Sous vide pork tenderloin is an absolute game changer. The immersion circulator allows you to make perfectly juicy and tender tenderloin, every single time. Time to say goodbye to the days of dry pork, and hello to pork cooked exactly how you want it.
In this recipe, we will walk you through everything you need to know to make the best pork tenderloin of your life. From how long to sous vide pork tenderloin, to different searing methods, this recipe has it all.
Removing the Silver Skin
The silver skin is the silvery-white connective tissue that is generally on one side of the pork tenderloin. Unlike the connective tissue, the silver skin does not render or soften when cooked. Therefore, we want to remove that baby to ensure the tenderloin doesn't have any tough, chewy sections.
Here’s how you do it:
- Slide a small knife in between the silver skin and the meat.
- Loosen the silver skin by pulling up with the knife.
- Next, grab the edge of the silver skin with a paper towel and pull it off. Note it may not come off in one whole piece, so remove it in smaller pieces if necessary. Continue until the silver skin is fully removed.
And wallah! Your tenderloin is ready for seasoning and cooking now. We promise that the extra effort will be worth it.
An essential part of cooking sous vide is putting ingredients in an air-tight bag or container. The two most common techniques to package your ingredients are vacuum sealing and using the water displacement method.
A vacuum sealer removes all the air and seals the contents of a plastic bag through a vacuum. This process ensures the food is airtight and properly sealed, and prevents the bag from floating which can result in uneven cooking. If you are in the market for a vacuum sealer, I’d recommend the Anova sealer.
The displacement method is a technique where you first place your food and marinades in a sous vide bag. Next, submerge the bag in a container of water, and allow the pressure to force all the air out of the bag. Once all the air is out, zip up the bag and you're all set!
Either method works for pork tenderloin. Note that if you are adding a marinade in the bag, please make sure your vacuum sealer is capable of sealing liquids. If not, please use the displacement method.
Time and Temperature
The time and temperature guide below is the product of years of extensive testing, and will take the guesswork out of cooking sous vide. Simply select a temperature based on your desired doneness, then determine the length of the cook based on the thickness of the protein.
Pork Tenderloin Sous Vide Temperature
|Medium Rare||134 – 140F / 56.5 – 60C||140F / 60C|
|Medium||141 – 150F / 60.5C – 65.5C||145F / 62.5C|
|Medium Well||151 – 158F / 66 – 70C||154F / 67.5C|
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Cooking Time
|1 inch to 2 inches||1 ½ to 3 hours||2 hours|
|2 inches or more||2 to 4 hours||3 hours|
Our personal favorite is cooking pork tenderloin at 60C/140F for 2 hours. Cooking the meat for this duration breaks down the connective tissue (collagen), which results in extremely tender, juicy tenderloin. Also, cooking at a temperature of 140F ensures that the pork is a beautiful medium rare with great texture.
Although this combination of time and temperature is our favorite, we recommend you explore different combinations to find your personal favorite. Our cooking guide can always help you find your perfect time and temperature.
Can You Sous Vide Frozen Pork Tenderloin?
The quick answer is, absolutely! Cooking frozen foods sous vide is an ultra convenient, safe way to prepare your protein. Just take the food directly from the fridge, repackage it (unless you know the bag is sous vide safe) and let the sous vide work its magic.
The only thing you’ll need to adjust is the cook time. If you are cooking frozen pork tenderloin sous vide we recommend adding an additional hour to the cook time, so three hours total for the tenderloin.
Recommended Searing Methods for Pork Tenderloin
Searing is by far the most important step in cooking sous vide. If want your food to look like it is Michelin star quality, you are going to have to get a rich sear on it. Failing to do so will make your dinner guests wonder why they let you cook again.
If you want an amazing sear, you’ve got to:
1. Pat the meat completely dry with a paper towel
2. Season generously with salt or seasoning of your choice
3. Sear at extremely high temperatures.
At this point you want to determine the best searing method. For pork tenderloin, we suggest pan searing, grilling or using a searing torch. The trick is getting the pan, grill or torch extremely hot, then searing for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. This results in a quick, high-quality sear without drying out the pork.
Top Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Recipes
Marinated Pork Tenderloin - This is one of our favorite recipes on this website, and a must try for anyone. The combination of soy sauce, garlic and lemon pepper brings the perfect balance of salty and tangy to the tenderloin.
Char Siu Pork Tenderloin - In this dish, it’s all about the sauce. The delectable char siu marinade goes masterfully with the pork tenderloin to create an irresistible flavor profile.
- Pork Tenderloin with Peach Mustard Sauce - In this recipe, the fresh peach mustard sauce enhances the flavor of pork tenderloin brilliantly. It's a meal that screams summer and won't disappoint.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule.
The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Next Level Sous Vide –Looking to take your sous vide skills to the next level? The Next Level Sous Vide eCookbook will push your culinary boundaries with 65 delicious recipes that are equally approachable and tasty. With pro tips and a detailed explanation of the sous vide process, you will be on your way to maximize your sous vide skills.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin
- 2 - 3 lbs pork tenderloin
- Salt and pepper (or seasoning) to taste
Set sous vide machine to 60C/140F.
Season pork lightly with salt or a seasoning of your choice. Place tenderloin in sous vide bag and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for two hours.
Remove bag from bath. Take pork tenderloin out of the bag, pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper (or seasoning) to taste.
Heat up large skillet on high and add oil. Sear pork tenderloin for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, and place on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Once rested, serve and enjoy! Alternatively sear the tenderloin on a grill or using a searing torch.