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Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Glaze

Company pleasing, Valentine worthy Cajun Pork Tenderloin smothered in Tangy Pineapple Glaze is sweet and spicy and melt in your mouth tender! The layers of flavor or out of this world and its easier than you think! The entire pork tenderloin recipe requires less than 60 minutes and MOST of that time is hand’s off brining and baking. I’ve included detailed instructions, tips, tricks and everything you need to know to make the juiciest pork tenderloin, even if you've never made pork before.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

Pork Brine

  • 1 pkg pork tenderloins, trimmed (comes with 2 pieces, 2 – 2 1/2 lbs. total)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Cajun Rub

  • 1 tsp EACH salt, garlic pwdr, chili pwdr, ground cumin, brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp EACH pepper, onion pwdr, dried thyme, smoked paprika

Tangy Pineapple Glaze

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (not breakfast imitation syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon French/yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar (2 for "tangier")
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon reserved Cajun Rub Spices from above
  • Add later:
  • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice


  • In a gallon-size freezer bag, mix salt with warm water. Add the remaining Brine ingredients, including the pork. Brine for exactly 20 minutes then remove pork from brine, rinse and pat dry.
  • The pork becomes mealy if left in the brine any longer.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the Cajun Rub spices in a small bowl. Remove 1 teaspoon for the Glaze. Whisk together remaining rub spices with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Rub the pork all over with this Wet Rub. Set aside.
  • Whisk together all of the Tangy Pineapple Glaze ingredients EXCEPT for crushed pineapple. Remove 1/4 cup Glaze for basting and set aside (“Basting Glaze”). Add the remaining Glaze to a small saucepan along with crushed pineapple (“Pineapple Glaze”). Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When oil is very hot, add pork tenderloin. Sear each side until browned, approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Place tenderloin on rack in shallow roasting pan or on a lightly greased rack placed on a baking sheet and baste with half of the Basting Glaze.
  • Roast at 425F degrees F, for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, basting once with remaining Basting Glaze after 15 minutes. When done, an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin should register between 145 and 150 degrees F (63 and 65 degrees C). This means the pork will be juicy and slightly pink in the middle. Let cooked pork stand 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Meanwhile, heat Pineapple Glaze in the small saucepan just until warmed.
  • To serve, slice tenderloin into thin slices and top with Tangy Pineapple Glaze.


  • Brine pork.  As previously detailed, brining the pork results in the juiciest pork and only takes 20 minutes so PLEASE don’t skip!
  • Use a meat thermometer.   Pork tenderloin is very easy to overcook so it is important to use a meat thermometer to achieve the correct temperature.  The outside may be brown but the inside can still be undercooked.  Thermometers are a small investment and come in handy ALL the time and eliminate all of the guess-work. You simply cannot make perfect baked pork tenderloin without one.
  • Don’t overcook pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is fairly lean, so take care not to overcook it, or it will dry out. If you overcook your pork tenderloin, it will transform from fork tender to dry and chewy.  If it starts to char too much before it is done, you can turn the heat down or move to indirect heat.
  • Rest before slicing. Let the Pork Tenderloin rest 10 minutes before slicing.  This time allows time for the redistribution and reabsorption of the juices throughout the pork tenderloin.
  • Slice across the grain.  Slice the pork pork tenderloin across the grain. You want to cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers so they become as short as possible, as opposed to parallel which will result in long muscle fibers and chewy, rubbery meat.  You can either slice in ½” slices or my husband loves super thin slices.


You can prep the grilled pork tenderloin up to different stages instead of making all at once:
  • Brine:  you can brine the pork, rinse and pat dry, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours ahead of time.
  •  Rub:  you can brine, rinse, dry then cover the pork tenderloin with the wet rub and tightly wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 12 hours.