How to tell if pork tenderloin is done? Pork tenderloin is done when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to check the meat’s doneness. However, there are other signs to look for, such as color and firmness.
When cooking lean meats such as pork tenderloin, it is easy to overcook them. Overcooking your meat will ruin its flavor and will make it tough inside and dry. On the other hand, you still want to cook your meat enough, so how to know when your pork tenderloin is perfectly cooked?
How To Tell If Pork Tenderloin Is Done?
When you cook pork tenderloin, it is important that it reaches an internal temperature of a minimum of 145 degrees F and no more than 165 degrees F. This temperature range is optimal for pork meat in general, including other cuts such as pork chops, pork loin, ground pork, and any other cut of pork meat.
When measuring the internal temperature, the general rule is to measure it on the thickest part of the meat. If the thickest part of the meat has a proper temperature inside, you can rest assured that your pork tenderloin is fully cooked.
How Can You Tell If Pork Tenderloin Is Done Without A Thermometer?
Meat thermometers are the most reliable way of determining the doneness of the meat. However, if you don’t have a meat thermometer or food thermometer, or you can’t use them for some other reason, there are other ways to check if the meat is done.
One way to tell if pork tenderloin is done without a thermometer is to insert a fork into the meat and twist it. If the meat is cooked through, it will be very tender and will easily pull away from the fork.
Another way to tell if pork tenderloin is done is to check the color of the meat. When pork tenderloin is cooked through, in the middle, it should be white or pale pink in color. If the meat is still bright pink or red in the center, it needs to cook longer.
Also, meat firmness can give you an indication of doneness. When raw, pork tenderloin is quite firm to the touch. As it cooks, the meat will become progressively more tender. Once it is cooked through, it will be very soft and yielding when poked with a finger.
Finally, cooking pork in a slow cooker or Dutch oven is a certain way to know it is done. If you have been cooking your pork tenderloin slowly for more than 3-4 hours, there is no way it isn’t done.
What Color Should A Pork Tenderloin Be When Done?
Cooked pork tenderloin is brown when done, although its center can retain some pinkish color, depending on the desired doneness. Some people prefer to eat their pork tenderloin well done, and in that case, the meat should be brown all the way through.
On the other hand, there are people who like medium rare meat, and for them, pork tenderloin is done when it is slightly pink in the middle. However, the meat shouldn’t be red or bright pink, which means it isn’t properly cooked.
What Should Pork Tenderloin Look Like When Cooked?
When cooked properly, pork tenderloin should be moist and tender with a slightly pink center. On the outside, it should be brown. If you cook the pork tenderloin in boiling water, it will be light brown. If you roast it in the oven or cook it on the grill, pork tenderloin will be dark brown.
Is It OK If Pork Tenderloin Is Pink In The Middle?
Eating slightly pink pork is ok, but only if it is properly cooked on the outside and slightly pink on the center. If the outsides are also pink, you are practically eating raw meat, which is dangerous for your health.
Overall, your preferred meat doneness is the best answer to this question. If you like medium rare meat, some pink in the middle is ok, but if you like your meat well-done, you certainly won’t enjoy eating pork tenderloin that’s pink in the middle.
In any case, it is important that the meat’s internal temperature is at least 145 degrees F during the cooking process. This way, you will be sure that it is safe to eat, even if it is pink in the middle.
Can You Overcook Pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin can be a delicious meal, but you mustn’t overcook it. Tenderloin is a lean meat cut, which means it has a less fat content and can become overcooked and dry if you are not careful enough.
Nobody likes eating dry meat, so make sure to adjust your cooking temperature and cooking time to the size and shape of the meat.
So, now you know how to tell if pork tenderloin is done. The most reliable way to determine the doneness of pork tenderloin is using a meat thermometer. However, the firmness and the texture of the meat, as well as its color, are also useful for determining if it is done or needs more cooking.
If you love to eat pork, you probably know how delicious pork tenderloin can be when cooked properly. You probably also know how hard it can be to establish whether this meat is done or not. This article showed you several ways to do so, even if you don’t have a meat thermometer!
Do you like a well-done or medium rare pork tenderloin? How do you determine the desired doneness? Share in the comments!