Southern Style Pork Tenderloin
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Southern Style Pork Tenderloin



Hello, new BBQ! For my and hubby's anniversary last year, my "way-too-good-to-us" in-laws got us a fancy pants gas grill. Embarrassingly, it's been sitting outside for months untouched. In fact, almost three seasons have passed since it arrived on our doorstep because it is so complicated to install.

Now, I'm an obsessive griller. But I'm also totally challenged in the mechanical department and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to connect or start the thing. Even my more technically inclined husband was so frustrated that he gave up too. Finally, a few weeks ago, I surrendered and called a professional to help me and tah-dah, I've been a grilling machine ever since.

I seriously want to grill anything and everything in sight, especially during summer. From steak to asparagus to mixed veggies to halibut pesto kabobs, I'm at my absolute happiest when smoke is billowing in my face and permeating my hair. Eau de BBQ would be my dream fragrance if I ever got to design one. Anyway….

Growing up in the Kentucky this Southern Style Pork Tenderloin was a Sunday night family favorite and a featured entree at many of the parties my parents threw when I was a child. Now, whenever I make this succulent, juicy dish people ask me for the recipe without fail -- it's really that good. In fact, my husband had to remove himself from the table when I made it last week because he said if he didn't physically leave the kitchen he was going to eat the entire pork loin! If only he was as handy as he is hungry….

Southern Style Pork Tenderloin  (6)

  • Prep Time: 10 mins,
  • Cook Time: 15 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
Hello, new BBQ! For my and hubby's anniversary last year, my "way-too-good-to-us" in-laws got us a fancy pants gas grill. Embarrassingly, it's been sitting outside for months untouched. In fact, almost three seasons have passed since it arrived on our...


  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 whole pork tenderloins, approximately 2 pounds total, trimmed


  1. Place the first six ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour into a large zipper bag or glass container large enough to hold the pork tenderloins and marinate overnight or up to 2 days.
  2. Preheat a grill to high heat, and oil the grates.
  3. Remove tenderloins from the bag, reserving the marinade, and grill for 14-15 minutes, turning halfway through or until the internal temperature is 140°F. Remove from heat and set meat aside to rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to rest and redistribute.
  4. While the meat is resting, place the marinade in a small pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Slice the tenderloin on a bias and serve with the sauce if desired.
Southern Style Pork Tenderloin

Nutrition Information

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  1. Jenn

    September 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Would it be ok to use ground ginger?

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  6. Candice

    April 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Catherine, how long should the tenderloin be seared for before placing in the oven? Also, can I use a grill pan since I don’t have a bbq grill?


    • Catherine McCord

      April 30, 2014 at 8:15 am

      If you’re going to cook this in the oven, you should sear it until it is golden brown on each side, and any pan should work for that!

  7. ccivjan

    July 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Catherine, I just discovered your website this summer, and absolutely every recipe I have tried has been fantastic. This pork loin, though, is a true stand out — mind blowing-ly delicious! Thank you so much!

  8. ygimbert

    July 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    This was so easy and yummy! Marinated overnight and used whiskey instead of bourbon because that’s what I had.

  9. Jimbo

    June 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Is there any risk of alcohol remaining in the final dish? Are there any good substitutes for the bourbon?

    • Barigas

      February 3, 2014 at 1:01 am

      Hi, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I have savreel recipes of yours on my “to-cook” list. I recently made this one and it was incredible! Thanks for sharing.


    June 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    If I wanted to put this in the oven, should I sear it first? (don’t have a grill/BBQ). That’s my only other experience with cooking pork tenderloin. I seared it first, then put it in the oven, and it turned out quite good.

    • catherine

      June 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Yes, sear first!

      • Charlotte

        July 29, 2013 at 8:14 am

        Hi, if cooking in the oven would I only cook it for 15 minutes (as well as searing first). This doesn’t seem long enough? Thanks a lot.

        • catherine

          July 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

          If you’re going to use the oven, then you should broil it with the oven rack moved away from the flame so that the cooking more closely mimics grilling!

  11. Hedi

    May 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Made this yesterday (pork marinated overnight). We don’t have a grill so I just popped it in the oven. Only had 1 lb. of pork but used the entire sauce recipe just in case we wanted more sauce. Good thing I did. We dipped everything in it! So delicious and so easy. My husband asked what was in it and I was able to rattle off the ingredients off the top of my head it was that simple.

  12. Carrie

    May 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    This sounds so good. My son has a serious mustard allergy; could the mustard just be left out?


    • catherine

      May 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Hmmm leaving the mustard out will have a big impact on the flavor and structure of the sauce! Of course, leave it out due to the allergy, by maybe try a different sauce altogether. Maybe try using apple cider vinegar in place of the mustard and add some red pepper flakes if you want it spicy! The sauce will be thinner, but it should still be tasty!

  13. Krista

    March 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    This looks fantastic!

  14. Katie Moore

    November 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    By far one of our favorites. You would think you were at a fancy pants restaurant!

  15. kcarmont10

    September 11, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I am going to try this recipe very soon! I was wanting to know if it was okay to use a whole 4pd pork tenderloin instead of 2 and 2 pd?? Im sure it is but just want to be sure, thanks for the great recipes!!!

    • catherine

      September 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

      That should be fine. Just remember it will take longer to cook!

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  17. ineke zonnenberg

    August 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    wojld love to join your mailing list

    • catherine

      August 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      On the right-hand side of the homepage there is a box that says, “Sign up for free daily recipes”. Type your email address in there and click “submit”!

  18. Michelle

    August 5, 2012 at 6:23 am

    This sounds delicious!!! We dont eat meat in our household- only fish. I might try this on some fish this week!!! I thought your hubby was a vegetarian?! Did he convert to eating meat?!

    • catherine

      August 6, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Our whole family eats a mostly vegetarian diet. He and I have both been strict vegetarians at one point in our lives, but we now both eat meat occasionally. :)

  19. Ruth

    July 17, 2012 at 7:47 am

    We used one of the new honey bourbons – it was absolutely delish, although next time we’ll back off on the brown sugar a bit if we use the honey bourbon again.

  20. Kate

    July 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Oooo, this sounds delicious, I’m definitely making this one! Thanks!

  21. Andrea Rosen

    July 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Made this last night and it was great! All the kids and husband loved it. Thanks :)

  22. janelle weems

    July 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    yay! we just moved to the south! cant wait to make this! =)

  23. aida mollenkamp

    July 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Can I tell you how much I love a soy, bourbon, mustard marinade? I use it on flank steak for steak sandwiches all the time!

  24. Karen

    July 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    This marinade sounds very similar to Sweet Bourbon Salmon that Lone Star serves, only that one adds pineapple juice to the marinade as well. I bet pineapple would be another good addition to this, and I also bet your marinade would be good on salmon too!

  25. Ann

    July 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Could you sub the bourbon out for different alcohol? Just that I have whiskey, rum, rye, but no bourbon and no one here drinks it so not sure if i want to buy it just for this…although it sounds so yummy I might : )

    • catherine

      July 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      I have not tried whiskey, but I think it would work because they are similar. Try it and let me know! :)

  26. amy

    July 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    can you sub chicken for pork? We don’t eat pork but the marinade sounds delicious!

    • catherine

      July 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Yes, I think this marinade would be lovely on chicken!

  27. april

    July 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Looks delicious! Could your in-laws talk to MY in-laws!????

    • catherine

      July 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Haha! Yes, I seriously scored big time!

  28. TwinMom

    July 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    We’ve used a similar recipe (minus the ginger, and substitute sliced onion for garlic) at our house for over 30 years and it’s still a family favorite! We look forward to trying your iteration too.

  29. Katie @ Healthnut Foodie

    July 11, 2012 at 11:06 am

    “Eau de BBQ”…. that’s awesome!!! So proud of you for grilling. I still leave that one up to my hubby!

  30. Alexandra

    July 11, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Just checking re: food safety; does boilibg a marinade for raw meat make it safe to consume on the cooked meat? Usually recipes say discard the marinade…would the boiling work for a poultry or seafood marinade as well? Or is it the alcohol in this one that keeps it safer for consumption?

    • catherine

      July 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Boiling the marinade gets everything to a high enough temperature to kill any possible bacteria. I know it seems confusing with different information out there, but I have been making this recipe for over 20 years and I’m still standing, and I serve this to the kids! Just make sure to keep the raw meat marinating in the fridge to keep everything at safe temperatures. :)

  31. mary

    July 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Sounds delicious but my grill is out of comission for a bit. Could this be done in the broiler?

  32. CCMom73

    July 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Oh Man! This sounds soooo good!

  33. Allison Reed

    July 11, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Any substitutions for the soy sauce? We have allergies? Thanks!

    • catherine

      July 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Bragg’s Liquid Aminos!

    • CCMom73

      July 11, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Have you tried Braggs Amino? Tastes just like soy sauce. you can get it in the organic food section at most grocery stores

      • catherine

        July 11, 2012 at 11:57 am

        Yes! I love Bragg’s! I use it often.

  34. Rosie

    July 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Didn’t realize you were from Kentucky! What part? Love the bourbon inclusion. Looks like a great recipe.

    • catherine

      July 11, 2012 at 11:58 am


  35. Ruth Pinnell

    July 11, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Oh yes! I’ve got a bottle of bourbon and a gorgeous pork lion, and now I have a great new recipe to try out!

  36. Brenda

    July 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

    OH I JUST RE REad the ENTRY! My bad

  37. Brenda

    July 11, 2012 at 7:58 am

    You Mean for the ” both of yall’s anniversary?” lol

  38. Anne

    July 11, 2012 at 7:55 am

    This recipe looks great. How do you oil your grates? I tend to not get enough oil on the grates and my food still sticks.

    • Jeanne

      August 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Oil spray can be dangerous as it can explode (first hand experience)…so oiling the food is the best way to go. Oiling the grates can help, ,but oil on the food is the most important. Either way, just dont apply too much or you will get that gross blackening flare up. Another tip is to not move the food until it “lets go,” thats the food’s way of telling you its ready to be moved

    • catherine

      July 11, 2012 at 11:59 am

      I take a towel, dip it in oil, then use tongs to rub it all over the grates! You can also use oil spray!