BEST Baked Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Herb Butter (+Video!)

Recipe for cooking a pork tenderloin

This baked pork loin recipe is outrageously juicy, full of flavor and very easy!

This baked pork loin recipe melts in your mouth and drips with buttery garlic grass flavor. It’s enjoyable to company and vacation worthy, but family friendly and easy every day! It takes less than 60 minutes from start to finish and MOST of that time is handheld! As much as you love this baked pork loin on the day off, it also makes fantastic leftovers! I’ve included detailed instructions, tips, tricks, and everything you need to know to make the BEST pork loin recipe!

Pork loin is a lean, delicious and easy alternative to chicken and a chameleon when it comes to flavorings. Don’t miss our favorite pork loin recipes: Roast Balsamic Pork Loin, Hoisin Blackberry Roast Pork Loin and Chili Dijon Pork Tenderloin. If you’re looking for a slow cooker option, my honey pork loin recipe is fantastic too (note that the recipe is for loin and not loin).

Video of the Pork Loin Recipe

Pork Loin

With Easter About us, I thought it was time for a more spectacular alternative to ham: the best baked

pork loin recipe! Are you a fan

of pork loin

? I have to admit that I make chicken much more than pork loin, but I love pork loin much more than chicken! I even crave THIS baked pork loin and skimp cold leftovers from the fridge. I’ve used leftovers in countless ways – in pasta, pasta salad, green salad, sandwiches, eggs, etc. – I just can’t get enough of its tempting and juicy treat.

Pork loin is

one of the most tender proteins and also boasts a fabulous taste. And did you know that pork loin is extremely low in fat, almost as lean as skinless chicken breasts? It is also extremely easy to cook, relatively quick to cook, and leftovers do not dry out! There are SO many reasons to love succulent pork loin.

Pork loin can be baked whole as we are in this recipe, cut into slices and crushed into chops, diced into kebab cubes or sautéed or sliced for satay. There are so many ways to enjoy pork loin, for my favorite? This is the best baked pork loin recipe.

In this recipe, pork is rubbed with seasonings, scorched until golden brown, then bathed with herbs, lemon juice and butter, then baked encased in aluminum foil while butter creates a self-sufficient butter sauce. The emerging baked pork loin is fabulously tasty and buttery. I CAN’T wait for you to try it!

What is the difference between

a pork loin and a pork loin?

Before making this baked pork loin recipe, it is important that you buy pork loin and NOT pork loin, they are not the same. If you use pork loin, your pork will not cook in the allotted time or come out almost as juicy.

  • Cut of meat: Pork loin comes from the pork loin,
    • which runs from the hip to the shoulder
    • . Pork loin,

    • however, comes from a pig’s back and is much wider and longer

    . Size: Pork

  • loin

    • is thin and small, usually 1-2
    • pounds.

    • Pork loin can be cut to order between 3 and 5 pounds.

  • Texture and flavor Pork loin gets
    • its name for a reason: it’s one of the most tender cuts of pork because it comes from a muscle that doesn’t get
    • much, if any, exercise.

    • Pork loin, however, should be cooked much longer to make it tender, as it is not.
  • Cooking method: Pork
    • loin cooks fairly quickly at higher temperatures, between 350 degrees and 425 degrees F. Pork loin
    • ,

    • however, should be roasted slowly or grilled to make it tender.

What to look for in a pork loin?

You can buy pork loin in the meat section of your grocery store. I usually buy mine at Costco, which costs about $15 per package. It’s more expensive than chicken, but it’s still a fabulous price to feed the whole family a restaurant-worthy dinner.

Pork loin is almost always sold in individual packages with two loins per package. Each loin weighs about 1-1 1/2 pounds. I can eat half a pork loin in one go, when it comes to this baked pork loin recipe, so my pork loin recipes always use the two pork loins in one package.

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they reheat beautifully for leftovers. Alternatively, you can reduce half of the recipe and freeze the other pork loin for another time.

You’ll want to look for pork loin that is NOT packaged in a massage or marinade, as we’re going to splash and season the meat ourselves. This way, you not only control the taste, but you can control the amount of salt and remove the oil in the marinade.

Do I need to remove the silver skin before


If your pork comes with the silver skin intact, you will need to remove it before cooking. Many pork loin packs, however, will come pre-trimmed and ready to go.

Silvery skin is part of a tendon on one side of pork and looks like thin, silvery fat. You’ll want to remove it because it can become hard and chewy when cooked. To remove the silver skin, slide a sharp knife between the silver skin and the flesh and then cut it until it is free. Be careful to remove the silvery skin and not a large piece of meat!

The secret of the juiciest pork loin

The best baked pork loin recipe has to be the juiciest and you will be surprised how juicy this pork is! The secret? Brine from pork. You’re probably familiar with turkey brine, but pork brine will change your life.

It produces

tender and juicy pork every time because it actually changes the molecular structure of pork without having to prepare and plan ahead with an overnight marinade.

If you’ve never splashed any protein before, don’t be intimidated, it literally takes 20 minutes! Actually, you can’t marinate it any longer or the pork will become mealy, so literally 20 minutes! For

pork brine, you will combine: hot water with kosher salt apple

  • cider vinegar brown sugar ice cubes
  • pork Just a

  • quick note about brine: DO NOT evenly swap the table salt in your brine solution for

  • kosher
  • salt or your pork

will be too salty. You will need half as much table salt as kosher salt. Also be sure to rinse the pork thoroughly after brining to remove excess salt.

How does it work? Salt does 2 things: 1) hydrates the cells of muscle tissues through osmosis; 2) It allows cells to retain water while cooking by breaking down proteins so they can no longer contract when cooking. This means that you will squeeze out and lose less water, resulting in juicier pork.

Tips for the


Pork loin brine is the first step to achieving the best pork, but you also get help from a few other key steps. Here’s how the juiciest baked pork loin is made


  • Sealing before baking: Burning pork creates the Maillard reaction that results in a rich, deep and complex flavor and blocks juices that prevents the surface of the loin from becoming dehydrated when cooked over high heat or for an extended period of time.
  • Spray With lemon juice: In this baked pork loin recipe, sprinkle each loin with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Lemon juice brightens the flavors without having too much of a lemon flavor. You can also change lemon juice for orange juice or lime juice, any citrus will do. The acid in lemon juice (or other citrus fruits) breaks down the meat while roasting, producing a more tender result.
  • Bake in aluminum foil

  • : before putting the pork loin in the oven, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. This creates a hot, steaming environment that blocks all juices so that the surface does not dry out.
  • Butter: The three butter pads on top of the pork melt as the pork bakes, essentially self-smearing the pork in buttery moisture. The aluminum foil also traps butter so that it seeps back into the pork while sitting in the buttery pool.
  • Don’t overcook – I’ve gone into more detail below, but because pork is so lean, it can dry out very easily if overcooked. Use your meat thermometer and check your pork properly at 15 minutes and then every few minutes as needed to achieve the correct temperature.


Pork loin is a very lean cut of meat, so it requires a relatively high cooking temperature in the oven, around 400 degrees F. Lower temperatures require longer cooking times (up to an hour) that dry out pork. When cooking at a higher temperature, the meat is cooked before it has time to dry.

How long to cook pork


Pork loin is a lean cut of meat, so it’s important not to overcook it. USDA guidelines state that pork can be safely consumed when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F with a three-minute rest time, however, between 145 and 160 degrees is considered acceptable.

Your pork will rise by 5-10 degrees as you rest, so I like to pull mine out as soon as it reaches 145 degrees for the juiciest pork. If you overcook your pork loin, it will transform from tender to dry and chewy.

How long to cook pork loin in the oven to 400? Baking pork loin at 400 degrees F can take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the desired temperature, exact size, and thickness of your pork loin.

The last time I baked this pork loin recipe, one of my loins was made 5 minutes before the other. So, the best way is to know if your pork loin is done, is to use an instant-read thermometer.

To check the temperature of your baked pork loin, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the


I highly recommend an instant reading meat thermometer if you don’t own one. They are a small investment and are useful ALL the time and take all the guesswork out. You just can’t make a perfect baked pork loin without one.

What should pork loin look like when it’s ready?

Your baked pork loin is safe to consume when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145 degrees F. This means it will be slightly pink inside, which is FINE.

This temperature of 145 degrees is 15 degrees less than the old standards of 160 degrees F, which would mean that the pork would be fully cooked without any pink color. Research shows, however, that 145 degrees F is the same from a safety standpoint as cooking pork at 160 degrees F Y produces much more tender pork.

Here’s what your pork will look like with the allotted 5-minute rest time

: take out the pork at 145 F, increase to 150 F: the slices will be somewhat pink and moist, take out the pork at 150 F,

  • increase to 155 F: the slices will be a little pink and moist, take out
  • the

  • pork at 160
  • F,

  • it will go up to 165 F: the slices will not be pink, but they should still be relatively wet


How to cook

pork loin

Cooking pork loin is very simple to do. Here are some tips and tricks for the best baked pork loin every time


  • Brine for juiciness: Mix kosher salt with warm water to dissolve the salt, then mix the cider vinegar, brown sugar and ice cubes. Add the pork and brine for 20 minutes. Make sure both pieces of pork loin are fully emerged in the brine. Brine not only increases the moisture capacity of pork, but also brings pork to room temperature so that it cooks more evenly instead of drying the outside while waiting for the inside to cook.
  • Dry before seasoning: When your pork has finished brining, rinse with cold water and dry with paper towels. If you don’t rinse your pork, it will be too salty, so don’t forget this step! It is important that the pork is quite dry after the brine so that the rubbing sticks to the pork.
  • Season generously: Mix the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, smoked paprika and pepper and then rub on all sides of the pork. These spices are a wonderful flavor base for any flavor direction you want to follow or you can swap them out for your favorite blends, such as curry powder, Cajun seasoning, 5 Chinese spices, etc. We will keep the herbs until later because we don’t want them to burn when we seal the pork.

Seal for taste and

  • moisture: Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat and shake the pan to evenly cover the bottom of the oil. Do not substitute olive oil for vegetable oil because we need an oil with a high smoke point. You can use a large cast iron skillet or a nonstick skillet. If you can’t seal both loins without them touching, then you’ll want to seal in two batches. I clean my pan between scorching each loin so that the second one does not have residual brown pieces that can burn. Seal the loin until golden brown on all sides.
  • Butter and wrap for juiciness: Evenly sprinkle the tops of pork loins with dried parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and then rub them on the pork. To do this, I measure 1/4 teaspoon of each spice and sprinkle it on a pork loin and then repeat on the other pork loin for a total of 1/2 teaspoon of each herb. Next, drizzle each pork loin with lemon juice and then top with butter. Lift the sides of the sheet to completely enclose each loin.
showing how to bake pork loin in the oven with aluminum foil by adding butter to the top of pork loin

Don’t bake

  • too much: bake until pork registers between 145 and 150 degrees F (63 and 65 degrees C) at the thickest part of the loin, 15-25 minutes depending on size. This means that the pork will be juicy and slightly pink in between. DO NOT bake too much or your pork will not be as wet.
  • Rest for 10 minutes

  • : Loosen the aluminum foil around the pork and let stand for 5-10 minutes. This allows time for the redistribution and reabsorption of juices throughout the pork loin.
  • Slice the grain: Cut the pork through the grain. You can cut into 1/2″ slices or my husband loves super thin slices.


This baked pork loin recipe blends beautifully with virtually everything! Some of my favorite sides to serve it are my million-dollar macaroni and cheese and brown butter asparagus along with any of the following: Salads

: a large green salad, wedge salad,

  • spinach salad, strawberry and avocado salad, broccoli, creamy pea salad with bacon, tomato and cucumber salad, strawberry
  • salad, corn salad fruit salads : Perfect fruit salad,

  • creamy grape salad, piña colada fruit salad, honey berry salad Mascarpone dressing
  • breads:

  • award-winning cornbread, perfect muffins, buttery breadsticks
  • Potatoes: company mashed potatoes, slow-cooked mashed potatoes,

  • crushed potatoes, baked potatoes, potatoes au gratin, roasted potatoes with pesto
  • : Roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower, roasted carrots, greeted Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots HOW TO


If you’re lucky enough to have pork loin left over, it’ll taste just as delicious for days after baking! I love leftovers on sandwiches, egg wraps, omelets, chips, breakfast enchiladas, breakfast stews, salads, pasta or pasta salads, rice, soups (amazing on ramen!) or simple!


Leftover baked pork loin should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When properly stored, pork is good for up to 5 days.


yes! Unfortunately, we never have any leftover baked pork loin, but it would be helpful! You can freeze the pork loin whole, chopped or sliced. Frozen loin should be used within 3-4 months.

Looking for more pork recipes?

Slow cooker Asian caramel shredded pork tacos

  • Al Pastor
  • Brown sugar Glazed ham leaf
  • Chili Dijon bread Pork loin with green beans and Chipotle potato
  • Sweet shredded pork

  • Cajun pork with pineapple icing
  • Slow cooker

  • Shredded pork Sloppy Joes
  • Slow cooker Pork carnitas Maple cider ham
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© Culinary specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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