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Perfectly tender, moist, and juicy–this sous vide pork tenderloin recipe will convince you there’s no other better way to cook your pork!
Pork Tenderloin Sous Vide Recipe
Pork tenderloin is delicious, but can be SO hard to cook to tender, moist perfection. I sometimes avoid recipes with it for this very reason. Seasoned simply, this method of sous vide cooking puts the tender back in tenderloin and delivers a perfectly cooked protein every time!
What is Sous Vide?
“Sous vide” literally translates to “under vacuum” or “under pressure.” In the culinary world, it refers to a method of cooking where you vacuum-seal food (most commonly meat or fish) and immerse the bag in water that is being circulated and temperature controlled by a precision cooker.
Why Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin?
Sous vide is a foolproof way to achieve the most consistent cook on your meat with an uber-tender texture. The low temperature, slow cooking method helps the pork tenderloin maintain its moisture resulting in a really juicy, flavorful piece of meat.
Pork Tenderloin Sous Vide Ingredients
You won’t believe the delicious flavor you’ll achieve with this recipe with just these 3 simple ingredients.
- Pork Tenderloin – to start, you’ll need a one-whole pork tenderloin (about 1 pound).
- Salt – the seasoning is kept super simple, you just need ½ of a teaspoon of salt and…
- Pepper – a ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
*Plus about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, ghee, or avocado oil to finish the tenderloin in a cast iron pan after it’s cooked.
This recipe is written for simple (yet effective) seasoning with salt and pepper, but there are loads of alternative ways you can add extra flavor to the meat.
- Use a marinade – use a balsamic and rosemary, maple dijon, or sesame and ginger marinade to infuse extra flavor into the dish. Add a ¼-½ cup of the total marinade in the recipe here.
- Balsamic dijon – spread a tablespoon of dijon mustard, a ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, and a sprig of rosemary into the bag.
- Brine – use this method to brine your pork tenderloin to impart a great depth of flavor and super tender meat. Then drain the brine and sous vide.
Supplies Needed for this Recipe
The equipment is actually really straightforward to sous vide from home! Essentially, all you need is a sous vide machine itself (this is the part you plug in that sits in the water and controls the temperature), a bag to cook your food in, and a bucket or pot of water. I know it can sound intimidating, but honestly, it can take up about as much space as an immersion blender. I’ve personally used a handful of the top sous vides on the market and the one below is my absolute favorite:
- The Anova Sous Vide is the most highly-rated sous vide for very good reason. The sous vide itself is a (roughly) foot-long gadget that controls the temperature of the water and keeps it whirling in your pot. It’s slick, easy to use, compact, and will work with any container you already have on hand. I really love mine.
As for the other pieces of equipment, there are some options. First, you will need some kind of waterproof bag to cook your food in. You’ll want to be able to remove all the air from this bag so that the food and any flavors or marinades in the bag infuse with each other without any air interfering (which could cause uneven cooking). Here are some bag options:
- SousBear bag kit: these bags are neat in that they come with a hand pump you can use to remove the air in addition to little clips you’d use to secure your bag to the side wall of the container. This system works as long as the vacuum seal hole stays above the water line. A pro of this system is that it doesn’t require a large vacuum sealer while a con is that you have to secure the bag to the side wall (vs. just plopping the bag in the water).
- Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer: this is the vacuum sealer featured in the photos above! I love it, but I’d definitely consider it a luxury kitchen gadget. It’s very easy to use, both removes the air and adds a quick seal to a bag, and stores easily in a drawer.
- Anova Vacuum Sealer Bags: I do love these pre-cut vacuum sealer bags from Anova. They fit perfectly in with the vacuum sealer (for obvious reasons), don’t leak, and are pretty minimal. They also freeze really well if you’re ever wanting to stock your freezer with sous vide goodies.
- Plastic ziplock bags: yes, you can sous vide in your ordinary freezer bag! Do your best to remove the air from it (you know, the “squish and roll” method), and pop it right in.
- Silicone ziplock bags: even though most sous vide bags are BPA-free, you may still prefer a silicone option. These will work in just about any sous vide setup! My favorite brand is the Stasher bag because they’re incredibly versatile (you can pop popcorn in them, use them to carry snacks, and even sous vide a chicken breast).
- A bucket: this Rubbermaid 12-quart bucket is the exact bucket I have, but please know you do NOT need one. You can use a large pot and it will work just as well. I do love this bucket and find myself using it to brine larger proteins, but again, it’s a luxury buy (in my opinion).
How to Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin
You’re just a few steps away from deliciously tender pork! To make your sous vide pork tenderloin, you’ll:
- Season and vacuum seal – to start, season your pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and add to the bag.
- Sous vide – set your precision cooker to 140℉ and cook the pork tenderloin for at least one hour (maximum 4 hours).
- Reverse sear – once finished cooking, remove the pork tenderloin from the bag. Heat a cast iron grill pan over high heat. Once it is piping hot, add your fat of choice (ghee, olive oil, or avocado oil are great for their high smoke point) and sear for 2-3 minutes per side, until a crust forms.
- Rest – remove from heat to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy! – slice, serve, and enjoy!
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Temp
The recommended water temperatures (depending on the desired doneness you’re looking for) are:
- Medium-Rare: 130℉
- Medium: 140℉
- Medium-well: 150℉
- Well-done: 160℉
How Long to Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin
You want to cook your pork tenderloin for at least an hour, up to 4 hours, with a minimum internal temperature of 145℉. You can check with a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached a safe temperature. Cassy found that 140℉ was the perfect temperature for getting a perfectly medium cook on the tenderloin (keeping it super juicy and tender on the inside), and the reverse sear after brought it up to the safe temperature of 145℉.
Can you over cook pork tenderloin sous vide?
Since the temperature is under continuous control and the meat is cooked low and slow, it is very difficult to over cook the pork tenderloin using this method. This is arguably the best part about cooking sous vide style!
Can I sous vide pork tenderloin ahead of time?
Cooking sous vide is a great way to prepare your pork tenderloin ahead of time. Then, when you’re ready to serve, give it a quick sear in the pan to reheat and brown before you serve it.
Can you Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin from Frozen?
Yes, you can sous vide pork tenderloin from frozen. Just adjust the cooking time, adding one hour to be exact. A tip for using this method is to freeze the pork tenderloin in the vacuum sealer bag with the marinade. Then when you’re ready to cook, plop the bag into the water with the precision cooker, and it’s ready to go!
What to Serve with this Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Recipe
This pork tenderloin recipe is great with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and balsamic roasted brussel sprouts or atop a kale and butternut squash salad. For an ultimate easy side, try these simple oven roasted green beans.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin
To store your leftover sous vide pork tenderloin, place it in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 3-5 days. To reheat, you can pop it in the microwave, or my preferred method is to give it a quick heat in a cast-iron skillet.
- Pork tenderloin whole (about 1 pound)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons fat of choice for reverse sear
- Season your pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and add to the bag.
- Set your precision cooker to 140℉ and cook your pork tenderloin for at least one hour (maximum 4 hours).
- Once finished cooking, remove the pork tenderloin from the bag. Heat a cast iron grill pan over high heat. Once it is piping hot, add your fat of choice (ghee, olive oil, or avocado oil are great for their high smoke point) and sear for 2-3 minutes per side, until a crust forms.
- Remove from heat to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
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