Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloins

5 from 1 vote

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

A delicious, deeply flavored, bourbon-infused marinade infuses this tender cut of pork with tons of flavor.

Sliced pork tenderloin on plate with salad and fried green tomatoes.

This tenderloin is very tender and full of flavor, thanks to the brown sugar and bourbon glaze that creates a caramelized crust when the pork is roasted.

You do not have to let the tenderloin marinate overnight. But, if you do, you will be rewarded with more tender meat, thanks to the brine-like quality of the marinade, with the soy sauce and the brown sugar. It will also let the pork get infused with all of the flavors a bit more deeply. If you don’t have time, no worries; you will still get a lovely and flavorful crust on the whole thing.

Serve this with Fried Green Tomatoes with Pineapple Salsa, Romaine and Slivered Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing, and Crispy Sautéed Potatoes.

Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Loin on plate with side dishes.

Cooking pork tenderloin is pretty ridiculously easy. You don’t even have to sear this one; the sugar in the marinade allows the outside to caramelize right up. Roast the pork on the baking sheet or pan until an internal meat thermometer registers 145 degrees F.

A delicious, deeply flavored, bourbon-infused marinade infuses this tender pork loin with tons of flavor.

Tweet This

Ingredients

  • Bourbon – No need to use anything special here — save the best stuff for sipping!
  • Brown sugar – You can use dark or light brown sugar.
  • Soy sauce – To me, less sodium is preferable, but you can use whichever you like!
  • Worcestershire sauce – Adds depth of flavor. If you don’t have it on hand, you can skip it.
  • Lemon juice – Use fresh if possible.
  • Fresh thyme leaves – Adds a nice little herbal note.
  • Pork tenderloin – Most tenderloins are about 1 pound in weight. You can make more than two tenderloins if you’re having a larger crowd. If you want to make a larger amount, just double the amount of the marinade for 4 or 5 tenderloins.
Sliced pork tenderloin on plate with salad and fried green tomatoes.

Tips

  • Here’s the most important thing to remember. Cover your rimmed baking sheet with foil before cooking. Cover the whole dang thing, wrapping the foil up and over the edges. The marinade will give your pork a lovely brown crust, but the part that stays on the pan will probably burn. And that is not a fun thing to clean off a pan.
  • Trim the silver skin from the tenderloins before baking; it’s tough and hard to chew. You can also ask your butcher to do this.
  • If you want to use a pork loin instead of a tenderloin, know that you will have to increase the cooking time. You will still be looking for an internal temperature of 145 degrees in the middle of the thickest part of the tenderloin, but pork loins are significantly thicker than tenderloins and, therefore, will take longer to roast.
  • A slightly pinkish color in the center is fine as long as it is cooked to the proper internal temperature.

Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin

  • Pork loin is wider and thicker than tenderloin, which is smaller, thinner, and narrower. Tenderloins are about 3 inches thick, and weigh anywhere from 3/4 pound to 1 1/2 pounds.
  • Pork tenderloin cooks much more quickly than pork loin.
  • Pork loin usually comes with a fat cap, which you should leave on during cooking to keep the meat juicy and moist.

How to Make Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

  1. Make the marinade: Combine the bourbon, brown sugar, and soy sauce and heat until the brown sugar is dissolved. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, thyme, and pepper. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Marinate the pork: Place the pork in the marinade and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  3. Roast the pork: Roast for about 15 to 30 minutes (it really depends on the thickness of the tenderloin), until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees.
  4. Serve: Let the tenderloin sit on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing it.
Woman slicing fried green tomato with fork on plate with pork tenderloin and salad.

Leftovers and Storage

Some leftover slices of this would be terrific in this Banh Mi sandwich, or dice it and add it to stir-fried rice with kimchi. Leftover pork tenderloin is a great thing to have in the fridge. It will keep for about 4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.

What to Serve With Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

Pineapple-topped fried green tomatoes with sliced pork loin on plate.

More Easy Pork Recipes

Discover more pork recipes!

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It
5 from 1 vote

Bourbon Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

A delicious, deeply flavored, bourbon-infused marinade infuses this tender cut of pork with tons of flavor.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 People
Save this recipe!
We’ll send it to your email, plus you’ll get new recipes every week!

Ingredients 

  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • Fresh pepper (to taste)
  • 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins

Instructions 

  • In a small pot or a microwave-safe bowl, combine the bourbon, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Heat over low heat for a few minutes, stirring often, until the brown sugar is dissolved — or do this in the microwave, working in 20-second bursts. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, thyme, and pepper. Allow to cool completely.
  • Place the marinade in a large sturdy zipper top bag or a container big enough to hold the meat. Add the marinade and turn the pork to coat well. Cover, and place in the fridge to marinate overnight or at least 6 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet or a baking pan with foil, wrapping it well to enclose the whole pan (see Note). Place the pork on the baking sheet or pan, and roast for about 15 to 30 minutes (it really depends on the thickness of the pork loin), until a meat thermometer registers 145 F. If you have the inclination, baste it after 10 minutes with any extra marinade. Let the pork sit on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing it.

Notes

  • Here’s the most important thing to remember. Cover your rimmed baking sheet with foil for baking. Cover the whole dang thing, wrapping the foil up and over the edges. The marinade will give your pork a lovely brown crust, but the part that stays on the pan will probably burn. And that is not a fun thing to clean off a pan.
  • If you want to use a pork loin instead of a tenderloin, know that you will have to increase the cooking time. You will still be looking for an internal temperature of 145 degrees, but pork loins are significantly thicker than tenderloins and, therefore, will take longer to roast.

Nutrition

Calories: 68kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.05g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 0.2mg, Sodium: 580mg, Potassium: 66mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 34IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




1 Comment

  1. Susan Coleman says:

    I had a recipe similar to this years ago that my family enjoyed. I will be trying this tonight and I’m sure it will be delicious.