as long as it reaches 145°F (63°C) on a meat thermometer.
Although this is the minimum temperature required to kill off any harmful bacteria in the meat, you might like your pork to be cooked to a higher temperature!
For those who prefer their pork tenderloin to be cooked to medium, the internal temperature should be around 150°F (66°C). This temperature will result in meat that has a slightly pink center but is still juicy and flavorful.
Medium-well pork tenderloin has an internal temperature of around 150°F (66°C). The center will be more cooked through with less pinkness.
If you like your pork tenderloin to be well done, cook it to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) or higher. The center will be fully cooked without any pinkness.
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How To Measure The Internal Temperatures
To measure the internal temperature of pork tenderloin, you will need a meat thermometer. There are different types of meat thermometers, but the most common and reliable is a digital instant-read thermometer.
If you don't own one, it's a great investment to have in your collection of kitchen tools, and you can use it with any type of meat! It's the only sure way to measure that your meat is cooked exactly to the recommended internal temperature.
To purchase a meat thermometer, you can either order online through Amazon or pick up a fairly inexpensive one from local stores like Walmart or Target.
How To Get The Most Accurate Temperature
Insert the probe of the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the pork tenderloin. This area takes the longest amount of time to cook and will give you the most accurate temperature reading.
Wait about 30 seconds and remain still so that the temperature stabilizes, then read the temperature on the thermometer. If it's not at your desired level of doneness, continue cooking and checking the temperature every few minutes until it's done cooking to your liking.
Remember to clean your meat thermometer thoroughly before and after use to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. With these steps, you can easily measure the internal temperature and cook the pork tenderloin to perfection every time!
How To Rest Pork Tenderloin
Just like you would with other kinds of meat, a pork tenderloin needs to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This allows all of the juices to redistribute and settle back into the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful tenderloin.
Unlike beef, it doesn't take as long to rest. I recommend resting for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your tenderloin. Whether you've grilled, roasted, or pan-seared it, remove it from the heat source once it reaches your desired internal temperature.
Transfer the pork tenderloin to a cutting board or a clean plate. Then immediately cover with a loosely tented piece of aluminum foil to help keep heat in and prevent the pork from cooling too quickly.
Although it may be tempting, resting is a crucial step in the cooking process that should not be skipped, especially if you don't like dry and tough meat!
To make your pork tenderloin into a complete meal, you have to pair it with the right side dishes. Check out my post on what to serve with pork tenderloin for suggestions!
Pork Tenderloin Internal Temperatures Reference Chart
|Level of Doneness||Internal Temperature||Internal Description|
|Medium-Rare||145-150°F (63-66°C)||A bright pink center with slightly pink meat going toward the exterior. The meat will be the juiciest at this temperature.|
|Medium||150-155°F (66-68°C)||A slightly less pink center, but still juicy and flavorful.|
|Medium-Well||155-160°F (68-71°C)||Has a trace of pink in the center, but less than medium.|
|Well-Done||160°F+ (71°C)||No pink center, as the meat is completely cooked throughout.|
I hope that my guide has answered any questions you may have about the internal temperatures of pork tenderloin! If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out and leave a comment down below!
🥓🥩 Tasty Pork Recipes To Try
- Ranch Pork Chops - These tasty pork chops are incredibly easy to make yet full of savory and tangy flavors!
- Pork Picnic Roast - A juicy and tender pork roast that's practically hands-off, making it perfect for any busy weeknight dinner!
- Instant Pot Porketta Roast - This roast is packed full of Italian flavor and makes a fantastic family meal for any occasion!
- Slow Cooker Pork Loin - If you're looking for an easy way to make a delicious pork loin, this recipe is a must-try!
- Baked Pork Tenderloin - An easy pork tenderloin dinner that's quickly seared before the oven takes over!
- Pan-Seared Pork Chops - All it takes is light seasoning and a cast iron skillet to make beautifully crusted pork chops with juicy meat!
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Pork Tenderloin Internal Temperatures: Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin (+Tips For Making The Perfect Pork Tenderloin)
- 6 strips bacon (or more, *see note)
- 1½ lb pork tenderloin
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- On a cutting board or large tray, lay out your bacon strips side by side so that they slightly overlap.6 strips bacon
- Season all sides of your pork tenderloin with salt and pepper, then set your pork tenderloin in the center of your bacon strips.1½ lb pork tenderloin, ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Wrap one side of the bacon strips over the seasoned pork tenderloin and then overlap it with the second side of bacon. Use toothpicks to secure the bacon.
- Gently transfer the bacon-wrapped tenderloin to the basket of your air fryer.
- Air fry your pork tenderloin at 400°F (205°C) for 20 minutes, making sure to rotate it halfway through cooking. Your pork is done when a meat thermometer reads 145°F (63°C).
- Remove the tenderloin from the air fryer and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Equipment You May Need
- Don't forget the toothpicks! See my photos showing an easy way to secure the bacon and guiding for slicing.
- You can never have too much bacon, so feel free to use as much as you like!
- If your tenderloin is too long for your air fryer, you can cut it in half and place the two halves side by side (but leave some space between them).
- Your air fryer cooking time will vary based on your model and the actual weight and thickness of the pork tenderloin.
- Make sure to let your pork rest after cooking so that it stays nice and juicy!
- To store: Keep your tenderloin in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: You can reheat your pork by heating it in short 30-second intervals in the microwave or by popping it back into the air fryer at 350°F (175°C) until warmed to your satisfaction!
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!
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