If you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-prepare meal, pork tenderloin is an excellent choice. This lean cut of meat is versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including roasting in the oven. However, cooking times can vary depending on the weight of the pork tenderloin and the cooking temperature.
In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how long to cook a 2 lb pork tenderloin in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. We’ll also give you tips on how to prepare the pork tenderloin, check for doneness, and serve it. So, let’s get started!
Preparing the Pork Tenderloin
Before you start cooking the pork tenderloin, it’s essential to properly prepare it. The first step is to remove any silver skin or excess fat from the tenderloin. You can do this by using a sharp knife to cut along the length of the tenderloin and then using your fingers to pull the skin away from the meat.
Once you’ve removed the silver skin, it’s time to season the pork tenderloin. You can use a variety of seasonings, including salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, and paprika. Be sure to coat the entire pork tenderloin with your chosen seasonings to enhance the flavor.
After seasoning, you can choose to marinate the pork tenderloin for a few hours or overnight to give it an extra boost of flavor. A marinade can be made with a variety of ingredients, including olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and mustard. Simply mix your chosen ingredients in a bowl and add the pork tenderloin, making sure it’s fully coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Cooking the Pork Tenderloin
Cooking a 2 lb pork tenderloin in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit usually takes between 20-25 minutes. However, it’s crucial to check the internal temperature of the pork tenderloin to ensure it’s fully cooked. The internal temperature should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the recommended safe temperature for cooked pork.
To check the internal temperature, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the pork tenderloin. Be sure to avoid touching any bones or the pan, as this can give an inaccurate reading. Once the temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the pork tenderloin from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
It’s essential to avoid overcooking or undercooking the pork tenderloin, as this can result in tough and dry meat. To prevent overcooking, be sure to monitor the internal temperature of the pork tenderloin and remove it from the oven as soon as it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent undercooking, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and ensure it’s fully cooked.
Resting the Pork Tenderloin
After cooking, it’s essential to let the pork tenderloin rest before slicing. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful pork tenderloin. The pork tenderloin should rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
To rest the pork tenderloin, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Cover the pork tenderloin loosely with aluminum foil to keep it warm and let it rest for 3-5 minutes. Once the pork tenderloin has rested, you can slice it into 1/2-inch thick pieces and serve it.