Best Dry Rub for Pork Tenderloin

at a glance
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
4.6 — Votes 13 votes

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People are going to beg you for this pork tenderloin dry rub recipe, mark my words. It’s a little smokey, a little sweet, perfectly salted, and will change how you think about pork tenderloin.

Side view of a brown colored clay bowl with fuchsia and white designs on the side with a small wooden spoon filled with a mixture of spices. The bowl is sitting on a pink surface with a light grey, textured linen.

Pork Tenderloin Rub Recipe

This pork tenderloin dry rub recipe is the most flavorful I’ve ever tried (and I’ve experimented with a lot). Best of all, these ingredients can be easily found at just about every grocery store. While the recipe is meant for a small batch, I have a feeling you’re going to double (maybe quadruple) the recipe, keep it in a mason jar, and start sprinkling it on everything …especially pork.

What is a good dry rub for pork tenderloin?

I’m a big fan of a combination of flavors for a really well-rounded dry rub, especially a dry rub for pork. This recipe calls for chili powder, brown sugar, and cinnamon (in addition to a few others). The fun combination makes the pork incredibly irresistible!

Top down view of dry rub ingredients on an imperfect round dish. The dish is sitting on a grey and white marble surface.

Pork Tenderloin Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt

How to Prepare this Dry Rub Recipe for Pork Tenderloin

This dry rub is insanely easy to prepare. You ready for this? First, you’ll get a bowl that’s large enough to fit your pork tenderloin, then add all of the spices to the bowl, and stir until well combined. That’s it!

Hand holding a round, flat dish with spices being poured into a white bowl on a grey and white marble surface.
Hand holding the edge of a white bowl and the other hand holding a black handled whisk. A spice mixture is being mixed in the white bowl.

How to Apply a Rub to Pork Tenderloin

Now that your dry rub is mixed and ready to go, go ahead and add the pork tenderloin to the bowl, and using tongs, toss the pork tenderloin in the mixture until it’s fully coated.

How many tablespoons of rub should I use on a pork tenderloin?

This recipe makes about 4 tablespoons of rub. Though you may have leftover in your bowl after coating your pork, it’s actually easier to work with a little more rub vs not quite enough. The mission here is to get the pork tenderloins coated completely in the rub!

How Long to Leave Dry Rub on Pork

Unlike a liquid marinade, the dry rub doesn’t need to stay on the pork for any amount of time before baking. You’ll just coat your pork tenderloin completely and then cook it in either the air fryer or oven!

How to Cook Dry Rub Pork Tenderloin

Now that you’ve got your pork tenderloin coated in a delicious, flavorful spice rub, it’s time to cook it! You’ve got a couple of options here – you can either pop your pork tenderloin into a 400°F air fryer for about 17 minutes (full recipe HERE) or into a 425°F oven for about 15 minutes (full recipe HERE). Either way, you’ll want to use an in-oven thermometer to make sure that your pork reaches 145°F before digging in!

Top down view of a brown colored clay bowl with a small wooden spoon filled with a mixture of spices. The bowl is sitting on a pink surface with a light grey, textured linen.
Q Should I put rub on pork overnight?

You don’t *need* to let dry rub sit on the pork overnight, but if you want to get ahead on dinner prep, you certainly can. Simply season your pork, then store it (raw and covered) in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. The more the seasonings sit on the pork, the more flavorful they’ll become! 2-3 days in advance is plenty of time to max it out.

Q How do you cook pork tenderloin so it’s not dry?

This is a great question! Pork tenderloin has a pretty bad rap for being dry, tough, and bland, but the reasons for these are preventable.

Want to avoid bland pork? Use a flavorful dry rub or marinade! Want your pork to be juicy and tender? Use an in-oven thermometer to determine doneness (rather than a length of time) and pull it out of the oven (or air fryer) when the internal temperature reaches 145°F!

Q What spices work well on pork?

After experimenting with a lot of pork tenderloin, I find myself gravitating towards spices that are bold and smokey. Smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, onion, and oregano are all great candidates. I also really love a touch of maple sweetness on pork, and in the application of a dry rub, brown sugar is the best bet. If you’re looking for even more variety, check out these 3 marinade that the internet is obsessed with.

Up close photo of sliced pork tenderloin on a wooden cutting board.

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Best Pork Tenderloin Rub

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
4.6 — Votes 13 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Servings: 4 servings
People are going to beg you for this pork tenderloin dry rub recipe, mark my words. It's a little smokey, a little sweet, perfectly salted, and will change how you think about pork tenderloin.


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until well combined.
  • Place the pork tenderloin in the bowl with the seasoning mixture, and toss to fully coat.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Best Pork Tenderloin Rub
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes

This makes the perfect amount to use all at once, so no need to store.
Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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