Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Sous vide your way to the juiciest pork tenderloin ever.

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Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Slow, precise cooking gives you perfectly even results.
  • Searing over high-heat gives the pork loin a nice crisp crust.

Small enough to cook relatively quickly, but large and elegant enough to make a centerpiece roast, pork tenderloin is the kind of dish to pull out when you're feeling extra fancy on a weeknight. Sous vide is the most foolproof way to get it on the table with consistently great flavor and a buttery, ultra-tender texture.

Recipe Facts

4.5

(6)

Active: 20 mins
Total: 90 mins
Serves: 2 to 3 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 whole pork tenderloin, about 1 pound (450g)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 sprigs fresh herbs, such as fresh thyme, oregano, or rosemary, divided (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, divided (optional)
  • 2 small shallots, sliced, divided (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable, canola, or rice bran oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Using a sous vide precision cooker, preheat a water bath to the desired finishing temperature according to the chart below.

  2. Season pork generously with salt and pepper. Place in sous vide bags along with half of herbs, garlic, and shallots (if using) and distribute evenly. Seal bags and place in water bath for time recommended in chart above.

  3. To Finish: Turn on your vents and open your windows. Remove pork from water bath and bag. Discard aromatics from bag; reserve liquid from bag if making optional pan sauce (see note). Carefully pat pork dry with paper towels. Add vegetable, canola, or rice bran oil to a heavy cast iron or stainless steel skillet, place it over the hottest burner you have, and preheat skillet until it starts to very lightly smoke. Lay pork in skillet, using your fingers or a set of tongs. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on most sides, about 2 minutes total.

  4. When pork is mostly browned, add butter and reserved half of garlic, shallots, and herbs (if using) and cook, tilting pan and using a spoon to baste pork with the flavorful butter, until pork is well browned on all sides, about 30 seconds longer.

  5. Transfer pork to a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and pour the drippings on top. Allow to rest for 1 to 2 minutes, then slice and serve.

Special equipment

Immersion circulator, Rimmed baking sheet, Wire rack

Notes

Recommended Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Temperatures

Temp and Time  Doneness  Result 
130°F/54°C for 1 to 4 hours  Medium-rare  Buttery-tender; very juicy 
140°F/60°C for 1 to 4 hours  Medium  Firm but still tender; moderately juicy 
150°F/66°C for 1 to 4 hours  Medium-well  Fully firm; moderately juicy 
160°F/71°C for 1 to 4 hours  Well-done  Dry, with a firm, tacky texture 

If you'd like a simple sauce with your pork, add one tablespoon of minced shallot to the skillet and sauté until aromatic, about 15 seconds. Add a cup of dry white wine or vermouth and let it reduce by half. Add a dollop of whole grain mustard, the liquid reserved from the sous vide bag, and a tablespoon of butter. Swirl until the sauce is emulsified, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve sauce off heat.

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