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Overhead view of grilled pork tenderloin

Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin

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A terrific marinade, like in this Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin, takes an ordinary cut of meat into something spectacular!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin is frequently on our menu, winter or summer, rain or shine. And a delicious Pork Tenderloin Marinade is key to infusing deliciousness!

Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin with a green salad on a white plate

Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin

No matter the season, firing up the grill brings an additional distinction to an already flavorful entree. Grilled Pork Tenderloin tastes a heck of a lot better than oven-roasted. There’s nothing like imparting a smoky nuance to enhance the flavors of the marinade.

Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin partially sliced on a white serving tray

The Pork Tenderloin Marinade

Sweet, salty with a bit of spice from fresh ginger, garlic, and Dijon mustard, this pork tenderloin marinade paired perfectly with pork. Each ingredient provides a different flavor element and the balance is key for a perfect marinade:

Definitely allow time to marinate your meat overnight so that the flavor has an opportunity to permeate the tenderloins.

It’s simple chemistry. By osmosis, the higher sugar and sodium content in the brine work their way into the pork.  This recipe is perfect for entertaining since all the prep work is done the night before. So while appetizers are being noshed and cocktails sipped, toss your meat on the grill.

Let’s diagnose the components of this pork tenderloin marinade:

The ratios are important. For example, too much acid can make the meat mushy. It’s best to measure each ingredient.

  • Olive Oil helps transfer fat-soluble flavors into the meat
  • Soy Sauce provides sodium and umami 
  • Worcestershire Sauce also provides sodium and umami
  • Garlic and Fresh Ginger provide flavor
  • Brown Sugar helps balance the other flavors, especially the acid in the whiskey
  • Dijon Mustard provides piquancy
  • Whiskey, like all alcohol, provides flavor enhancement plus the acidity adds a tang, helps break down tough muscle fibers and helps tenderize
Overhead view of grilled pork tenderloin

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

I prefer to grill pork tenderloin, but if you’re in a pinch (like no charcoal or a blizzard), you can roast it. Sear the exterior in a medium-high pan with a little olive oil. This helps color and caramelize the exterior. Next roast in a hot oven, about 450º for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 145º. Cover with foil and let rest for 3-10 minutes before serving.

To grill your pork, set up your gas or charcoal grill with a direct heat zone, a hotter area, and an indirect heat zone, with less heat. Grill over direct heat until the internal temperature reaches 145º, turning once. If the pork ever starts to burn, move it to the indirect zone.  Rest as you would if roasting.

In about 30 minutes, your entree is ready to carve. Be sure to allow about 10 minutes for the all-important resting time, so the juices can redistribute and your finished product will be tender and moist.

Pork Tenderloin Temperature

First, let the marinated pork sit out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes so it’s not icy cold when you toss it on the grill. This will allow for more consistent cooking.

Then monitor the internal temperature carefully. Cooking time will vary depending on how hot your grill is and the weight of your tenderloins.

PRO-Tip: The National Pork Board recommends pork tenderloin (and all pork cuts except ground pork which should be cooked to 160º) be cooked to 145º with a 3 minute resting period. 

The resting period is when you cover the cooked pork with foil for 3-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute and the residual heat to bring the temperature up a few more degrees. At this temperature, the pork may have a pink cast in the middle, but should not look uncooked.

PRO-Tip: To check the internal temperature, place an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching any bone. Since pork can be very lean, it’s important not to overcook so make sure the pork is tender and juicy.

Grilled pork tenderloin on a rectangular white platter

You’ll Also Love: 

 The Summer Barbecue Line Up

Main Course

  • That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Appetizers

Bread

Salad

Soup

Sides

Beverage

Desserts

progressive eats logo

Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

This month’s theme is Summer Barbecue hosted by Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake. You’ll love all the summertime recipes that will be perfect for your next cookout or Labor Day gathering.

This post was first shared in August 2014. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

Overhead view of grilled pork tenderloin

Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin

A terrific marinade, like in this Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin, takes and ordinary cut of meat into something spectacular!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup whiskey

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients. Pour into a ziplock bag and add pork tenderloins. and marinate pork. Marinate at least 6-8 hours or overnight.
  2. Grill until internal temperature is about 150º. Cover with foil and let rest before carving (internal temperature will rise to 160º).

Total time: 7+ hours including marinating time

Notes

Servings will vary depending on the size of your pork tenderloins. Large ones will serve 6.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 691mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 8g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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47 comments on “Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin”

  1. lovely photo and recipe pinned! 🙂

  2. I just made pork tenderloin on Sunday! Your marinade sounds great Liz, I’d love some of those rosemary grilled potatoes too! Looking forward to the nice long weekend:@)

  3. You are the hostess with the mostess! Great flavors in this marinade, Liz, and the meat is just perfect! Thank you for hosting such a spectacular summer barbecue and for making me so hungry!

  4. Delicious marinade.. I would love such steak!

  5. Dear Lizzy, Pork is a favorite of mine. The marinade sounds wonderful; as I am sure it is. Looks delicious. Blessings, Catherine xo

  6. What a fantastic dish to have for a summer barbecue. Love the use of ginger and mustard. Great flavors and a great theme. Thanks Liz.

  7. Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin?!! oh my gawd, Liz! you are killing me!! this looks so good and love that you served this with roasted veggies and potatoes! delicious!!!

  8. How did you know I just bought a pork tenderloin at the grocery store yesterday? I always marinate and grill them but was just thinking that I need a new marinade to try. Thanks for reading my mind!

  9. These is the kind of barbacue we love in my family. The pork, the veggies…everything looks so yummy !

  10. Great flavors Liz and beautiful photos! So tantalizing, pinning for later!

  11. oh what a wonderful way to use the whiskey. I bet this pork has so much flavor

  12. Seriously??? I am laughing.

  13. Now this sounds divine! YUMMMMMM!

  14. Hi Liz, wonderful marinade! looks like you cooked your pork perfectly. Fun idea for a internet BBQ!

  15. Well this just sounds amazing!

  16. Gorgeous Sunday Dinner, Liz 🙂 YUMMMM

  17. I do love a bar-be-cue. Your pork tenderloin marinated in whiskey looks divine. I made something very similar a few months ago but did get into a spot of trouble for using up my husband’s very special, very old and very expensive last few nips of something he was saving xx

  18. You had me at pork tenderloin and then sealed the deal with the whiskey! 🙂 This sounds and looks truly amazing Liz, the perfect star attraction for today’s progressive dinner and the fitting crown-wearing recipe! I cannot wait to give this a try and it might just show up on next weekend’s holiday meal plan 😉 Thanks for a wonderful recipe and inspiration!

  19. Loving the combination of ingredients you’ve got in this marinade, Liz! I really don’t marinade enough but it’s a great way for a not-such-a-meat-lover person like me to make meat-eating a more enjoyable experience. Thanks for this idea – pinning for later!

  20. I love what you have done with one of my favorite cuts of meat.

  21. My eyes twinkle at the sound of summer barbecue! Love that you used whiskey into the marinade 🙂

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

  22. Goodness, that marinate sounds delicious! I love the combination of flavors. I’m thinking this would also be great with chicken.

  23. So succulent and tender! Love the boozy marinade.

  24. I love this marinade! New generations of pork have become increasingly lean, and so marinade infuses a lot of flavor and moisture. Love this version! Thank you!
    Susan

  25. Wow, whiskey marinade? That sounds like it would be so amazing on everything!

  26. I imagine how tender and juicy this pork tenderloin is… It is to make the entire family happy!

  27. That pork looks so nicely done! Love the idea of a whiskey marinade. And love the progressive eats idea — so much fun! Thanks for this.

  28. Absolutely perfect choice for the main course, Liz!

  29. I can’t remember the last time I cooked with pork… definitely need to make some soon. Loving the sound of that whiskey marinage too.. anything recipe with added booze is a winner in my books!

  30. This looks as tender as its name suggests it should be 😀
    Beautiful!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  31. I have a beautiful big pork tenderloin (American) that I picked up at Costco sitting in the freezer. Our pork tenderloins are wonderful but our pigs don’t grow as big as yours.

    I can’t wait to use this recipe on it!

  32. Pork tenderloin is my favorite cut to grill. I’ll have to give you version a try soon. Thanks for hosting this month’s BBQ.

  33. Oh, I didn’t yet comment on your post? I love the marinade and although I don’t cook pork, I know this will be marvelous on so many things – backed chicken or lamb. What a wonderful main course for a summer barbecue or a winter meal!!

  34. This type of meal is good for me through winter even; I’ll grill in a coat if I have too. You know I love the whiskey thing…it adds such a great element doesn’t it?

  35. I’m loving that marinade, pork tenderloin is my favorite!

  36. Absolutely pining and sharing dear Liz ! Beautiful festive dinner that could satisfy the most demanding eaters !

  37. This is so gourmet and yet so simple. This would make a great party showstopper too.

  38. The marinade makes all the difference in this yummy dish! So good!

  39. This pork tenderloin was incredible! Love the wonderful flavor from the marinade! Definitely will make this again!

  40. So weird! I just posted a pork and cabbage recipe! I did not think to bust out the whiskey, though. Sounds so good!

  41. This sounds great and would be just perfect on a wet and cold day like today!

  42. HI Liz!! Your pork tenderloin sounds and looks delicious and we love your marinade! Can’t wait to try it soon… have a great weekend!

  43. Yum. I never cook with bourbon or whiskey, because I don’t drink either of them, but I can certainly see how good it would be in a marinade. The pork looks fabulous.

  44. What a lovely recipe, we enjoy marinated meat on the grill so much. I am bringing a chicken as I write this but sadly we are in the thick of a blizzard so it’s unlikely JT will be firing up the egg. How I miss summer!

  45. Bill and I love pork even more than beef, Liz. And a wonderfully marinated tenderloin is one of our all time favorites that we return to constantly! I’d love to add this delicious recipe to my collection of pork recipes…..the ingredients are great! Hope you’re staying warm with that snowstorm that went through! Believe it or not it’s going to here tomorrow and 20 degrees every night as a result (no snow though).

    Thanks again for this recipe!
    Roz xo

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