The delicious fun of making pork recipes in the Instant Pot continues as we make the Best Damn Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin. Tender, juicy and bursting with awesome flavor, then topped with a gravy made from the very juices the pork cooks in. It’s super easy to make and the whole thing is complete and on your plate in about 25 minutes.
Pork tenderloin is an extraordinary meat that is very lean, very tender, and always makes an excellent meal. Making pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot is not only super easy, the pressure cooking makes it so succulent and delicious, it’s my preferred way to make it.
The Best Damn Pork Seasonings
One of the most popular recipes on RecipeTeacher.com is The Best Damn Instant Pot Boneless Pork Chops. In that recipe we use a very simple rub and some chicken stock with a couple of added ingredients to make terrific pork chops. For this recipe, we’ll borrow the same basic ingredients with just a couple of modifications.
Make Sure It’s Pork Tenderloin and not Pork Loin Roast
Both cuts of meat can be right next to each other at the grocery store, but be aware that they are very different cuts of meat. Make sure the package clearly says “pork tenderloin”. It will be long and narrow, usually about 1.5 to 2.5 inches in diameter. I like to use the vacuum sealed packages that will say if the tenderloin contains a solution. This solution is the brine and is a big step saver and helps to keep the meat tender and juicy. So always keep an eye out for it – it’s the best buy.
Start with a Simple Rub
We start by cutting our pork tenderloin in half lengthwise to have two equal lengths of meat. This will help the pressure cooking process. Then we add a rub of brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Fresh, course ground pepper is my choice to use and I like to go heavy on it. I personally love to use a peppercorn medley which consists of black peppercorns, pink peppercorns, green peppercorns, white peppercorns and coriander. The combination of peppercorns, especially when fresh ground creates such a wonderful flavor profile when combined with the other seasonings for this recipe. You can find peppercorn medley grinders in just about any supermarket spice section, usually very affordably too.
Prepare the meat
One of the keys to success is to let the meat sit out of the fridge for a bit. When meat goes right from the cold fridge to the hot pot, it is not going to be as good. Let the meat stay in its packaging on the kitchen counter for 15-20 minutes first. Then after unpackaging, rinse it under water and cut it in half. Coat it with some oil and apply the rub liberally. Set the Instant Pot to saute mode, and when hot, add the meat carefully and brown on all sides. This will take a total of about 5-7 minutes. Remove the meat, and press cancel. Then add the chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Make sure to scrape up all the little bits that have stuck to the bottom. This is important. If they’re not all scraped up, the pot can issue a burn notice when pressure cooking during the next step.
Pressure Cook Only 3 Minutes
After we’ve deglazed the bottom of the pot, we add some Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke to the chicken broth. Then we place the pork tenderloin right into the liquid, secure the lid, make sure vent is set to “sealing”, and pressure cook on high pressure (manual on some cookers) for only 3 minutes. Yes, just 3 minutes. Then let the pressure naturally release. The NPR will take about 12-15 minutes.
When cooking in complete and pressure has naturally released, remove the pork and set on a plate for 5 minutes before slicing.
Make Some Gravy!
Once the meat is removed. Press cancel, then press saute. Scoop out about 3 tablespoons of the juices into a cup and add 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Mix it well and slowly pour it back into the pot. Everything will thicken nicely in about a minute. Press cancel and you’ve got an amazing gravy from the very juices from which we cooked our meat.
- 1 pork tenderloin, 1.25lb – 1.5lb
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons course ground pepper (peppercorn medley is best)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- Let pork tenderloin stay in package out of fridge for 15-20 minutes. Remove tenderloin from package and rinse and pat dry. Trim any visible fat. Cut tenderloin into 2 pieces of equal length.
- Coat each piece with about 1 teaspoon each of olive oil. In a small dish, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Apply the rub liberally onto meat.
- Set Instant Pot to Saute mode. When hot, add meat and brown each side for a couple of minutes each. When all sides are browned, press Cancel and remove meat to a plate. Add the chicken stock to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke to the chicken broth.
- Place meat directly into the liquid, secure lid, set the vent to “sealing”. Pressure cook (manual) on high pressure for 3 minutes. When cycle is complete, allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. Remove meat to a plate and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into pieces about 1/4 inch thick.
- To make gravy: After removing meat, press Cancel, then press Saute. Scoop out 3 tablespoons of the liquid to a separate cup and add 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Mix well until corn starch is dissolved. Slowly pour mixture back into the liquid in the pot. Once it starts to boil, press cancel. Mix well and sauce will thicken into a delicious gravy.