This post is sponsored by The National Pork Board
Delicious and easy to make skewers with grilled pork tenderloin, and a soy sauce, and garlic dipping sauce. Cook up a huge plate of these for an easy summer appetizer!
Summer is definitely still with us and, that means you still have time to get out of the kitchen and into the back yard to cook! Break free from the hot and stuffy indoors and hang out by the grill with a cold beer and your favorite playlist.
With so many choices for grilling, I recommend trying some pork, and tenderloin is a great cut to use on the grill. Why tenderloin? Well, the area that the tenderloin comes from is along the base of the spine. In any animal, the more a muscle is used, the tougher the meat becomes and the longer you have to cook it. The tenderloin is not a major muscle used to help the animal move, so it’s a great choice for these quick cooking skewers!
Marinating your pork tenderloin
Because pork tenderloin is so lean, it can handle lots of flavor, so a good marinade is essential. My grilled pork tenderloin is marinated with Asian style flavors and ingredients you probably already have at hand.
- Soy sauce - We don’t want to use too much, or the pork will be overly-salty, but we can balance it out with some sweetness.
- Maple syrup - To add a touch of sweetness and caramelization when the skewers are grilling.
- Rice vinegar - Another good ingredient to counteract the salty and sweet flavors.
- Ginger - freshly grated or from a jar, but not the powder.
- Orange juice and zest - Orange is a great flavor in Asian cooking and goes well with almost all recipes.
- Garlic - Of course!!
How to cook your grilled pork tenderloin
- Marinating. As I mentioned before, pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of pork, so with little to no fat the pork can run the risk of being dry if you overcook it. To prepare the tenderloin, slice it into thin strips. This will ensure quick cooking and more surface area for the marinade to work its magic.
2. Cooking. Once the skewers have been filled with the marinated pork, place them directly onto the hottest part of the grill and let them sear for about two minutes. Turn them over and place them to a spot on the grill which is more of an indirect heat just to finish them cooking and to keep them juicy. The ideal internal temperature you should be looking for is around 145 degrees F.
3. These skewers cook quickly though, so make sure your dipping sauce is already made before your begin to grill and all you have to do is load up the grill and then transfer them to a large platter, piping hot and slightly charred for your BBQ friends to enjoy!
FAQ’s about grilling pork
What temperature should my grill be at? To get those essential char-grilled marks on the pork, the grill has to be at least 400 degrees or even a little higher. Remember these skewers are quick to cook, so keep an eye on them.
Can I use pork loin if I can’t find tenderloin? Pork loin in its whole form doesn’t cook as quickly as a tenderloin, but because we are looking for are thin slices of pork to build the skewers for this recipe, pork loin should be okay as a substitute.
Are metal skewers better than wooden? It doesn’t really matter, but if you choose to use wooden, you will need to soak them in water for an hour before adding the pork and grilling. Do I need to let the skewers rest after grilling? If it was larger cut of pork I’d say yes, but this tenderloin is very thin and won’t contain much juice leftover after grilling. That’s why searing them over a high heat for a few minutes each side is important.