Southern Style Pork Tenderloin is smoky, sweet, and tangy all in one. This is the perfect summer grilling 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 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 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

Southern Style Pork Tenderloin is smoky, sweet, and tangy all in one. Perfect for grilling!
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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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