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Fire up the grill for this delicious bourbon molasses pork tenderloin. Make it in the oven too.
Bourbon Molasses Pork Tenderloin–YUM
Have you noticed that pork tenderloins have been on sale a lot lately? They have been in my area and since I love this cut, I stock up big time.
Pork tenderloins are a great choice for when you want “roast” pork but want it quickly. Generally, they take less than an hour when oven roasted so that’s pretty quick. However, here we take the low and slow approach by using indirect heat on an outside grill. Even though this may take twice the time than in a regular oven, this method has many advantages. One of those is that the meat remains juicier.
Indirect Cooking Method
Indirect cooking is outside cooking’s version of slow cooking. A smoker uses the same method but with the addition of wood chips for extra flavor. As an aside, that will work very nicely here too so if you have a smoker, try it. The time will be approximately the same as the indirect method.
You can achieve indirect heat by either charcoal or gas grills. The charcoal grill will require a lid so if all you have is a a topless model, it won’t do here. A Weber kettle is the perfect instrument.
What you do with the charcoal is light it, let it catch so the briquettes are uniformly grey, then pile them up over on one side of the grill. Then place the meat on the side with no briquettes under it. With this method, you have to monitor the heat periodically so I tend to avoid it with longer-cooking pieces of meat. It does, however, produce great flavor.
Using a gas grill is so much simpler because it’s pretty much fuss free. Merely light one side of the grill and cook on the unlit side. No worries with a cover since they all have covers. And there’s little to no monitoring the temperature. This is my preferred method.
Let It Rest
As with all roasts cooked by any method, letting it rest is important. I can’t stress that enough here. Tent with foil and let these babies rest for at least 15 minutes.
You won’t be sorry.
Bourbon Molasses Pork Tenderloin
- 2 lbs pork tenderloin trimmed of membrane
- 1/4 cup black coffee at room temperature
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3 tbs molasses
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs fresh thyme chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Mix all marinade ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
- Place the tenderloins in a large plastic freezer bag and pour the marinade over the pork. Put the pork in the fridge and let it marinate for 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking. On a gas grill, this means cooking on the UNLIT side. On a charcoal grill it means piling up the charcoal on one side of the grill and cooking over the side with no coals (see photo in post). FYI the charcoal grill must have a cover (like a Weber kettle)
- Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. You're going to baste the tenderloins with this.
- Place the tenderloins on the prepared grill, cover and grill for about 2 hours or until internal temperature is at least 145F/70C. The ideal temperature is 160F/80C.
- Move the tenderloins to the lit side of the grill to sear--about 5 minutes.
- You can do this in a regular oven, but roast at 400F/200C for about 40 minutes.