For me, recipe inspiration comes from just about everywhere. One thing I really love to do is to try and recreate dishes that I enjoy in restaurants. It’s just fun to get in the kitchen and play around with flavors and ingredients. This recipe for White BBQ Sauce Grilled Pork Tenderloin is one such recipe.
A few weeks back, we went to this great restaurant at the beach that had a similar dish on the menu. Now, when I’m at the beach, I usually opt for something seafood-related, but this pork dish really got my attention. It was a white barbecue sauce grilled pork tenderloin that was served over collard greens and mac and cheese, and was topped with onion rings. It was completely over the top. So delicious. And while the combinations of flavors was excellent, I just really loved how tender, juicy and flavorful the tenderloin was. So I knew I had to make it myself.
Now, I’m no stranger to white barbecue sauce. I’ve had a great recipe for it on my blog for years. So I knew exactly where to start.
White barbecue sauce was created in the 1920s by a man named Bob Gibson. He created the sauce as a way to keep the chickens he smoked moist. He’d pull them off the pit and dip them in the sauce. He later opened a restaurant called Big Bob Gibson’s and the sauce has been on the menu since day one.
It’s a super tangy, peppery sauce that adds tons of flavor. In this recipe, use it as marinade and as a sauce for the meat once it’s cooked.
While mayo might seem like a strange ingredient when it comes to grilling and smoking, it’s actually pretty brilliant. As marinade, it helps to add flavor and keeps the meat intensely moist as it cooks. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever had pork tenderloin be as moist as it is using this method.
Then we drizzle a little more of the sauce over the finished pork and it adds even more flavor.
Another trick to perfectly juicy pork is being sure not to overcook it. Cooking it right to the sweet spot at 145 degrees is key. I like to let it rest for a bit to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing it.
This marinade is perfect on just about any other cut of pork as well. Pork chops and ribs do remarkably well with this method, if you can’t get your hands on pork tenderloins.
Just keep in mind this recipe calls for pork tenderloins, not pork loin or pork loin filet. Those are a bit different. It will all work with this marinade, but the cook time will be different.
Many grocery stores sell individually wrapped pork tenderloins in vacuum-sealed bags, but they’re almost always flavored in some way – pepper, barbecue, herb, etc. You’ll want to find the unflavored/unmarinated pork tenderloins for this recipe. They’re usually in a similar vacuum-sealed bag, but most often are two per package.
And whether you buy pork from a grocery store or a butcher, you’re supporting family farms in the U.S. About one-third of the pork consumed in the U.S. comes from Iowa farm families.
White BBQ Sauce Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 4 hours
- 2 (1 to 1.5-pound) pork tenderloins (see note)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Creole mustard (spicy brown mustard will work as well)
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Make the white barbecue sauce by combining the mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, garlic, vinegar, black pepper, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Use paper towels to dry the tenderloins and trim away excess fat and silverskin, if present. Place the tenderloins in a gallon ziptop bag and add about half of the white barbecue sauce. Seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Cover remaining sauce and refrigerate.
- When ready to cook, allow the pork to warm to room temperature so it will cook evenly. Preheat the grill over medium-high heat. Place the tenderloins on the grill and cook 20-25 minutes (turning occasionally) or until an instant-read thermometer placed in the center of the pork loins reads 145 degrees.
- Remove from the grill, tent with foil. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining white barbecue sauce.
- Most grocery stores sell pork tenderloin in a vacuum-sealed bag with two tenderloins per package. The package should be between 2 and 3 pounds total weight.
- Note that this is pork tenderloin and not just pork loin.