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Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is one of the most popular cuts of meat that come from the pig. It is small in size but big in flavor and tenderness.

Best Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

Cooking it in the instant pot is so quick and easy, and it comes out so tender. This has become one of my favorite ways to cook meat for that very reason.

When you use the instant pot to cook things they come out so juicy, full of flavor, and in a short time, even though it tastes like you cooked it for hours. Your family will think that you slaved over it all day when in reality you threw it together in a matter of minutes, and it will be our little secret. 

While the instant pot pork tenderloin is cooking, you can throw together your favorite veggies, salad, or side dish to finish off your dinner.

Try it and it won’t disappoint you. In fact, it will become one of your favorite, “go-to” recipes for years to come. If you have a little more time, try our baked pork tenderloin recipe which is equally as delicious!

Why Make Pork Tenderloin in an Instant Pot?

Easy Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

The instant pot is a great tool to have in your kitchen, and it makes everything so easy. This recipe is a good example of the yummy foods that can be made in that wonderful tool that no kitchen should be without. 

When you make food in the instant pot, not only is it a quick way to cook things but everything comes out so tender. 

I especially love pork tenderloin cooked in the instant pot because it can very easily dry out if you are not careful. However, in the instant pot it is ready in no time and juicy too.

Should Pork Tenderloin be Cooked Fast or Slow?

Pork tenderloin in the instant pot should be cooked quickly to make sure to achieve the tenderness that it deserves, whereas if you overcook it then it will become tough.

What Ingredients are in Pressure Cooker Pork Tenderloin?

Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin Ingredients
  • Pork Tenderloin – The piece of meat needed for this instant pot pork tenderloin recipe.
  • Garlic Powder – One of the spices used to flavor the instapot pork tenderloin.
  • Onion Powder – Another valuable spice to add to the mix.
  • Italian Seasoning – A blend of 5 spices that add just a little something unique to the recipe.
  • Chili Powder – This just adds a touch of heat to the spices.
  • Paprika – A smooth, almost heat, spice.
  • Salt – An important ingredient for enhancing flavor.
  • Pepper – A good flavor for most meats.
  • Chicken Broth – This adds to the flavor of the gravy that you will make, instead of using water.

Are Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin the Same?

Despite having a similar name, pork loin and pork tenderloin are not the same. They differ in size, flavor, and texture, and both come from a different part of the pig.

Pork loin comes from the back of the pig and is longer and wider than tenderloin and weighs on the average of 3-5 pounds but can even be larger than that. The pork loin should be cooked slowly to achieve a more tender piece of meat.

Pork tenderloin is from the loin of the pig, which runs from the hip to the shoulder alongside the backbone, and is much smaller in size than the pork loin. It usually weighs 1-2 pounds. Tenderloin lives up to its name because it is a tender piece of meat.

Different Variations

Pressure Cooker Pork Tenderloin

Pork is a type of meat that you can cook in so many ways and serve with so many veggies or sides.

  • After your pork tenderloin is cooked in the pressure cooker, slice it and serve with BBQ sauce over it.
  • Spaghetti sauce is a great topping over sliced pork tenderloin.
  • Chopped and sauteed with soy sauce makes a good Asian meal with your favorite veggies and rice.
  • Sliced and served with your favorite mustard to dip it in to make a good Polish dinner.
  • Add a bit of lemon juice for a slight lemon flavor to your instapot pork tenderloin.
  • Garlic butter makes a great topping for pork, beef, and chicken.

Seasonings

Pork is the type of meat that will take on any of the flavors that come from a variety of spices and seasonings. It is totally your personal choice, but in my opinion, there are a few basics that you can use and then build on them if you choose to.

Seasonings for Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

I think no matter what, as your base, you should use:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder

Then after that we used a few others:

  • Paprika
  • Chili
  • Italian Seasoning

How Long to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot?

It doesn’t take too long to cook pork tenderloin in an instant pot at all. Just sear the pork on all sides which will take about 5 minutes, then cook it in the instant pot for 5 minutes, and release the pressure for about 10 minutes.

In total it should take no more than 20 minutes for everything.

What Setting Do You Cook Pork Tenderloin on in an Instant Pot?

If you have never used an instant pot before, you will see that it has lots of buttons for different settings which makes it easy to use. When you cook a pork tenderloin, start off searing it by using the “Sauté setting.

Pork Tenderloin Temperature

Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin Recipe

When you cook pork, you should not cook it too long or else it will get dry. Use a thermometer for the best results, and cook the pork tenderloin until the internal temperature is 145 degrees

As you let the meat rest for a few minutes after it’s done, it will continue to cook as the temperature rises to 160 degrees. Now it is perfect to eat.

Can Pork Tenderloin be a Little Pink?

You might ask if the pork is undercooked if it is pink? Pork tenderloin should not be overcooked because if you do the meat will be dry and tough. That’s why some people say that they don’t like pork. 

When I was growing up no one ate pork when it was pink, but I have since learned that red pork is NOT good but pink is ok. In fact when we make pork we always undercook it a little because as it rests it continues to cook a little bit more.

Preparing Pork Tenderloin

It is very easy to prepare your pork tenderloin in a pressure cooker. It is not a fatty cut of meat so there is not any fat that needs to be trimmed off. 

However, sometimes when you buy a tenderloin there is a “silver skin” on it that has to be cut off. It is only found on one side of the meat and if not removed it can make your tenderloin tough and chewy because it doesn’t melt away as fat does. 

  1. It is not hard to cut off with a small knife. With one hand on the knife and the other one on the silverskin start to slip the knife in between the skin and the meat.
  2. start to cut it and continue to cut it away from one end to the other until it’s free. Be careful so that you do not cut away the meat and watch your fingers.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot 

We will show you step by step how easy it is to cook a pork tenderloin in an instant pot. It is so easy that it will now become one of your “go-to” meals.

STEP 1: Seasoning the Tenderloin

The first step in making this delicious recipe is to mix up the seasonings in a small bowl.

Coat the entire piece of pork tenderloin on all sides.

STEP 2: Sear

Add the olive oil to the instant pot and press saute.

Instant Pot with olive oil

Once the oil heats up, now it’s time to sear the meat.

Slowly lower the pork into the instant pot, being careful not to get splashed with the hot oil.

Searing Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot

Sear the pork tenderloin on all sides, which only takes about 1-2 minutes on each side, and then remove it from the pot.

STEP 3: Deglaze Instant Pot

This next step is important to the outcome of the pork tenderloin. If you do not deglaze the pot you will get a burn message on the screen of your pot. 

Turn the instant pot OFF.

Pour the broth into the pot and stir it up well with a wooden spoon.

Pork Tenderloin juices in the Instant Pot

Scrape up all of the brown specs that are stuck on the bottom of the pan. Then add the meat back into the pot.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot

STEP 4: Pressure Cook the Pork Tenderloin

Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position, and press the pressure cooker button. Set the time to 5 minutes.

Once you do that the instant pot will beep and start coming to pressure which won’t take too long because the pot is already hot.

Instant Pot for Pork Tenderloin

Once the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally which will take at least 10 minutes.

Release any remaining pressure by hitting the vent knob from sealed to venting. It is best to do this away from your upper cabinets and of course away from your face.

How to make Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot

Place your pork tenderloin on a plate and then let it rest.

How to Tell When Pork Tenderloin is Done?

If you follow our recipe with the size of the roast and the timing for cooking it, then you will end up with a perfectly cooked piece of pork.

The best way to tell that your pork tenderloin is done cooking is to use a meat thermometer, especially at first until you get used to the timing of things and how long they take to finish cooking. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees fahrenheit.

Once you get the timing down then you can just set the timer on the instant pot the same each time.

STEP 5: Let the Pork Rest and Make the Gravy

This resting is an important step for all meats, and this pork tenderloin is no exception to the rule. Let the meat rest on a plate while you make the gravy.

In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon together with ¼ cup of cold water, making sure there are no clumps.

Pour it into the instant pot and stir it until thickened.

adding thickener to gravy

Press the saute button to simmer it for a few minutes while the gravy thickens. Pour it over sliced meat.

Instapot Pork Tenderloin

This is one of the easiest gravies that you can make and it is so good that you will not want to skip this yummy topping.

STEP 6: Cutting Pork Tenderloin

After you have let the meat rest for a few minutes, now it is time to cut the meat. You can cut it into slices as thick or thin as you want to. 

  • Use a sturdy cutting board, and with your sharp knife slice the meat in your desired thickness.
Sliced Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

FAQs & Best Tips

In this next section, we will address some common questions that you may be wondering about while making your pressure cooker pork tenderloin, along with some helpful tips that we have learned along the way.

  • Searing the tenderloin in an instant pot is a very important step so that you can seal the flavor and juices.
  • Using chicken broth, or any other broth of your choice will give your gravy more flavor than if you just use water.
  • When releasing the steam from the instant pot, be sure to do this in an open spot on your counter, not underneath the upper cabinets. 
  • Stand back so that you do not get burned by the hot steam. When you open the lid, be sure to open it slowly so that you do not burn your face.

Making Pork Tenderloin Tender

Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin on a cutting board

Pork tenderloin is naturally a tender cut of meat so as long as you don’t overcook it then it will live up to its name.

  • Cook it fast and hot for tender meat.
  • It can go from moist to dry in a matter of a few minutes because it is a lean cut of meat so follow the directions and don’t be tempted to cook it longer.
  • If in doubt always use a meat thermometer to test the meat.

How to Make the Outside of a Pork Tenderloin Crispy?

By using the sauté setting on the instant pot to sear the meat, it will crisp on the outside. Doing this will lock in the juices on the inside and give the pork a nice crispiness on the outside. 

Make sure to sear it on all sides, not just on one or two.

Can You Overcook Pork in a Pressure Cooker?

Yes you can overcook pork in a pressure cooker, the same as with any other meat. Just remember, once you do there is no going backward. Your meat is now ruined. 

If it overcooks it will be dry and tasteless and nothing you do will change that.

Best Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Can I Use Frozen Pork Tenderloin in an Instant Pot?

Yes, it is ok to use frozen meat in an instant pot. In fact, if you forget to take your pork tenderloin out of the freezer in the morning before you go to work, no worries, you can still go along with your plans and make it for dinner. 

It will take longer to cook but will still come out great.

Do I Have to Use a Trivet?

When making the pork tenderloin in the instant pot, you do not need to use the trivet that comes with it.

How Much Water Do You Put in an Instant Pot for Pork Tenderloin?

When we make our pork tenderloin in the instant pot, we use 1 cup of liquid. We choose to use chicken broth instead of water, making a tasty juice or gravy to pour over the finished product.

Should I Use a Brine?

You can use a brine, but it is not necessary.

The purpose of brining your meat is to break down the protein, which adds flavor and moisture, and in turn makes a tender and juicy piece of meat, especially when it is very lean like a pork tenderloin.  

If you are making the pork tenderloin in the oven then I would say that it may need some help to come out moist, but by making it in the instant pot and following the instructions, it will come out tender and juicy without the need of brining it.

How Many Pork Tenderloins Can You Cook in the Instant Pot at the Same Time?

Tenderloins are small in size so we have found that we can usually fit 2 tenderloins in at the same time without crowding them. 

When you buy them they are usually packaged with 2 together, so it works out well that you can cook them both at the same time.

Pork Tenderloin on a plate

How Much Pork Tenderloin Per Person?

Most people eat varying portions of meat when having a meal which depends solely on the appetite of each individual. But if you want to average it out, 4-6 ounces per person seems to be what works best. 

If your guests have a bigger appetite than figure 6-8 ounces per person. 

Another factor to keep in mind is what side dishes that you are serving with your pork tenderloin. If the sides are heavy like pasta, bread, or potatoes then you might not need as much meat, but if you are just eating a veggie or two then you might be hungry for extra meat.

Can I Use Pork Tenderloin for Pulled Pork?

Pork tenderloin is not the right cut of meat to use for pulled pork, because it is too lean. The best pulled pork is made from a pork butt or shoulder which are both fattier cuts of meat and will pull apart easily.

What to Serve with Pork Tenderloin?

Pork Tenderloin in the Pressure Cooker

The possibilities of side dishes to serve with pork tenderloin are endless. Here are some of our favorites:

Making Ahead and Storing Options 

If you want to get started with the preparation of your pork tenderloin ahead of time, you could mix up your spices and season the meat. That way it will be ready to go when you are. Refrigerate until you are ready to cook it. 

If you have leftovers, just put them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.

How to Use Leftover Pork Tenderloin

Easy Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin Recipe

If you are like me I love the meals that I make on a daily basis but I equally love leftovers. It’s always exciting to see what I can make out of them.

  • If you slice the pork tenderloin in thin slices you can make a sandwich on your favorite roll or bread. Top it off with the gravy, or with coleslaw.
  • Fried rice is always a good choice with leftover meat, pork, chicken, and beef. If you need to eat low carb then use cauliflower rice or other rice substitutes. There is a good one made from hearts of palm. 
  • Pork tenderloin is also a good choice on top of your tossed green salad.
  • Our homemade spaghetti sauce poured over the top of pork and pasta is one of my favorite combos.

How to Reheat

It is easy to reheat your pork tenderloin in several ways.

  • Microwave: Place the meat in a dish or on a plate and then place a paper towel over it. Heat for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Oven: If you want to use the oven, place the meat in an oven-safe dish and pour some gravy over the top. Cover with a piece of foil and heat on 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes.
  • Frying Pan:  Place the sliced meat in a nonstick frying pan, with a little gravy or a touch of water, and then cover and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Can You Freeze Pork Tenderloin?

Easy Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

Yes you can freeze pork tenderloin and it is a very easy thing to do.

Wrap the slices of meat in plastic wrap and then put it in an airtight container. Then put the container in a Ziploc freezer bag. That way if you wrap it properly it will last 3-4 months without getting freezer burn. 

If you want to freeze the meat with the gravy then just place it into an airtight plastic container and then the Ziploc bag, and freeze.

Tools to Use

  • An Instant Pot of your choice.
  • A pair of good tongs to lower the pork tenderloin into the instant pot, and to also take it out of the pot.
  • A wooden spoon to scrape up the pork fragments stuck on the bottom of the pot after searing the meat.
  • A cutting board and a sharp knife to slice the meat on and with.

What Size Instant Pot Should I Use?

When you have an instant pot in your kitchen it is a very valuable tool to have and almost any size that you have will work fine. We have an 8 quart instant pot and use it for this recipe and all of our other ones too.

If for some reason you find that the one you have is too small then you can always purchase one that is a bit larger, and if you find that you are only cooking for 1 or 2 of you and you have one that is too large, you can always buy a smaller one rather than just letting the one you have sit there unused.

Other Diets This Recipe is Good For

  • Keto/Low Carb – This pork is perfect for this diet plan because it is low carb and high protein
  • Gluten-free – Another good choice for a person who can’t have gluten
  • Dairy-free – There is not any dairy in this recipe
  • Sugar-free – There is not any sugar in the pork tenderloin
  • Nut-free – A good low carb recipe that is not made with any nuts
  • Paleo – A good meat choice for this
  • Whole-30 – Also a good choice for our readers
  • Candida – This meat will not create yeast which is what causes candida
Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin on cutting board with sweet potato

Other Tasty Instant Pot Recipes

Here are a few other instant pot recipes on our website that you will love:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

All of them are easy-to-make dinners and will have your friends raving!

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Best Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin


  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings (6 oz. Per Serving) 1x
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Description

Instant pot pork tenderloin is one of those easy to do, but also delicious to eat recipes that you will make over and over again. It’s a tender cut of meat to start with and once you get done cooking it in the instant pot it will melt in your mouth. We even share with you how to make a delicious mushroom/onion gravy that you can pour over the whole thing if you choose to. Serve it with your favorite veggies or side dishes and you will have a family favorite dinner in a short period of time.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 lb pork tenderloin (2 – 1 ½ lb tenderloins) 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • ½ tsp chili powder 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 cup chicken or beef bone broth

Instructions

  1. To Make the Gravy: In a small bowl, whisk 1 tbsp cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water. Make sure there are no clumps. Add the liquid at the bottom of the IP. Stir until thickened. Press the “saute” function to simmer it for a few minutes to help thicken the gravy. Pour the gravy over the pork tenderloins and serve.

Notes

0.7 NET CARBS PER SERVING WITHOUT GRAVY 

1.5 NET CARBS PER SERVING WITH GRAVY

For a true low carb thickener for your gravy try xanthan gum instead of cornstarch which has a few more carbs.

If one pork tenderloin is not enough to feed your family, they are small so you should be able to make 2 at the same time in your instant pot to accommodate.

While you are letting your meat rest for a few minutes, you can use the time to make up the gravy, which will come from the juice at the bottom of the instant pot.

Reheating: You can gently reheat your leftover pork tenderloin in an oven safe pan at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes or so. You can also use the microwave for a quicker solution on a microwave safe plate, covered with a loose paper towel to avoid splattering.

Storing: Refrigerate your leftover pork tenderloin in an airtight container, and it will keep for 4-5 days.

Freezing: An airtight container is also a necessary tool in freezing your pork tenderloin properly to avoid freezer burn. I also put the container holding the meat into a ziploc freezer bag for a double barrier of protection. If wrapped properly, leaving it in the freezer for 3-4 months you will still end up with fresh cooked meat. Let it thaw out in your refrigerator all day or overnight before heating.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: Pressure Cook on High: 5 minutes + Natural Release for 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

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