Southern Style Pork Tenderloin is one of our all time grilling favorites. This delectable dish combines the rich, smoky flavors of bourbon and soy sauce with the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess. This is the perfect summer grilling recipe the whole family will love and couldn’t be easier to make!

southern style pork tenderloin on cutting boardPin

Why I Love This Recipe

Growing up in 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!

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….

southern style pork tenderloin on cutting board surrounded by sides of grilled corn, pasta and summer saladPin

Southern Style Pork Tenderloin Ingredients

  • Bourbon: Adding bourbon to this marinade adds an incredible flavor but most importantly helps to tenderize the pork tenderloin.
  • Soy Sauce: Again another flavor booster!
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds just a touch of sweetness and boosts browning to form a nice crispy exterior.
  • Dijon Mustard: For a bit of zip and tang!
  • Olive Oil: This ingredient helps to infuse all of the delicious the flavors into the meat.
  • Fresh Ginger: Freshly grated ginger adds a zesty and slightly spicy flavor to the marinade that is just irresistible.
  • Garlic Cloves: Because garlic is always welcome in any recipe!
  • Pork Tenderloins: The star of the show! The longer you let the pork marinate in all of these flavors the better!
close up of sliced southern style pork tenderloin with glazePin

How to Make Juicy Southern Style Pork Tenderloin

  1. Whisking the Marinade: In a bowl, combine the bourbon, soy sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, chopped fresh ginger, and minced garlic cloves. Give it a good whisk until all the ingredients are well blended, creating a harmonious marinade that will infuse the pork with delightful flavors.
  2. Marinating the Pork Tenderloins: Place the trimmed pork tenderloins in a large zipper bag or a glass container. Pour the marinade over the pork, ensuring it is fully coated. Marinate overnight or up to 2 days.
  3. Preparing the Grill: Preheat your grill to high heat, creating the perfect environment for a mouthwatering char. Make sure to oil the grates to prevent the pork from sticking and ensure those beautiful grill marks.
  4. Grilling the Pork Tenderloins: Remove the pork tenderloins from the marinade, reserving the remaining liquid. Place the pork on the preheated grill and cook for approximately 14-15 minutes, turning halfway through. Keep an eye on the internal temperature, aiming for a reading of 140°F. This ensures a juicy and perfectly cooked pork tenderloin.
  5. Resting and Glazing: Once the pork is cooked to perfection, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, transfer the reserved marinade into a small pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes, creating a delectable glaze that will enhance the flavors of the pork.
  6. Slicing and Serving: After the resting period, slice the pork tenderloin on a bias. For an extra burst of flavor, drizzle the glaze over the pork or serve it on the side as a delightful dipping sauce. Pair this mouthwatering dish with your favorite sides and enjoy!
souther style pork tenderloin on serving board with glazePin

Tips for The Best Pork Tenderloin

  • Let it marinate. For optimal flavor, let the pork marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 2 days. This extended marinating time allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a succulent and tender outcome.
  • Preheat the grill. Ensure your grill is preheated to the appropriate temperature before placing the pork tenderloin on it. Preheating allows for even cooking and helps achieve those beautiful grill marks, while also helping lock in the juices by creating a caramelized crust.
  • Let it rest. It’s important to let the tenderloins rest after you take them off the grill. This crucial step allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a tender and succulent texture.

Delicious Sides for This Dish

Southern Style Pork Tenderloin is ideal for family gatherings, backyard barbecues, or any occasion that calls for a remarkable meal. So, fire up the grill, savor every tender bite, and delight your loved ones with this irresistible recipe!


Southern Style Pork Tenderloin

Southern Style Pork Tenderloin is smoky, sweet, and tangy all in one. Perfect for grilling!
3.22 from 33 votes
Servings: 6
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


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


  • Place the first seven 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.
  • Preheat a grill to high heat, and oil the grates.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Slice the tenderloin on a bias and serve with the sauce if desired.


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 930mg | Sugar: 9g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. Hello Catherine, I will be trying the pork tenderloin this weekend. Do you also have a recipe for the fruit salad that you are pairing with it? It also looks delicious! Thank you.

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  3. Pork Tenderloin Sandwich — Never Enough Thyme - Recipes with a slight southern accent. says:

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  4. 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!

  5. 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?


  6. 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!

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

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

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


  14. 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!!!

  15. 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”!

  16. 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. 🙂

  17. 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?!

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

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

  22. 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 : )

  23. 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.

  24. 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. 🙂

  25. 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?

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

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

  28. 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!

  29. 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

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

  31. 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.

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